It wasn’t that long ago when Walmart first introduced the Pro Seller Badge. It’s the cousin of Amazon’s Prime badge and eBay’s Top Rated status, all of which are intended to reward the top-performing sellers on each marketplace.
As of October 2020, 350 out of 60,000 Walmart sellers boasted a Pro Seller Badge. Today, it’s possible for you to earn the badge and reap its benefits as long as you meet certain performance criteria. Learn what they are and how to increase your chances of getting recognized as a top seller.
Benefits of the Pro Seller Badge
Walmart refers to the badge as “a mark of excellence,” and aside from just giving the title of a trusted seller, the marketplace offers the following benefits:
- Greater exposure: While Walmart doesn't necessarily promise higher search rankings, we’ve noticed that pro sellers tend to win the buy box. The Pro Seller status is additionally displayed across category pages, product pages and shopping carts. Similar to the “2-day delivery” label, it’s designed to catch your customers’ eyes and validate your brand as they browse through the site.
- Increased customer confidence: When customers hover over a badge, Walmart shows three advantages of choosing the seller: quality service provider, consistent on-time delivery and free online or in-store returns. (Hint: these are the criteria that you have to meet.)
- More sales: As a result of the above benefits, you should earn more conversions on your product pages. We also suspect that Walmart will start to award more positions and/or services for pro sellers as the program matures and gains traction.
How to Quality for the Pro Seller Badge
So how exactly do you qualify for the badge? Walmart will automatically grant you the badge across your entire catalog if you can meet its minimum criteria for consideration.
- Your 90-day delivery defect rate must be less than or equal to 10% (this is a temporary adjustment from its original 5% requirement)
- Your 90-day cancellation rate must be less than or equal to 1%
- 100% of your items must offer free online and in-store returns
- Listing Quality Score must been greater than or equal to 50% for at least 60% of your trending items
- You must consistently comply with Walmart’s Marketplace policies
How to Check Your Status
For an up-to-date pulse on your seller status, simply log into your Seller Center Account > “Growth Opportunities” under “Analytics and Reports” > Listing Quality Dashboard > Pro Seller Badge. You’ll see a clear checklist showing which criteria you currently meet, plus tips for qualifying.
Statuses are refreshed every 5th and 20th of each month. Remember that it’s possible to lose pro status on those dates if you fail to meet the qualifications at any point after receiving the badge.
6 Tips for Earning the Pro Seller Badge
While gaining the Pro Seller Badge won’t happen overnight, there are steps you can take to optimize your operations and naturally climb your way up the ladder.
1. Study Walmart’s Listing Optimization Triangle
This Listing Optimization Triangle describes the formula behind Walmart’s ranking algorithm. It’s made up of three components:
- Content - This encompasses your product category, title, description and attributes. The general rule of thumb: the more information you can provide, the better. You’ll also want to provide content that’s 100% unique to Walmart.
- Offer - This describes your price, shipping speed, shipping options and in-stock rate. Walmart will reward sellers who accurately track and display their inventory, and are able to fulfill within two to three days.
- Performance - This last piece encapsulates your order defect rate (ODR), policy adherence and customer feedback. Needless to say, the more positive reviews you receive, the better off you are. Your ODR should ideally be below 2% (though Pro Seller status requires below or equal to 1%).
Once you understand which factors Walmart cares about, you’ll have clear goals and guardrails to work within and to help push your team in the right direction.
2. Check for Duplicate or Thin Content
Similar to traditional SEO, Walmart SEO demands that your content is unique to Walmart. It should not be a word-for-word copy of your listing on another site, even if you’re dealing with the same product. (Besides, it’s in your best interest to tailor your content to Walmart so that your titles and descriptions are optimized to what Walmart shoppers care about and how Walmart surfaces results.)
In the same vein, you should check that your listings are high quality. They should include all the required product data in addition to advanced attributes. These are things like material, battery type, etc. that provide more context about your item. If you’re not sure which additional attributes to provide, you can check out Walmart’s Listing Quality dashboard or look at the filter menus on any given category page for ideas.
3. Address All Listing Errors Promptly
Unresolved listing errors are a surefire way to stifle sales. Every day an error goes ignored is another day that your listing is potentially suppressed and unviewable by shoppers.
At the same time, we know that some Walmart listing errors are obscure. In that case, you can consult Walmart Support or use a tool like Zentail’s QuickFix to get immediate directions on how to fix the error. Zentail’s Listing Status Page is another nifty tool for understanding which of your listings require immediate attention. See which of your listings are published, unlisted or “in the red” at any given time.
4. Diagnose Inventory Syncing Issues
Poor inventory management is a trillion-dollar problem that haunts new and experienced sellers alike.
For most sellers who are new to Walmart, the greatest issue stems from having multiple streams of sales to manage, on top of various warehouses and/or fulfillment methods to track. Some sellers resort to putting an arbitrary number down as the amount of available stock, then choose to manually update them when an item runs out. As you can imagine, this quickly leads to overselling (which, in turn, leads to unhappy customers, negative reviews, etc.).
The only reliable solution to this is an automated inventory management system. A proper solution will be designed for multichannel sellers like yourself and will update quantities across all of your sales channels as orders come in. The system should be able to reserve inventory as orders are being processed and also give you the option of setting inventory buffers, so you never oversell on any marketplace.
5. Tap a 3PL If You’re Running into Fulfillment Issues
A third-party logistics partner (3PLs) or a service like WFS (this is an invite-only program reserved for experienced Walmart sellers) can be the answer to some of your fulfillment challenges. Shipping speed and service levels will vary between 3PLs, but most will support two-day shipping within the U.S.
Remember to avoid listing your FBA stock on Walmart. Walmart expressly forbids the use of FBA (aka, a competitor) to handle shipping. It will not recognize Amazon Logistics codes as valid tracking numbers.
6. Have a Change Management Solution in Place
Whether they’re selling on Walmart, Amazon or any other marketplace, sellers tend to forget that platforms are always changing. Each marketplace has the right to switch up its listing requirements with little-to-no warning—and in fact, has already done so in the past.
Not only that, but buyer behaviors are changing all the time in ecommerce. One minute, your product is flying off the shelf, and in the next, a social media trend (or let’s say a pandemic) shifts customer focus to an entirely different product.
Anticipate these changes by having a plan and/or system in place. Have an emergency plan for when your best-sellers start to lose momentum, or when you’ve mis-projected the amount of demand there’ll be around a new item. For greatest protection, consider Zentail, the only change management solution for multichannel sellers. Zentail’s revolutionary tech can automatically reformat and map your product data when a marketplace announces a change, cutting your work (and stress) in half.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Ultimately, the Pro Seller Badge exists to promote a healthy, safe and reliable shopping experience for your customers. The badge should be well within your reach if you are constantly sharpening your team and looking to exceed customer expectations. Use the badge criteria to guide your team, but always keep your customers front and center.