The holiday season is fast approaching, and Walmart sellers like all online sellers are geared up for the peak time of year. Walmart Seller Center, like all marketplace selling platforms, has its own requirements, integrations and reports that sellers can utilize. Retail giant Walmart will soon be amidst the holiday festivities, and their growing marketplace of sellers should be preparing to maximize sales.
Walmart’s marketplace surpassed 100,000 sellers in the summer of 2021, and that growing number of retailers reflects the growing number of marketplace shoppers. Nearly 99% of consumers will do at least a portion of their shopping online this holiday season. Even more, 41% of holiday shoppers plan to do more online shopping this year than last year, with 50% of shoppers doing most of their holiday shopping online. Moreover, 13% will do ALL of their holiday shopping online this year. Needless to say, there’s no shortage when it comes to holiday spending.
There are many holiday periods of higher shopping volumes, including the entire months of November and December. Still, there are a few specific priority dates that every online retailer needs to prepare for each year, which are guaranteed to bring a higher sales volume.
Priority Dates for Walmart sellers:
Black Friday – November 26th, 2021
Cyber Monday – November 29th, 2021
Green Monday – December 13th, 2021
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year. With sales often beginning as early as midnight, Black Friday consists of extreme deals, widespread product sell-outs, and lots of coffee.
Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, and is essentially another Black Friday (though many Black Friday deals are also still online). In 2020, Walmart had the highest digital sales for big box stores for the first hour of Cyber Monday, surging 637% in eCommerce sales. That growth equaled 5 times more than other marketplace leaders for the same time frame.
Green Monday is the last Monday with at least ten days until Christmas, usually the second Monday in December. Considered the biggest shopping day in December. Green Monday is also called “Cyber Monday 2” because it’s known to be the second biggest eCommerce shopping holiday of the year. It marks the 10-day shipping period before Christmas and was created for those people who suddenly realize that they are quickly running out of time to buy gifts for Christmas.
Walmart Marketplace Integration
Selling on Walmart’s marketplace consists of several variables. Walmart offers sellers many integration methods, including Single Item Integration, API integration, Solutions Provider Integration, and Bulk Item Integration.
Single Item Integration – Easy method that does not require any technical capabilities. This method is best for first-time sellers with limited catalog items or support.
API Integration – Easy method that does not require any technical capabilities. This method is best for sellers with a limited catalog or reduced tech support and is stable, scalable, and cost-effective.
Solutions Provider Integration – Best for large catalogs at the enterprise level. This method allows sellers to integrate through a Solution Provider partner (required) rather than directly with Walmart.com and is scalable with predictable costs,
Bulk Item Integration – Easy method that doesn’t require technical capabilities; This method is best for small to medium catalogs, requires a fundamental understanding of spreadsheets and file uploading.
As the holidays draw near, what can Walmart Marketplace sellers do to prepare for the influx of holiday shoppers?
1. Prepare your shop.
Stock up inventory well in advance. With the holiday season having so much more volume than any other time, sellers need to plan for shipping delays and have multiple shipping methods available. Customers tend to get disappointed if the presents they plan to have waiting for their loved ones under the tree don’t arrive until after Christmas.
That delay could put a damper on your consumer relationship and cost you a customer. Additionally, you’ll likely have more converts if you offer a wide array of items. Create holiday bundles to helps you clear out excessive seasonal inventory and excite your customers by giving them a deal.
2. Ensure on-time shipping.
Ship your merchandise promptly with plenty of extra time to arrive before Christmas. Be honest and upfront with your customers about your shipping times. Keep in mind that half of all online shoppers say that free shipping is the single most crucial deciding factor when shopping online. Therefore, consider offering free and low-priced shipping options.
3. Optimize your listings.
Titles, product descriptions, and images should be clear and concise, and formatted with specific keywords such as color, style, and size to rank as high as possible in your customers’ search results. If possible, include at least four professional high-resolution photos. Be mindful and offer competitive prices for that product category.
Win the Buy Box when possible. Offer multiple outlets of rich media to engage your customer and provide more information. Organize your product’s description with keywords and an accurate description. If you need funding for marketing, Payability may be able to help. They provide funding to marketplace sellers with limited requirements.
What is the Buy Box?
The Walmart store allows multiple sellers to sell the same product, which means they will be competing under the same listing. It’s been shown that most shoppers make their purchasing decisions by clicking the “add to cart” button. Walmart enumerates seller listings on a single page, even those selling at different product prices.
However, only one seller can win the “Walmart Buy Box.” This Buy Box winner is the default seller whose products get put into the customer’s cart when they click the blue “Add to Cart” button. Whoever tops the seller metrics for this buy box gets it. The criteria for winning the Buy Box include: offering a competitive price point, keeping the products in stock, offering free or very low-cost shipping, delivering on time, and having positive reviews. It may take some work to compete with Walmart products, but it’s worth the effort.
4. Provide a stellar customer experience.
Giving your customers first-rate customer service (especially during the holidays) will allow them to remember you in the off-season. Have a plan in place and make yourself available 24/7 for procrastinating customers who might be frantic. Showing a little more grace to customers during the holidays, especially during the pandemic, will help your salesmanship stay etched on your consumers’ minds. Good reviews can help you win the buy box because Walmart gives customers’ preferences top priority.
5. Establish a fair return holiday policy.
Consider extending your return policy to 60-90 days because many purchases from your site will be gifts during the holidays. Take heed that return rates can make or break a sale during the holidays. Giving your customers peace of mind will encourage them to actually make the purchase, and return to shop again. Keep in mind that Walmart’s Marketplace has minimum return standards.
Being a seller for one of the world’s leading online marketplace giants can be extremely rewarding, especially during the holiday season. Preparing ahead of time and utilizing all options available to reach Walmart Marketplace shoppers will help ensure your success.
Payability is a leading funding platform for eCommerce businesses like Walmart sellers, Amazon sellers, Shopify store owners and more. Featuring the first card made exclusively for marketplace sellers, the Payability Seller Card, which offers up to 2% cashback on all purchases. To receive cash flow via a fast and easy process, with payouts made daily, contact Payability today.