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How to sell on Walmart Marketplace: A comprehensive guide

May 30, 2024 - Alyssa Wolfe
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A comprehensive guide to selling on Walmart Marketplace |

Omnichannel commerce has become a critical strategy for brands. It helps expand reach while offering an integrated shopping experience across multiple platforms, letting sellers meet customers where they’re at. This approach – which includes ecommerce marketplaces – can increase engagement, boost sales and help retailers stay competitive in a multichannel world. gets millions of monthly visitors, making Walmart Marketplace an effective ecommerce channel for businesses of all sizes. And while Amazon dominates the marketplace space, Walmart remains a viable choice that offers some unique advantages. Like any channel, getting started and maximizing sales potential requires planning, a strategy and continuous improvement.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate Walmart Marketplace and let you know what it takes to get started, sell and find success on the platform.

About Walmart Marketplace

Walmart Marketplace, like Amazon, is an online platform for third-party sellers to list their inventory and reach millions of potential buyers. When people search for products, a third-party seller's products will appear in search results along with other items. However, the caveat is that brands must optimize their presence to gain visibility and engage shoppers.

Walmart is currently one of the fastest-growing ecommerce platforms in the U.S. It offers several advantages compared to other marketplace platforms.

The advantages

  • Reach a large, established audience: is one of the U.S.’s most popular online shopping destinations because of its brand recognition and enormous product catalog, from jewelry to children’s gear, clothing, home goods, books and more. You can leverage this traffic to get your products in front of millions of shoppers, reaching a new customer base already accustomed to buying on
  • Less competition: Despite Walmart Marketplace's expanded reach, there is often less competition compared to other major platforms, especially Amazon, which has 9 million active sellers. Walmart also curates its marketplace, implementing a rigorous screening process to ensure that customers only see high-quality, competitively priced products. This curation helps maintain a higher standard for listings, resulting in fewer overall competitors for any given product category. Sellers on Walmart Marketplace often have better odds of winning the Buy Box compared to those on Amazon Marketplace. Additionally, this selective approach means that businesses can enjoy higher visibility and potentially greater sales. Walmart Marketplace’s environment can be particularly advantageous for new sellers looking to establish their brand presence with less immediate competition.
  • You pay for what you sell (no setup or monthly fees):When selling on Walmart Marketplace, fees are reasonable. The platform has a simple pricing structure and no setup or monthly fees. Instead, third-party sellers pay a referral fee of 6% to 15% for each purchase. Referral fees are clearly listed on the website.
  • You get access to advanced marketing and inventory-management tools: Walmart provides its marketplace sellers with ecommerce tools to organically increase conversion, monitor sales performance, better understand leads, create more effective campaigns and more.
  • You can list unlimited SKUs: Walmart doesn't limit sellers to SKU minimums or maximums on its marketplace. Sellers can put their whole catalog on Walmart Marketplace, provided their products do not appear on Walmart's prohibited item list. Businesses with an extensive product catalog will find Walmart Marketplace appealing.
  • Customizable return policy: Sellers can create their return policy on Walmart Marketplace with greater control over the terms than on other marketplaces like Amazon. Brands don't have to set up restocking or return shipping fees; they can set up automated "keep-it rules." This means that if a returned product falls below a price threshold, the customer can get a refund and keep the product instead of putting themselves (and the seller) through the hassle of the return process. When sellers apply to join the Walmart Marketplace, they must write a return policy under 4,000 characters with the following minimum standards: 14-day return window for electronics and luxury items and 30-day return window for other items. During the holidays, however, Walmart automatically applies a different return window to your orders. This helps create a consistent customer experience. The policy can be found here.

The disadvantages

  • Stringent price requirements: Walmart's corporate mission is to save people money by offering the lowest possible product prices. This approach applies to its marketplace, too. Although brands and sellers can choose pricing, they can't conflict with Walmart's Price Parity Rule and Price Leadership Rule. Price Parity prohibits sellers and brands from listing products at lower prices on other marketplaces. Price Leadership will take down listings if the same items are cheaper on another marketplace (even if it's another seller). When doing this, Walmart considers the cost of the product, shipping costs and any additional fees.
  • Slimmer profit margins: Due to Walmart's Every Day Low Prices (EDLP) Guarantee, sellers and brands may have to lower their product prices on Walmart Marketplace and their websites. While offering products at lower rates may increase sales volume, sellers will probably see lower profit margins.
  • Not a one-shot solution: Brands should diversify sales channels to reduce dependency on a single platform, mitigating risks associated with market fluctuations and platform-specific policies. Diversification allows brands to reach a broader audience, increasing potential sales and brand visibility. Additionally, leveraging multiple sales channels can enhance overall resilience and adaptability.
  • Might face listing challenges: Walmart Marketplace operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Regarding the Buy Box, the seller who lists a product first has priority over other sellers selling the same item. Sellers can only beat the original seller by offering a lower price, which will help win the Buy Box.

Selling on Walmart Marketplace: how to join

Getting started on Walmart Marketplace opens up a world of opportunities for your brand. By understanding the setup process and best practices, you can quickly and effectively establish your presence on one of the largest retail marketplaces in the world. The process involves the following steps:

Submit a seller application

Applying to sell on Walmart Marketplace takes 10-15 minutes if you have the needed information ready. The requirements are:

  • U.S. Business Tax ID (no SSN)
  • W9 or W8 and EIN verification letter from the Internal Revenue Service that verifies your U.S. business address and place of physical operations
  • Your primary product categories, catalog size and total SKUs you plan to sell on Walmart Marketplace, and other related data
  • How you plan to integrate your product catalog (API, bulk upload, third-party software)
  • No items from Walmart's Prohibited Products Policy
  • Track record of ecommerce success

By giving as much information upfront as possible, you'll save time later. If you have to correspond with Walmart Marketplace during their review, respond quickly to avoid delays in approval.

Once approved, complete the registration process

Once Walmart has approved you, the company will email you the link to finish registration.

Account creation

Walmart's signup tool will guide you through the following steps:

  1. Creating account
  2. Signing Walmart Marketplace seller agreement
  3. Registering business
  4. Filling out a W9 form
  5. Providing payment information
  6. Giving shipping information

As part of inputting your shipping information, you'll set up shipping rates and order fulfillment timeframes.  

Partner profile

Next, you'll fill out your public-facing Seller Profile with the information below:

  • "About Us" information for shoppers
  • Phone number, email and operating hours
  • Return policy
  • Shipping options and costs
  • Privacy policy  
  • Tax information

Tax information

First, you’ll provide your tax nexus. Tax nexus is a business' physical presence that creates a tax obligation to a state. Warehouses, offices and call centers can determine nexus. The nexus page will show a list of states where you may have nexus. To choose the nexus for a state, select the state and then the “sub-state.” By “sub-state,” Walmart means localities within a state that issue taxes. Some states have no sub-states, while others have thousands.

Next, you’ll select shipping sales tax codes, which let Walmart know what to charge customers for shipping. Finally, you’ll provide details about your sales tax policies in under 4,000 characters. For example: "X% sales tax will be applied to all orders shipped to any [state] address."

Shipping information

In the shipping section, you’ll first choose your shipping model from one of the following options:

  • Price of the total orders: This is when the order’s total cost determines the shipping charge. You can also choose this option if you offer free shipping.
  • Item weight or the number of items per order: This is when you charge different amounts depending on the number or weight of the products.

Once complete, you’ll choose your shipping methods. Walmart requires that you provide “standard” and “value” shipping, and you can offer expedited, two-day and next-day shipping options. After that, you’ll choose transit times, so customers have accurate expectations for delivery times. Walmart’s requirements are as follows:

  • Value: Delivery required within three to seven days
  • Standard: Delivery required within two to five days
  • Expedited: Delivery required within one to two days
  • Next day: Delivery required within one day

You’ll also confirm shipping pricing based on which shipping model you chose, choose your processing schedule, choose your shipping time zones and add a brief explanation of your shipping policy for customers. There are ways to optimize your shipping costs, so consider these as you plan your Walmart operation.

Payment information

Walmart uses Payoneer and Hyperwallet to disburse Marketplace partner payments, so you'll need to register with one of these services. However, you can only use Payoneer if you have a W-8ECI tax classification.

List and test your items

The last onboarding step is listing your catalog and testing orders before you go live to give customers a seamless checkout experience. Start with your top-selling products first, and remember that these items will go live once you’ve completed testing. Therefore, don't put "test" in the names or product descriptions — these are actual items for purchase. If you sell items in multiple categories, include a handful of items per category. Test a few orders by testing these processes: Order acknowledgment, cancellation, shipping and refund. You don't need to actually ship these orders.

Submit a launch request to go live

Once the ordering process goes off without a hitch, you can submit a launch request. Walmart’s go-live criteria are as follows:

  • You’ve classified at least 95% of your products correctly.
  • You’ve correctly filled out all the previous settings.
  • You’ve correctly priced your inventory.
  • Your payment account is active.

Click the “Ready to Launch” button,” and then Walmart will do a final review and launch your account for the public to access. Customers can buy your products within a few hours, but your products won't appear in their search results for 24-48 hours. Tip: Optimize your listings and other content to maximize visibility and engage customers. It's a vital component of marketplace success.


Best practices for getting approved to sell

Using best practices is crucial to gaining approval to sell on Walmart Marketplace, as it ensures your application meets Walmart's high standards for quality and competitiveness. Adhering to these guidelines not only increases your chances of acceptance but also sets the foundation for a successful and profitable presence on the platform.

Make sure your products aren't prohibited

Ensuring none of your products fall into the list below will help you get approved:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Bleach
  • Butane gas
  • Car batteries
  • Certain medicines
  • Charcoal
  • DOT fully regulated hazardous materials
  • Fertilizers
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Household cleaners
  • Household paints
  • Lighter fluid
  • Motor oil
  • Paint thinners
  • Pesticides
  • Pool chemicals
  • Syringes with needles*
  • Temperature-controlled items
  • Tires

Walmart doesn’t accept syringes with needles for subcutaneous injections, but it permits the following items:

  • Empty syringes
  • Sewing needles
  • Basting needles/syringes for cooking purposes
  • Lancets
  • Automotive/tire needles

Have a track record of ecommerce success

Walmart is more likely to approve a seller with at least one year of selling history, positive reviews on other sites or proof that you’ve successfully fulfilled customer orders. Walmart will use metrics from other platforms you’re on to analyze your business's performance, including sales success and customer satisfaction.

If Walmart would be your first online marketplace, you may want to try eBay or Amazon or make sure you’re doing volume on your brand’s site. Walmart doesn’t have an exact business size it requires for approval, but anecdotally, it seems to approve sellers with at least six figures in annual sales.

Provide as many details about your business as possible

Ensure your company's information, like address, name and phone number, is consistent across all forms of documentation. Discrepancies may lead to the rejection of your application. Additionally, don’t worry about going overboard in proving your track record as an ecommerce seller; it’s better for Walmart to have too much than too little.

Tips for success as a Walmart Marketplace seller

Achieving success as a Walmart Marketplace seller requires strategic planning and a deep understanding of the platform's unique dynamics. By leveraging proven tips and best practices, you can enhance your visibility, boost sales and build a thriving online business.

Optimize your product listings

Walmart's algorithm gives your product listings a score ranging from 0% to 99%. Your score considers product descriptions, product images, ratings and reviews, content and discoverability and post-purchase quality. Post-purchase quality includes criteria like cancellation and return rates. You can find your Listing Quality Score in your Seller Center dashboard, along with ideas on improving your listing quality. Optimizing your product listings with transparency, accuracy and ample information will help customer make sound purchasing decision and can help reduce returns. Optimized product listings also help with your score. 

Work towards earning a pro seller badge

Walmart displays the Pro Seller Badge next to your business name. Sellers receive this badge by delivering consistent on-time delivery, excellent customer service and free returns. Listing Quality is also an important factor, and Walmart updates badges twice per month.

Here are the Pro Seller Badge criteria:  

  • Delivery defects rate: less than 10%
  • Orders in the past 90 days: more than 100
  • Cancellation rate: less than 2%
  • Violations of trust and safety or performance standards: none    
  • Listing Quality Score: at least 60% on at least 70% of the seller's trending catalog
  • Seller account active: minimum of 90 days

Walmart Marketplace automatically grants or revokes badges based on these criteria.

Offer quality customer service

Walmart keeps a close eye on customer satisfaction, and you can keep yours high by doing the following:

  • Answer every email with a human response within 24 hours
  • Have a business phone number (not a cell or home number)
  • Provide customer support in English
  • Have customer service representatives available 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Have a notification system in place so you can respond to the Better Business Bureau or Attorney General within one hour
  • Have voicemail available for when your customer service time is unavailable
  • Return all voicemails within 24 hours

Make selling on online marketplaces simple

A lot goes into Walmart Marketplace success, and our services and solutions can help increase your profits while giving you time back to focus on your core business. Our platform automates fulfillment, pricing and promotions across over 2,000 advertising channels and marketplaces, can assist customers in winning the Buy Box on Amazon and Walmart 72% of the time on average. Cart.con also offers managed services to help you execute day-to-day operations like onboarding teams and a category manager, setting up products on new marketplaces, auditing listings and optimizing advertising. Our Price Watch Tool will help you monitor your competition to maintain your pricing edge. To learn more about how can help you achieve marketplace success, contact our team today.

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