For many successful Amazon sellers, Walmart Marketplace is an attractive destination. Not only has the platform experienced a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years, but it offers 13x more exposure than on Amazon due to lower competition.
But, as many sellers have come to find, Walmart is an entirely different beast than Amazon. The rules of engagement are unique—and something as “simple” as transferring your Amazon listings to Walmart can be quite confusing.
Having worked in multichannel ecommerce for over 10 years now, our team has compiled a list of dos and donts when it comes to listing from one channel to another. Below are our top tips for expanding from Amazon to Walmart Marketplace. Study these tips well to avoid any hold-ups in the launch process.
1. DO Check that Your Identifier Matches the Right Product
On Amazon, listings are based on Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (aka, ASINs). These are unique identifiers assigned by Amazon to keep its massive product catalog in check.
Walmart, however, relies on existing product ID numbers, like a UPC or EAN. The issue with this is that there are multiple sources outside of the official barcode authority, GS1, that try to sell you invalid codes for cheap. As a result, some Walmart sellers input incorrect UPCs. If those sellers are the first to list a product and/or Walmart fails to detect the invalid (or even a mis-typed) code, then it’s possible that a code will be mis-matched with an item.
The takeaway here is to always double check that your product is showing under the right product name. Even if you entered a certified UPC, you may later learn that you’re listed as selling a frying pan when you’re actually selling a pet toy.
If you find that there’s a product ID mismatch, open a case with Walmart Support to have the issue corrected.
2. DON’T Use a Non-GS1 UPC
Related to the tip above, avoid purchasing aftermarket codes or those that aren’t officially issued by GS1. Some of your suppliers may already be GS1 members and provide you with the right UPCs. However, if that’s not the case, then you’ll have to go directly through GS1 yourself.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for a UPC exemption. Approval is not guaranteed but you can submit a ticket with Walmart Support, who will then send you a questionnaire asking for details like your product category, company background and reason for exemption.
3. DO Map Your Products According to Walmart’s Unique Taxonomy
It should come as no surprise that Walmart’s category, subcategories and overall catalog organization is different from Amazon’s. But finding which branch your product belongs to can be tedious if you have a large, diverse catalog. Your product may also align with multiple categories, in which case Walmart encourages you to select just one that seems to be the best fit.
You can use Walmart’s categorization guide for guidance on what types of products each category does and doesn’t cover. Alternatively, you can use a listing automation platform like Zentail that can automatically map your catalog to Walmart’s marketplace. Zentail’s SMART Types tech is specifically programmed to take your Amazon category and translate it for Walmart, plus map and format your attributes properly to avoid listing errors.
4. DON’T Select ‘Other’ as Your Product Category
Keep in mind that as you’re searching for the right product category, you’ll want to avoid choosing “other” as much as possible. Walmart itself says that selecting “other” as your category will make it harder for your product to appear on the digital shelf because you can only input a limited number of attributes for these items.
5. DO Pay Attention to Walmart’s Guidelines for Titles, Descriptions, and Images
Walmart listings have a unique format for displaying various types of information. There are some similarities between Walmart and Amazon listings, such as bullet points and long descriptions. Both also enforce restrictions that prevent you from intentionally or inadvertently misleading your customers. For example, you cannot use hyperbolic language (“everyone’s favorite brand”) that could muddy the experience.
The key thing to remember, though, is that Walmart’s algorithm and UX function differently. Put plainly, Walmart’s algorithm isn’t as advanced as Amazon’s in terms of keyword-matching and relies more heavily on exact match. You should therefore structure your titles accordingly.
6. DON’T Duplicate Copy Word for Word
One of the worst things you can do when it comes to listing to Walmart is copying your content from Amazon word for word. This is expressly forbidden by Walmart. If caught, your listing could be suppressed or, in the worst-case scenario, your selling privileges could be revoked.
Aside from this, you throttle your ability to rank high on Walmart. Given Walmart’s unique algorithm and audience base, simply duplicating your content prevents you from optimizing your listing for this new type of buyer and marketplace.
7. DO Study Walmart’s Optimization Triangle
Your content is just one piece of the puzzle. Walmart’s Optimization Triangle involves two other factors: offer and performance. These three components together are what give you the best chance at ranking, according to Walmart itself.
Your offer is made up of both your price and fulfillment. To fit the bill, you must practice price parity, which means that your landing price (item price + shipping and handling) is on par with what you or any other reseller offers online.
Meanwhile, Walmart favors sellers who participate in their ThreeDay, TwoDay or WFS programs. Furthermore, you should look towards offering various shipping options, backed by a strong inventory management system that ensures that you never oversell.
8. DO Keep Variations Together
Avoid breaking your product variants up across multiple listings. Having your variations together in one place makes sure that your customer doesn't have to look far to see the different colors, patterns and options that you offer of your item.
Moreover, creating one variation listing keeps your product reviews together. This gives you a significantly higher chance of ranking on results pages than if you were to scatter reviews by individual variants. To make the most of your variation listings, make sure that every variant has a corresponding image.
9. DON’T Forget About Kits and Bundles
Multipacks and virtual bundles allow you to list your products under differentiated listings. With this strategy, you can sidestep competition and drive up average order value (AOV). Bundles are especially useful for getting customers to try out new products while offering a discount for their purchase and pairing it with their favorite products.
Note that you’ll have to purchase a separate UPC for your kit or bundle—Walmart will not let you use the same UPC as the single unit of your product.
10. DO Register for Walmart Brand Portal (If Applicable)
Brand Portal is the equivalent of Amazon's Brand Registry (albeit, it’s not as wide-reaching as Brand Registry). With Brand Portal, you can stay in better control of your brand by registering yourself as the official rights owner.
If you see a counterfeit item or an unauthorized reseller on the marketplace, you can submit and track intellectual property claims with ease. Brand Portal will likely evolve to be more like Brand Register and include other brand marketing tools and/or services.
11. DO Leverage a Listing Automation Platform
Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they’re at their wits’ end before implementing automation. Automation is just an afterthought that only comes after they’ve already wasted hundreds of hours manually keying in data or stamping out costly listing errors.
Zentail and other listing platforms not only save you tons of time, but also put you in the best position to sell on Walmart. With the ability to auto-reformat product data according to Walmart’s strict standards, alongside tools for managing (and automating) changes across your whole catalog, Zentail lets you put your best foot forward.
12. DON’T Pick a Software Without Doing Due Diligence
There are a plethora of listing automation tools to choose from, ranging from free software to much more expensive, advanced systems. Selecting the right platform requires a clear understanding of where you want to sell, what’s slowing your business down and how you need to scale.
Free Checklist: How to Pick the Right Ecommerce Software for Your Brand
A word of warning: many listing tools—even the well-known incumbent systems—still require lots of manual setup. ChannelAdvisor, for example, requires you to build custom templates for every channel you sell on. This means having to identify, predict and map attributes yourself. The best tools will offer intelligent tools and/or workflows that simplify this process and live up to their promise of end-to-end automation.
13. DO Leverage Enhanced Content
Like on Amazon, enhanced content on Walmart provides you the opportunity to jazz up your product pages with rich media. You can choose from videos, images, interactive product tours, comparison charts and more. The difference here is that you’ll have to go through a connected content provider, like The Stable, to access and deploy enhanced content.
Rich media has reportedly increased conversions by up to 20% on Walmart. It lets you amplify your branding, as well as illustrate the benefits of your product in ways that static imagery can’t.
14. DON’T Forget About Ads
Sponsored Products can give your listings the boost they need to attract sales, gather feedback and propel the listing quality flywheel. They’re easy to spot on Walmart’s category pages and product detail pages. While they’re not a long-term solution in and of themselves, they can kickstart your sales and contribute to your long-term success.
Keep in mind Walmart ads follow a first-bid model as opposed to Amazon’s second-bid model. This model is trickier to manage because if you win an auction, you pay the amount that you bid, no matter if it’s one cent or $100 higher than the second-highest bid. Your CPC can quickly get out of hand if you’re not careful!
Wrapping Things up
As you look to transfer your product listings from Amazon to Walmart, pay attention to the above best practices. Learn Walmart’s policies, guidelines and quirks—don’t simply rely on good intuition. If you need expert help, feel free to contact our team and/or to request a demo of Zentail’s powerful automation for Walmart sellers.