Last updated on September 6th, 2023
Written by Mohamed Aden
Every business owner wants to keep their business up and running at maximum capacity. This way, their operations won’t be impeded, brand awareness will increase, and they will attract more customers, leading to Walmart marketplace or ecommerce success.
However, new sellers often receive account suspensions because of simple rule violations. While an account suspension may happen to rookie sellers because of unfamiliarity, it’s not an excuse to be exempted from rules and not know them in the first place.
If you want to learn how to sell on Walmart marketplace and thrive, knowing the best practices and guidelines for avoiding account suspensions is best. This article will discuss how to join Walmart marketplace, enumerate why some sellers get their accounts suspended, and how to avoid it yourself.
Like Amazon and eBay, the Walmart Marketplace is an online marketplace that allows third-party sellers to list and sell their products on Walmart.com alongside the retail giant's inventory.
It is open to sellers of all sizes but has stricter guidelines in accepting third-party sellers to provide the best products and services to the shoppers.
What is Walmart Marketplace’s edge over other online marketplaces, then?
For sellers, one of the biggest advantages of selling on Walmart Marketplace is the size of Walmart's customer base. With over 380 million monthly site visitors, Walmart.com gives sellers access to a vast audience and loyal customer base, boosting brand visibility and reach.
Aside from the Walmart website, your items will appear in the Walmart mobile app and search engine results. You can also enlist the help of Walmart Sponsored Products to set up pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. Because of these efforts, your products will get their much-deserved shine.
Walmart sellers can also enjoy less competition in the marketplace because Walmart only has a little more than 150,000 third-party sellers. This is way less than Amazon, which has almost 2 million active sellers on its platform. Because of this, you can sell products on Walmart.com without worrying about market saturation.
Competition and customer base aren’t the only important factors in choosing an ecommerce channel. Business expenses matter too! Save as much money as possible—especially if you’re still starting.
Walmart Marketplace only requires sellers to pay referral fees when they’ve made sales. The platform charges sellers somewhere between 6% to 20%, depending on your item’s category.
Like Amazon FBA, Walmart also has its fulfillment program called Walmart Fulfillment Service (WFS). This program allows third-party sellers to fulfill their orders easily and more efficiently by sending their inventory to a Walmart supplier or fulfillment center. Walmart will then be responsible for packing and shipping orders, handling customer and seller concerns, and managing returns.
Lastly, Walmart Marketplace offers sellers various shipping options, including free 2-day shipping on orders over $35, which can entice potential customers. This feature might seem similar to Amazon’s Prime shipping, but Walmart’s free 2-day shipping does not require a subscription.
By providing this benefit for your customers, you can expect more visibility in the search results pages and more chances to win the Walmart Buy Box. These will help you gain more customers and boost your sales on the platform.
If the world of online marketplaces piques your interest, you must be contemplating becoming an online seller and earning. But where do you begin?
We’ve got you covered with this checklist.
Here’s how you can get started as a Walmart marketplace seller.
While sellers can sell diverse products in a Walmart store, the marketplace has limitations and restrictions on specific items and categories. We suggest you review Walmart’s Prohibited Products Policy to avoid issues.
When selling on the Walmart marketplace, keeping an eye on your sales performance is essential.
Sales performance helps to measure and track progress toward sales goals and can be used to identify areas of improvement. Aside from these, it can also help you identify trends and boost your business.
With strong sales performance, your businesses can thrive. So next time you're thinking about making a sale, remember that it's not just about the sale itself but also how that sale will impact your business's bottom line.
Walmart Seller Center looks at several different factors when measuring sales performance:
Improving your sales performance can seem like a handful, but you can take some simple steps to make a big difference.
First, you can use Walmart’s Promotions Manager tool and create clear and concise promotional messages highlighting your products' key benefits, ensure your campaigns target the right audience, and track the results of your promotional campaigns to make necessary adjustments.
Creating a great customer experience can also help your sales performance in the long run. You can do so by engaging and responding to your customer’s concerns, making return processes easy, and going the extra mile to solve their problems.
Most importantly, staying up-to-date on the latest Walmart selling policies and procedures is crucial. By staying on top of things, you'll minimize any problems arising down the road.
One of these problems may be an account suspension. As a Walmart.com seller, you may have noticed some of your fellow marketplace sellers with suspended accounts or have seen them ask about this on seller forums. While this may be confusing and frustrating, especially to new sellers, you must understand that Walmart has strict rules that all sellers must follow.
Here are some reasons why Walmart marketplace sellers get suspended from selling on the platform.
Sellers must abide by the following Seller Performance Standards that Walmart has set. Otherwise, they will be suspended from selling on the marketplace.
The number of orders with at least one defect divided by the total number of orders placed during the same period gives you your order defect rate.
Some defects include seller-initiated cancellations, inaccurate or damaged items, late deliveries, and customer complaints from ratings and feedback. But even if some orders have multiple issues, Walmart only counts one defect per order.
This is the percentage or rate of orders delivered on time or ahead of the expected delivery date (EDD). For orders with multiple shipments, sellers are expected to deliver them completely by the EDD.
This means that sellers must always provide the customers with tracking details within 24 hours of shipment and delivery scans on or before the EDD.
After setting up a Walmart seller account, all third-party sellers, including you, must agree to the terms and conditions set in the Marketplace Retailer Agreement. In this agreement, you will promise not to engage in black hat practices and always follow Walmart's Terms and Conditions.
Furthermore, you will declare not to sell any fake, used, or prohibited goods on Walmart.com. And along with product content guidelines, the document also describes the procedures you are accountable for, like order fulfillment and inventory management.
Lastly, you must constantly check the quality of your product listings, especially whenever Walmart releases updates on its marketplace policies and requirements. Otherwise, you will face consequences, including account suspension that can last for weeks, months, or forever.
Besides the Marketplace Retailer Agreement, you must also uphold the Walmart Trust and Safety Standards to avoid having your account suspended. Here are the standards you must follow.
A seller violates this standard when they list a product on Walmart.com that is prohibited or potentially poses a risk to product and food safety regulations. These items include prescription medications, gambling or surveillance equipment, and untested or uncertified baby products.
A seller violates this standard by selling products considered offensive to customers, promoting discrimination or violence, or displaying profanity or nudity.
A seller violates this standard when they sell items that do not acknowledge the creator or intellectual property owner, which signals that you do not have the right to sell the item.
Walmart is known for its “Every Day Low Prices” (EDLP) pricing strategy. Therefore, as a third-party seller on Walmart.com, you must ensure that your prices align with Walmart's guidelines and guarantee affordable items to its customers.
Even though some pricing violations result in delisting your SKU, Walmart may suspend your account for glaring violations and several infractions. Therefore, you must take note of the following rules when pricing your products:
Lastly, your operations must always be at the highest level as a Walmart marketplace seller. This involves ensuring Walmart shoppers receive their orders on time, offering commendable and high-quality customer service, and processing returns and refunds within the given time frame. Otherwise, your seller account will be suspended, affecting your business in various ways.
Now that you know what prompts Walmart to suspend accounts, you must follow all the rules they have set to avoid account suspension. Below are some tips to help you stay in good standing with Walmart.
First and foremost, be familiar with and comply with Walmart's policies. Ensure you have thoroughly read and understood all the terms before selling on Walmart.com. Keep up with any changes that Walmart releases to make the necessary adjustments in your store.
Then, only sell products in good condition and those that meet Walmart's quality standards. Remember, do not offer products that violate Walmart's trust and safety standards.
These products should be uploaded with accurate and complete product descriptions to avoid misleading Walmart customers, which can result in multiple product returns. Provide accurate images, pricing information, and delivery terms to help your customers make informed decisions.
Products need to be a good deal for both you and your customer. Price your items competitively, yet comply with Walmart's pricing standards to prevent your product listings from being unpublished and avoid suspensions.
To keep your buyer satisfaction rating high, ensure prompt responses to customer inquiries and any issues they may face.
Customers must receive orders within the EDD to maintain a 99% and above on-time shipment rate, so ship your orders and provide valid tracking details on time.
Finally, if you are still confused about all the policies and guidelines you need to remember, consult a Walmart account manager who is an expert in this field. They are constantly updated with the latest policies, so you can trust them to guide you in running your business on Walmart.com.
Learning how to become a Walmart marketplace seller does not only involve knowing the application process and requirements but also knowing how to avoid account suspensions.
Many Walmart sellers get suspended for failing to perform according to standards. However, you can prevent account suspensions by being familiar with the terms and guidelines and keeping up-to-date with the policies. Finally, consult a Walmart account manager from reputable companies like Seller Interactive to prevent such suspensions.
If you are interested in knowing more about Seller Interactive's Walmart account management services, book a call with our experts today.
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