This is a guest post from Allison Lee, who manages content marketing at Zentail. Zentail is a top-rated automation software for multichannel sellers looking to simplify their operations. They offer tools for easy listing, order and inventory management along with white-glove customer support.
There’s a reason why sellers and shoppers alike are attracted to Walmart Marketplace. Be it for the lower seller fees, less competition, or free 2-day shipping, Walmart Marketplace takes the main stage for several reasons, even when pitted against the eCommerce giant Amazon.
But listing to Walmart Marketplace is a unique science. As with any marketplace, you must adhere to a specific set of rules and requirements to get your products listed and ranking above the other 80 million products on Walmart.com.
This blog will cover the top things to be mindful of when crafting your listings, as expressed and validated by Walmart sellers on Zentail and Deliverr.
What are the essential traits of a successful Walmart listing?
1) New Condition
Walmart forbids the sale of used, counterfeit, vintage or handmade items on its marketplace (though refurbished items are allowed). It also bodes well for moderately priced items as opposed to high-end luxury products or low-end imports. In general, you should be listing a product that brings value to your customers at a fair price, but avoid selling products with low margins to ensure your own profitability on a price-sensitive platform.
2) The Right UPC
UPCs are to Walmart as ASINs are to Amazon. Walmart requires you to provide a Universal Product Code (UPC) for every listing. That being said, it’s possible to run into trouble mapping your SKU to the right listing. Say, for example, another Walmart seller purchased a phony UPC from a provider outside of GS1 or accidentally assigns a valid UPC to the wrong product on their listing. If your product shares that code, it will appear under the incorrect item. You’ll need to locate the “right” UPC on Walmart Marketplace and update your listing, then submit a product ID request to get everything squared away.
3) The Right Product Attributes
UPCs on Walmart work on a first-come-first-serve basis, meaning that the first seller to list will likely become the home base for other sellers of the same product. You should always make sure to fill out as many relevant details about your item on your personal listing, even if it’s not displayed as the “master” listing on Walmart.com. This will help your chances of winning the Buy Box and simultaneously prod Walmart to add any missing fields to the master listing.
4) The Right Categorization
Walmart lets you pick categories and subcategories for your listings, but finding the proper category isn’t always obvious. Refer to Walmart’s Categorization guide or Shelf Mapping Guidelines for help. For large catalogs, consider automation via Zentail’s SMART Types to map existing SKU categories to the right ones on Walmart. Avoid selecting “other” as the category unless necessary, as it may reduce the level of customer traffic to your product.
5) Product Variations (When Applicable)
Gain the advantage when offering different sizes, colors and styles of a product by including them within one listing. This will give you a leg up above sellers who spit their variants across multiple listings, since customers don’t have to navigate to a number of pages to find the type they need.
6) Clear and Various Images
Customers will judge your product and brand by the images you provide. So, you’ll want to make sure they’re as clear and professional as possible. Photograph your product in bright lighting against a white or clean backdrop. Provide at least three pictures of your product from multiple angles, as well as demonstrative photos when necessary. Heed Walmart’s image requirements: portrait mode with 3:4 aspect ratio (yes, this is a nod to mobile devices).
7) A Strong Product Name
The best titles on Walmart.com are around 50-75 characters long, product-specific and unique to the channel (they shouldn’t use the same title word-for-word as on other websites) for readability and SEO purpose. They take into consideration what your customers are likely to type into the search box, like brand, cut or pattern. Some variation of the Product Name Formula by Walmart may work well for you:
Brand + Clothing Size Group (if Applicable) + Defining Quality + Item Name + Style (if Applicable) + Pack Count
Include color it it’s something that your customers will probably search for. Otherwise, include the available colors in the Shelf Description section.
8) Optimized Descriptions
Your description not only helps to build trust with potential customers, but also serves to get your item listing higher on organic search results. Like your title, it should be unique to Walmart.com. It should be at least 1,000 characters long (4,000 characters maximum) or include a list of 10-30 features and benefits.
Make sure to include the product name, brand and different variations of your root keyword, e.g., if you’re selling a cardigan, use synonyms like “sweater” in the description. However, avoid overloading your text with too many keywords or repeated language. Keep it clear, concise and to the point.
Reinforce your expertise and the advantages of your product here. Avoid using generic, meaningless “fluff.” Remember that you’re trying to help your customer make an informed decision rather than a rushed or forced purchase.
9) Competitive Pricing
Pricing is the name of the game at Walmart. After all, its slogan is “Save Money. Live Better.” Walmart even cites uncompetitive pricing as the number-one reason that your product may be unpublished, so it’s crucial for you to regularly research the cost of your item across any other channel or online seller.
If you don’t have time to monitor and update prices by hand, use an automation tool like Zentail’s Dynamic Walmart Repricer to avoid getting delisted for one of two price-related rules:
- Price Parity Rule, i.e., your item will be delisted if it can be purchased from you at a lower price (including cost of shipping) from any competing website
- Price Leadership Rule, i.e., your item will be delisted if it can be purchased at a drastically lower price (including cost of shipping) on Walmart.com or any competing site, regardless of the seller
10) Competitive Shipping
Free and fast shipping is quickly becoming the norm. Hence why Walmart opened up its own Two-Day Shipping program for sellers with positive seller reviews and account health. By taking advantage of this program, you can expect Walmart to give your items preference for having the fast-shipping tag (even if shoppers don’t filter for it).
On March 13, Zentail, Walmart, and Deliverr will be presenting a webinar on How Zentail sellers can supercharge Walmart success with 2-day shipping.
11) Good Seller Performance & Operations
While not a physical part of your listing, your overall performance as a seller can sway the success of your listing(s). In addition to affecting your eligibility for Walmart’s fast-shipping program, you’ll benefit from having good (and plentiful) ratings, on-time shipping, low order defect rate, etc. Each of these are a reflection of your catalog, order and inventory management—which matters to Walmart. For larger sellers, employing a system like Zentail to centralize your operations can aid your overall seller performance.