After years of dominating the ecommerce pond, Amazon Prime may have a new big fish to contend with: Walmart+.
Walmart+ is a new offering that Walmart is expected to roll out sometime this summer. While we don’t know everything about the newcomer just yet, there are a few things the market is expecting from Walmart+ that brands should know about.
Walmart+ is a paid membership that gives Walmart customers special perks and services. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Walmart+ will be directly competing with Amazon Prime, which has been fairly alone in this space since 2005. Walmart+ was expected to launch at the end of July 2020. Walmart has delayed the launch of the new subscription service and their website advises it is “coming soon”.
While Amazon is a massive player in the ecommerce space, George Hatch, Director of Marketplaces at Pattern, said Walmart is investing heavily in ecommerce and growing quickly, and brands should be paying attention to this Walmart+ move.
“Are they behind? Absolutely,” Hatch said, “but they have shown to be very serious about this race, and they have shown to be a little bit more formidable when it comes to brushing off the bruises and getting back up and trying again.”
One thing that makes Walmart+ so interesting, and which may shape the way brands sell their products on Walmart’s online marketplace, is that its subscription service costs less than Amazon Prime. According to Recode, a Walmart+ subscription will cost buyers $98 a year. Compare that to Prime, whose annual membership costs consumers $119 a year.
Similar to Amazon Prime Now, Walmart+ is expected to offer unlimited same-day delivery of groceries and merchandise from Walmart Supercenters. Its massive network of stores and distribution centers make it uniquely positioned to give Amazon a run for its money on this front.
“What Walmart brings to the table is the fact that they are going to be able to have same-day delivery out of 4,700 locations,” Hatch said. “They’re basically turning every store into a logistics center or a distribution center.”
Compare that to Amazon’s 175 fulfillment centers, and the competition intensifies.
Other perks include discounts at Walmart gas stations, reserved delivery slots and open-slot notifications, some access to Walmart’s new Express two-hour delivery offering, and early access to special deals, according to Recode.
Walmart is also packaging special in-store services into the mix, something that takes the Prime shipping model even further. It’s anticipated that Walmart will resurrect its Scan & Go service (which the company tested but ultimately discontinued two years ago) to allow Walmart+ members to check out in brick and mortar locations without waiting in line. Recode also reported that Walmart will be introducing a Walmart+ branded credit card soon after the service launches.
Walmart is going even further than just mimicking Amazon’s quick shipping services. This month, the company unveiled Camp by Walmart, an online family entertainment program/virtual summer camp that features celebrities like Drew Berrymore and LeBron James guiding viewers through different activities and challenges. Camp by Walmart is available on the Walmart app, but there’s speculation that this too will become a Walmart+ only offering in the future.
In many ways, it’s both an exciting and challenging time for Walmart to be entering the quick fulfillment subscription space. Walmart.com is the second largest marketplace in the U.S. after Amazon—it sees $21.9 billion in yearly sales as well as 308 million monthly visitors—and it’s one of the fastest growing ecommerce sites in the country.
Indeed, MarketplacePulse recently reported that Walmart’s Marketplace outperformed both ecommerce giants Amazon and eBay, with traffic increasing 55% back in April compared to February, and the Walmart app being the top download shopping app on the iPhone App Store in May. Plus, partly due to Walmart’s new partnership with Shopify, Marketplace sellers have doubled since July 2019, and more come to the marketplace each month.
Thirty-five percent of Amazon sellers are also selling on Walmart, so Walmart+ is, in many ways, the next sensible step for Walmart to compete.
In addition to that, Walmart merged its Walmart grocery and Walmart.com sites together earlier this year, allowing customers to load their online carts with products from across the store. Walmart’s grocery site has become the leading grocery platform in the country, and with that merger comes a surge in traffic to the entire Walmart Marketplace that could rise much higher with the launch of Walmart+.
That said, the new service has significant ground to make up. Amazon Prime is well established in the ecommerce subscription space with over 112 million US subscribers and over 150 million subscribers worldwide and currently has much more product to offer customers.
Walmart is also entering this space at a time when COVID-19 has led to widespread financial challenges for consumers and distribution challenges for sites like Amazon.
When Amazon was just starting, when the platform first allowed third-party sellers, some brands were reluctant to get onboard, Hatch said. Amazon had already established itself as a bookseller, and higher-priced goods weren’t trusted there.
Now Amazon sells luxury goods across the globe, and sellers who didn’t get on early have had lots of making up to do. According to Hatch, Walmart+ could prove to have a similar trajectory.
“These are basically the early days of Amazon,” Hatch said. “If you want to control how things end up, I would encourage brands to get on earlier rather than later.”
Walmart Marketplace is more exclusionary in the vendors it chooses than Amazon. This is great for brands who want to diversify channels, because they can compete more easily within Walmart Marketplace. Fifty seven percent of Amazon shoppers say they also shop on Walmart Marketplace, so there’s also a dynamic demographic of shoppers brands can reach in this space. With the addition of competitive pricing and services offered through Walmart+, it could be a homerun.
Another thing that’s interesting about Walmart+ is that it allows luxury brands that wouldn’t otherwise sell their product in-store to sell it on Walmart’s online platform. The company is shifting into a provider of not only low-priced items but high-quality products.
“I think Walmart is just going to totally transform their position in the industry, and not by taking the leader’s spot, but being in a place where they have a foundation to launch off of,” Hatch said.
Walmart Marketplace is still a developing marketplace, and it doesn’t have the same level of support Amazon does. The addition of a developing subscription service could add more challenges at first, but it’ll be an exciting platform to watch over the next few months.
To learn more about selling your product on Walmart Marketplace, contact us below.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.