This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
Walmart has built a vast and varied marketplace to rival Amazon and has been accepting third-party ecommerce sellers since 2016. If you’re looking to sell on Walmart, there are plenty of opportunities open to you.
This guide walks you through each step of selling on Walmart, from application to set up to launch.
Step 1: Apply to Sell on Walmart
The first thing to do is head over to the Walmart Marketplace and fill out the application form. During this process, you’ll have to input a fair amount of information.
You’ll need the following information:
- US Business Tax ID (your Social Security Number won’t work)
- W9 or W8 and EIN Verification letter from the Department of Treasury
- Address or place of physical operations (US-based)
- Planned integration method
- Primary product categories, catalog size, etc.
The more info you provide, the faster Walmart will process your application. So take your time and don’t skimp.
Approval wait time depends on your business size, qualifications, and capabilities. Some sellers wait just two weeks for a response, while others wait for months.
Who Can Sell on Walmart Marketplace?
To qualify to sell on Walmart Marketplace, you need to have an established history selling online via your own website or third-party marketplace like Amazon or eBay. While Walmart hasn’t explicitly outlined what an established history is exactly, it’s not enough to only sell via brick-and-mortar store. The longer online sales history you have, the better your chances at qualifying to sell on Walmart.
In addition to total sales metrics, Walmart looks at customer ratings from third-party marketplaces to determine how your business is faring. Walmart favors established online sellers with positive reviews and a comprehensive sales history and product collection.
Step 2: Set Up Your Walmart Seller Account
Once you’ve been approved, Walmart will send you an email that contains the link to set up your business on its Marketplace. Follow the link in the email to create your Partner Profile. The Signup Wizard will guide you through the steps below:
- Account creation
- Walmart Retailer Agreement
- Company registration
- W9 form
- Payment information
- Shipping information
Most of the steps above require you to fill out standard information. When inputting your shipping information, you’ll be required to configure shipping rates and when you’ll process orders.
After following the Signup Wizard, you’re ready to move on to the Partner/Seller Profile. This is a public page where customers will learn more about you. To complete this step, you’ll have to provide the following information:
- Company and About Us information for shoppers to see
- Customer service details including contact phone number, email, and operating hours
- Shipping options and costs
- Return policy and procedures
- Tax information to set up your sales tax requirements
Step 3: List Your Walmart Products
Now it’s time to list your products. This next step is arguably the most important because it will affect whether people can find your products or not. You can do this manually or by uploading products via a bulk upload or product feed.
Walmart Marketplace sellers have three product feed options:
- CSV file bulk upload: Here you create a CSV file via an Excel or a Google Sheets spreadsheet, following Walmart’s file upload guidelines. It’s great for sellers uploading a small collection of products to the Marketplace.
- API integration: If you know how to manage an API connection, you can connect the Marketplace’s API to your ecommerce platform or order management system for free.
- Integration partner: If you’re already set up on a platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce, an integration partner can link some or all of the products in your existing catalog directly to Walmart. The only potential drawback is that this service isn’t free.
Understand Walmart Product Attributes
Because multiple sellers add content for the same product, Walmart uses algorithms to determine which product will display on an item page.
Attributes help Walmart to recognize your product and present it to potential buyers. Below are the attributes you’ll need to consider when setting up your Walmart Marketplace feed:
Product Identification Attributes
- Product name
- Product ID Type — field where you indicate which identifier you are using: GTIN, UPC, EAN, ISBN, or ISSN. For example, if you are using UPCs, put “UPC” in this field.
- Product ID — field where you put the value for the product identifier you selected above. For example: “234567891012”
- Manufacturer, Manufacturer Part Number, and Model Number — are all optional identifiers that you can use
- Long description: A space with up to 4,000 characters where you describe your product
- Short description: 1,000 characters to cover key selling points
- Shelf description: A short bulleted list of key features that shows up in several places, including Walmart search and the Buy Box
- Main Image URL
- Main Image Alt Text: Optional but good for Walmart search and SEO
- Additional Asset Text: Add descriptive terms to describe each image
- Product Tax Code: Used to identify tax codes for products. This is required on all products, and you can’t publish a listing without it. Use Walmart’s sales tax tutorial to find the correct tax codes for your products
- Price Currency: Dollars for US sellers
- Price Amount: The product’s selling price
- Shipping Weight-Value: Weight of your product
- Shipping Weight-Unit: Walmart uses pounds (lbs.)
- Is Shipping Allowed: “Y” enables shipping for your products; “N” disables it
- Ship Method: Defines the different ways you ship orders
- Ship Region: Defines the locations you ship to
- Ship Price: Rates you charge for shipping
Variant Group-Related Attributes
You can set up variations within the field if you have products with variations like color and/or size. The attributes to set up are:
- Variant Group ID: Use this Unique ID for all items in a variant group. This is essentially your Parent SKU value.
- Variant Attribute Name: This is the type of variant, like size or color.
- Swatch Variant Attribute: On Walmart.com, variations can display as a drop-down menu or swatch selection.
There are 24 universal categories in Walmart’s Categorization Guide. Items in certain categories and subcategories can list additional attributes specific to certain products, such as items that use compliance attributes. For example, if you’re selling organic foods, you can use the “GMO-Free Claim” field for products listed in the Food Category.
Step 4: Test Your Orders
After listing your products and following all the steps above, you’ll want to test orders before going live. Testing ensures a smoother experience for customers who add your products to their carts.
If you have a small product collection, you can send the whole product feed as the test. But if it’s a large product catalog, it’s best to send a portion—preferably your top-selling items—as the test.
All the products that were successfully added will be listed in the Stage status, which indicates they aren’t live on the marketplace site. However, you can see what they’ll look like live by clicking Preview Item in Item Details.
Set Up Your Order Management Method
As a Walmart marketplace seller, you’re in charge of order processing, shipping, exchanges, refunds, and customer service.
You can retrieve Marketplace orders via:
- Seller Central Dashboard: Follow the Order Management Instructions
- Bulk Order Download: Use Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets to download orders and set them up with Order Download/Upload instructions.
- Order Integration Partner
Test Your Order Management Functions
Test a few orders by following these steps:
- In the Seller Center Dashboard, choose two to three products to test.
- Update the price and inventory for these items.
- Under Actions, click Publish Item (doing this will make the item go live).
- Click Purchase Item under the Actions.
- You’ll be linked to the live product page to purchase.
You should check out important touchpoints like order acknowledgment, cancellation, shipping, and refund. If all the touchpoints work smoothly, you’re ready for the final step!
Step 5: Launch Your Account
After you check off Complete Item & Order Testing in your Seller Setup Checklist, a pop-up message will ask you to confirm you’re ready to launch. When you click Yes, this will trigger a launch request.
The Marketplace team will review your account one more time, and if everything’s good, your items will be Live on the Marketplace within 24 hours.
How to Become a Successful Walmart Seller
After launching your products, it’s crucial to optimize your catalog periodically to increase your chances of success. While Walmart is not as competitive as Amazon, competition still exists, and only sellers who work hard at optimizing their catalog will succeed. Here are some tips to help you be a successful Walmart seller.
Choose the Best Fulfillment Options
The fulfillment options you use are entirely up to you. You can choose to fulfill orders in-house or use a fulfillment provider.
Win the Buy Box
Walmart gives the seller with the most competitive price priority over sellers offering the same product. This seller has the highest chances of winning the Buy Box. When buyers click the “Add to Cart” button, the Buy Box winner’s product is chosen, and they get the order.
Use Social Proof
When potential shoppers see that existing customers are raving about your products and giving them excellent reviews, it heightens the chances of buying from your store.
The Marketplace lets sellers advertise specific products and create marketing campaigns. While this costs money, it will help you reach a wider audience faster. And what’s more, you only pay for the ad when a customer clicks on it.
Optimize for Walmart Search
If you want to sell on Walmart and make a success of it, boost your visibility by using Walmart SEO tricks. Some things you can do include:
Your Walmart listing has a main image and several background images—it’s important to make sure they’re all optimized for a good buying experience, which in turn boosts your SEO. Use a tightly cropped white background image for your main shot, and show off details and the product in use in the successive images. It’s best to invest in a high-quality camera or photographer to make sales.
Product descriptions are another important factor to SEO when you sell on Walmart. Descriptions offer the chance for you to not only persuade potential customers to buy but also throw in some descriptive keywords to help people find your items in the first place. The words in your product descriptions cue Walmart’s search algorithm as to what your product is all about. So when people search for something related in the search box, you want to show up at the top of the page. Remember to use a combination of short- and long-tail keywords.
Selling on Walmart Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Walmart?
One of the most significant benefits of selling on Walmart is that you don’t pay a monthly fee. Walmart will only charge you a referral fee when you make a sale. This fee ranges from 6%–20%, depending on the product category. The referral fees are similar to Amazon’s fees, except that there are no minimum referral fees—you simply pay a percentage of each product’s selling price.
What Are the Best Products to Sell on Walmart?
Walmart shoppers want quality products from brands they know, with very competitive prices. You won’t find success selling high-end luxury items or low-end imports here.
Some of the top-selling product categories on Walmart Marketplace are:
- Vitamins and supplements
- Furniture and home appliances
- Personal care
- Garden and patio
If your products bring value to buyers at an affordable price point, then you’ll be a great match.
What are the Benefits of Selling on Walmart?
There are many reasons to add Walmart to your multichannel selling strategy, including:
Has No Recurring Fees
Unlike some other online marketplaces, Walmart doesn’t charge any setup or monthly fees to sellers. Instead, the only thing you have to pay is the referral fee on each sale you make. This referral fee varies depending on the product category, and this guide from Walmart provides more details.
Has Low Competition
Walmart Marketplace is an exclusive marketplace—not everyone is allowed to sell here. While the process of getting approved as a seller is relatively stressful, the lower level of competition here makes it worth the hassle. If you get approved to sell on Walmart Marketplace, you won’t face as much competition as you would elsewhere.
Increases Your Exposure
Walmart.com has over 450 million monthly visitors—a gold mine for any seller. Listing on Amazon puts your product in front of tons of new potential customers. Even if leads don’t buy your product, they still get exposed to your brand and might buy from you in the future.
Provides Access to Useful Tools
Walmart gives you access to several valuable tools to help you succeed as a merchant. These analytics tools allow you to monitor sales performance, understand leads better, create better campaigns, organically boost conversion, and so much more.
The Walmart Marketplace continues its growth, and you can be part of it as well. If you meet the high standards of entry, you should look to apply. Once your account is approved to start selling, you’ll enjoy increased orders and seller fees that are predictable, with no hidden costs.