Walmart Inc. hosted its first Seller Summit event for retailers on its online marketplace. The event was part of Walmart’s push to grow its Walmart.com marketplace.
Walmart ranks No. 2 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of North America’s online retailers by web sales. It is also No. 9 in the Global Online Marketplaces Database, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the top 100 online marketplaces.
Emphasizing omnichannel and fulfillment
Walmart emphasized its strengths through both online and physical retail repeatedly at the event. Becoming an omnichannel retailer was the largest and most important transformation for the company in recent years, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner told an audience of third-party marketplace sellers on Aug. 30.
Walmart is giving sellers on its platform access to more tools and services to make fulfillment better for customers, it says. The retailer announced it will now offer local pickup and delivery for products on the marketplace if they have physical stores.
“This will lower sellers’ fulfillment costs, create new ways to convert sales and delight customers along the way,” Manish Joneja, senior vice president of Walmart Marketplace and Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), wrote in a blog post.
The retail giant will also give sellers a better ability to ship big and bulky items through WFS. This will also apply to products that come in multiple boxes, like patio sets. Products shipped using WFS then get a “Fulfilled by Walmart” tag online. Walmart says the tag drives conversion, with sellers seeing an average 50% growth in GMV when they switch to WFS.
Throughout the event, Walmart emphasized the seamless experience for consumers between shopping online and in Walmart stores. The retailer noted that highly successful online products can then be selected to appear on store shelves. During the event, Walmart announced it would begin selling Solo Stoves in select stores after successful sales on the marketplace.
New announcements for Walmart Marketplace
Walmart announced some other updates for third-party sellers on its marketplace at the event.
The big box retailer is rolling out online brand shops and brand shelves. These are digital storefronts that retailers can curate to highlight seasonal collections or other product lines and boost conversion, Walmart says. Brand pages are complemented by customer tools, like the recently added Virtual Garage where consumers can store details about personal vehicles. That information is integrated with Walmart auto centers to schedule maintenance and recommend products, Walmart says.
Walmart also announced plans to expand its third-party marketplace to another international market. Walmart Marketplace will be available in Chile beginning in early 2024, in addition to the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
Walmart Marketplace is growing
Walmart’s Marketplace is growing substantially, according to results from the second fiscal quarter ended July 28, 2023.
Marketplace customers grew 14% year over year in the quarter. Sales were strong across consumables and general merchandise, with double-digit growth in home, apparel and hard goods, John David Rainey, chief financial officer, told investors.
The number of sellers using WFS also grew by 50%, he said. Products have increased about four-fold on the marketplace since Q2 the previous year. The majority of merchandise sold during Walmart+ Week came from third-party sellers, too, Walmart said.
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