Scaling Your Walmart Seller Business: Walmart Marketplace Knowledge Base
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes.
As a business owner in the ecommerce sector, you’ll be well aware of the benefits of online market platforms. Rather than deal with the expense and the time-consuming process of building your own ecommerce platform, it makes sense to leverage ones that are already thriving.
You might already be an aficionado on Amazon and Shopify, so perhaps it’s time to diversify and join the Walmart Marketplace. Or maybe you’re just starting out as an online entrepreneur, and want to plan ahead.
Either way, our Walmart Marketplace Knowledge Base can help you on your way to becoming a successful Walmart seller.
You may be wondering, why Walmart?
Elizabeth Marsten, Senior Director of Strategic Marketplace Services at Tinuiti, has the answer. Walmart’s marketplace is rapidly expanding, and through her research, Marsten has discovered that:
‘Walmart’s online marketplace now consists of over 33,000 sellers that span 52 million product SKUs, self-service advertising capabilities and more. Selling on the Walmart marketplace becomes all the more essential when you consider the fact that 57% of Amazon shoppers shop on Walmart.com.’
As a seller, possibly one already on Amazon, this gives you the ideal entry to capture new market share, as well as recapture past buyers.
To sell on Walmart successfully, it’s important that you understand the optimal ways to start and scale your business. Our Walmart Marketplace Knowledge Base provides you with the tools you need to achieve this.
What Does It Mean To ‘Scale’ My Business?
Capacity and capability are the foundations of scaling your business. Do you have the capacity to grow, and does your current system for doing things accommodate that growth?
A big mistake many marketplace sellers make is that they continue to grow without understanding the foundational needs of that growth.
When you scale a business, you’re setting yourself up for success. Growth without order and organisation can lead to missed orders, insufficient stock, not enough people power, and more.
Conversely, investing with the expectation of growth without ensuring visibility and incentives for customers to buy with you is seriously risky.
Both of these scenarios can lead to unhappy customers, inordinate amounts of stress and a business that struggles to stay afloat. One of the best ways to stay on target with your ecommerce business, is to keep track of every detail, preferably in the same place. This is where the Walmart Seller Scorecard excels.
Understanding Your Walmart Seller Scorecard
Your Walmart Seller Scorecard delves into just about every aspect of how you operate your business with Walmart. The seller scorecard provides you with insights that then give you the keys to optimizing your selling ability. It reviews:
- Order Defect Rates. This should be less than 2%.
- On-Time Shipment Rates. This should be greater than 99%.
- Whether you have provided the correct tracking information. This needs to be correct more than 99% of the time.
By paying close attention to these metrics, you can improve your ranking and work towards gaining placement in the ‘buy box’.
Not only does the Walmart Seller Scorecard keep you attuned to the finer points of your sales metrics, but it also keeps you accountable. If you’re consistently not delivering on the promise, your visibility on Walmart’s online marketplace declines.
How To Increase Your Walmart Sales
When a seller visits Walmart’s online store, the probability of them buying your product over another is enhanced by:
- Your product ranking and where you show in search results.
- Your customer and product reviews.
- Whether or not your product is in the ‘buy box’ (as outlined above).
To boost your chances of meeting the above criteria, you need to optimize your listing performance. By using your scorecard to see the gaps in your process and approach, you are better positioned to increase your Walmart sales. You can do this by:
- Winning the Walmart Buy Box.
- Exceeding customer expectations through excellent customer service.
- Drawing new customers with targeted advertising tools.
- Enhancing product details to focus on search engine optimization (SEO).
These steps are outlined in detail below.
The Walmart Buy Box
What is the buy box?
Whenever you shop on an online marketplace such as Amazon or Walmart, your search results will return a single page with one seller.
When you are the winning seller for the buy box, your sales potential is much higher. The buy box makes you more visible, and the trust that buyers place in this feature make them more likely to utilize it.
We’ve all been there: You search for an item, and the cheapest one with the best reviews and images catches your attention.
If the buy box can do all of that work for you, then why would you search elsewhere? That’s the value of securing the Walmart Buy Box.
Winning the Buy Box
To secure your place in the Walmart Buy Box, there are some steps you should follow:
- Be competitive in your pricing. Even a difference of a single cent can mean the difference between you or a competitor securing the Buy Box. Often the Buy Box is automatically assigned to the seller with the lowest price for the item.
- Maintain stock levels. If you’re out of stock, you’re out of the Buy Box running.
- Offer free shipping via Walmart or at the least, the cheapest shipping you can afford. Oftentimes sellers will abandon their cart at shipping as the cost is too high compared to the item being purchased.
- Deliver on time or ahead of time. This surprises and delights customers.
- Chase feedback. Recurrent and recent positive reviews on your product places you ahead of the competition and more likely to place in the Buy Box.
Underpromise and Overdeliver: The Keys To Happy Customers
Arguably, the single most important metric for any seller is customer satisfaction.
In a survey taken out by American Express regarding customer satisfaction, it was found that:
‘On average, an individual will tell 9 people about good experiences, and 16 people about poor ones.’
Unhappy customers can be harmful to your reputation.
Keeping customers happy isn’t rocket science. By breaking it down into traceable metrics, it’s much easier to keep your customers happy.
Visibility around where you might be getting it wrong - such as slow shipping, incorrect listing information, or damaged goods - is the key to correcting these issues and getting great customer feedback on every order.
In the past, the sales funnel was the popularised sales model, but this placed the customer at the bottom in the line of importance.
Adopting a flywheel approach ensures you are significantly more customer-focused. When you keep the customer at the center of your business, you are setting yourself up for success.
To truly wow your customers, you need to exceed their expectations. Keeping your prices low but your service gold standard is more likely to earn you referrals, even if something goes awry with an order.
Additionally, rapid response times from real people make your customers feel valued and adds personalization to the online shopping experience. Always remember that customer service is king.
Rapid response times from real people make your customer feel valued and adds personalization to the online shopping experience.
Seek Out Your Customer with Sponsored Advertising
One of the benefits of running an ecommerce centric business is that your reach has never been wider. With Walmart Sponsored Products you have the option to market your products within Walmart’s marketplace. You can capture buyers while they shop, stealing them away from the competition and driving up your conversion rates.
How Does Walmart Sponsored Advertising Work?
Walmart’s terms and conditions of using sponsored advertising outline that:
- Your ads will appear on the first page of search results, category pages, and item pages to drive traffic to your products.
- They are cost-per-click ads, so you only pay when a shopper clicks on your ad.
To qualify for sponsored ads, your product must be in the Buy Box and in stock.
Optimize Your Walmart Listings
Just like Google, Walmart has a search engine algorithm. This algorithm searches results based on keywords that a customer is using.
The idea behind search engine optimization is that you use these keywords in your listings, increasing your chances of ranking higher in the search results. This means you are more likely to capture the purchasing power of the person searching. You’re essentially calling them to your listing, directing them away from the competition.
To capture buyers, your listing should:
- Have clear and accurate product titles. Try to mirror the competition, but not copy it.
- Include detailed product descriptions, outlining the features and benefits of the item/s. Keep it factual and accurate.
- Include multiple images. When buying online, customers want photos of every aspect and angle of the product. They are buying sight unseen, so clear pictures are a must to gain their trust and interest. There should be a minimum of three images per listing.
- List specifications. Include measurements, care instructions, weight, brand or anything else relevant to the listing. This helps educate a customer about the product and can also support your price point for expensive items.
- Focus on shipping. The Walmart search algorithm is set to favor listings with quick and inexpensive shipping. If you enable Walmart’s free 2-day shipping option, you’ll rank higher than those who do not utilize this service. Utilizing Walmart’s fulfilment service is another way to achieve fast shipping.
Ideally, you should engage an SEO keyword specialist who can search out the top-ranking keywords and advise how to best work these into your listings for maximum effect.
Automated, Accurate and Reconciled - Marketplace Made Easy With A2X
Walmart’s Seller Scorecard provides a clear, uncomplicated picture of your online store.
What about the accounting side of things, particularly if you also run an Amazon and Shopify business in conjunction with your Walmart one? It can get messy, fast. The solution - A2X accounting.
When you have multiple income streams from multiple marketplaces and a variety of products, reconciling it all is seriously time-consuming. A2X is the gold standard for ecommerce accounting, taking all of your reporting from Walmart and feeding it directly through A2X to Xero or QuickBooks.
Make Business Ownership Less Stressful and More Productive
At A2X our goal is to make ecommerce accounting for Walmart simple, giving you more time to build your business and focus on your winning Walmart e-commerce strategy.
Owning your own ecommerce business should be the key to a flexible work life. Our app will help you scale your business, saving you time by automating the stuff you’d otherwise have to do manually.
Ready to grow? You can try A2X for Walmart for free here.
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