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Commerce & Sales Channels

Can Your Shopify Store’s Supply Chain Meet the Demands of Walmart Marketplace?

Commerce & Sales Channels
July 13, 2020
6 min read
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Walmart has announced that for the first time it will partner with a commerce platform specifically tailored to small to medium sized businesses in an effort to expose its customer base to a wider selection of high-quality merchants and further establish itself as a leader in the online retail space. Its partnership with trusted eCommerce platform Shopify comes on the heels of Walmart’s record-breaking first quarter online sales as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Rather than holding out hope for brick and mortar sales to catch up to pre-pandemic levels, Walmart is jumping on this opportunity to expand its Walmart Marketplace offerings and emerge even stronger in the new reality of the post-COVID economy. Ready to finally knock Amazon out of position as the number one online marketplace, Walmart has set its initial onboarding goal at 1,200 new merchants before the end of the year. 

What the Shopify and Walmart partnership means for your business:

With 120 million visits to Walmart.com every month, Walmart Marketplace is quickly becoming one of the largest retail platforms, second only to Amazon. Getting your products in front of this large and loyal customer base will undoubtedly expand your reach and drive sales by exposing you to a larger share of the market and allying your products with a long-trusted brand. And with no upfront fees for listing, this opportunity is low-risk for a small to medium-sized retailer. The Walmart app is highly automated and syncs with your Shopify store to regularly update pricing and inventory, ensuring that maintaining a presence on Walmart Marketplace is seamless and low-maintenance for Shopify merchants.

How the Walmart Shopify app works:

Shopify merchants may apply to sell through Walmart.com by adding the Walmart app and completing the application process. Walmart Marketplace has said that they’re looking for “relationships with reputable retailers and brands that provide first-class customer service, a compelling product assortment, competitive pricing and fast, reliable fulfillment.” Among Walmart’s standards for customer service are a prompt response to customer inquiries (within 24 hours) with high-quality (not automated) responses, on-time shipment rates of at least 99%, and sku-level inventory updates with at least 99% accuracy. Minimum business requirements for the application are: US Business Tax ID (EIN) and Form W-9, a history of marketplace or eCommerce success, a track-record of first-class customer service, and operations that meet Walmart Seller Performance Standards.

 

Once approved, a Shopify merchant can activate their Walmart seller channel and manage all listings and inventory directly through the Shopify dashboard. Product listings can be imported in bulk, and existing Walmart Marketplace listings can be linked to Shopify products to allow merchants to centrally manage all listings. Products listed must meet the following minimum requirements: have GTIN/UPC GS1 Company Prefix Number, be competitively priced, be fulfilled from a B2C US warehouse with a returns capability, and comply with Walmart Prohibited Products policy. Walmart order notifications, fulfillment, and inventory management are all handled through the Shopify dashboard, creating a truly integrated experience for merchants and shoppers alike.

Is your Shopify store ready to list on Walmart Marketplace?

Walmart has established itself as an industry leader and legacy brand through its history of competitive pricing and high standards of customer service, and Walmart Marketplace expects its online merchants to uphold the same standards of service. Their SLA’s require order acknowledgment within 4 hours of purchase, order shipment by the end of the next business day, on-time shipment rates of 99%, and accurate tracking information. For many small to medium-sized retailers looking to break into a large market like Walmart Marketplace, these kinds of requirements can be prohibitive. With no guarantee of increased demand, scaling up operations is likely unfeasible, while risking a breach of Service Level Agreements due to an under-resourced supply chain is ill-advised.

 

The new model of outsourcing fulfillment to an on-demand logistics partner is a scalable solution for merchants, allowing them to pay only for the resources and warehouse space they need when they need them. The best of these logistics partners come with an extensive network of highly-vetted warehouse partners, guaranteeing same-day fulfillment and over 99% on-time delivery, to satisfy Walmart’s most important SLA’s.

 

Another important consideration for Shopify merchants is whether their listings will be able to compete in a large marketplace like Walmart’s or get lost in a sea of competing listings. One major competitive differentiator is free 2-day delivery. In 2019 The National Retail Federation reported that 29% of shoppers had abandoned a cart or cancelled a purchase because free 2-day shipping wasn’t offered. Additionally, Walmart reports that merchants who enroll in their seller-fulfilled 2-day delivery program are 36% more likely to win the Buy Box and beat out competitors’ listings.

 

An on-demand fulfillment partner can level the playing field for businesses of all sizes to offer low-cost 2-day delivery by connecting merchants with a nationwide network of warehouses, allowing them to forward stock their inventory closer to their customers to improve delivery speed. And a platform like Ware2Go’s will integrate seamlessly with an existing Shopify store to further streamline operations from sale to delivery. A robust and flexible API enables a fully automated integration that conforms readily to existing operations. Additionally, a team of logistics experts creates a custom fulfillment network for each merchant based on historical sales data to expand their 2-day delivery footprint without significantly increasing their shipping costs. 

 

This new partnership will undoubtedly open the door for smaller merchants to expand their reach on Walmart Marketplace without significant risk or strain on their current resources. And while Walmart’s SLA’s surrounding fulfillment and delivery may be intimidating, they are not out of reach for SMB’s with strong partnerships and an extensive network. Click here to learn more about our on-demand warehousing solution. To find out how Ware2Go can integrate with your Shopify reach out to one of our logistics experts. 

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