11 Jan How to Launch a New Product on Walmart.com
By Molly Winter, Walmart.com Strategic Account Manager, VENDO
When looking to launch a new product onto the market, there are many reasons why you might turn to Walmart.com. Whether you are looking to eventually make the move to in-store, take advantage of the one of the largest online marketplaces, or are just looking to launch your item on multiple online retailers, Walmart.com is a great place to start and grow your brand’s/item’s presence! When looking to launch, there are a few things you can do that will maximize your success on Walmart.com.
Steps to Maximize Success when Launching a New Product on Walmart:
#1 Channel Strategy
There are a few different ways you can sell items on Walmart.com. Before you start the set-up process you will need to align on what channel you will be selling through.
- 1P Owned – Owned follows the traditional retail model. This is when Walmart would place a purchase order on your item. You would then ship out bulk quantities to the Walmart warehouse, where Walmart would then pack and ship out inventory to the customer. To do this channel strategy, you will need alignment from the merchant at Walmart and would need them to place the purchase orders to launch the item online.
- Marketplace – If you are looking for a little more control in the process, then Marketplace might be a better option for you. When you list your items on Marketplace, you are responsible for storing your items and for shipping them out to customers. Because of this, you can set the price of your item, which can be beneficial if you are worried about driving the price down on other platforms. Also, since you are in control of the entire process, Walmart will only charge you a commission on your sales instead of paying a wholesale cost like in traditional retail. Marketplace is a great option if you want more control over pricing, or if you do not have approval from a merchant to bring the item in through the owned channel.
- Marketplace via Walmart Fulfilment Services (WFS) – If you like the idea of marketplace, but do not have infrastructure to ship out products directly to consumers, WFS might be a good solution. WFS is a service offered by Walmart for Marketplace sellers, where they will store and ship out your inventory to customers for a fee (similar to Amazon FBA). It is a great option for brands that would like to sell on Walmart.com but are unable to build out a full-service shipping solution.
#2 Best in Class Content
When launching an item anywhere online, content is important. Every online platform has their own set up standards and requirements for their website, and Walmart is no different. Each category at Walmart has their own guidelines on copy, pictures, and attributes. If you can obtain the guide from Walmart, it will tell you exactly what is needed to meet Walmart’s guidelines. If you are unable to obtain the guide, be sure that the copy on your listing explains the product fully and uses correct grammar. For pictures, most categories want at least six pictures. Content can help improve the natural traffic that goes to your product and can improve the SEO value on Walmart.com. This natural traffic is crucial when trying to raise awareness around a new product.
It is imperative that when you are launching on Walmart.com, you have ample inventory to support the launch. This is important to both customer experience and the Walmart algorithm. If an item goes in and out of stock often, the search algorithm will favor other items that are in stock more consistently than your item. This is crucial during the first couple of weeks of listing your product since it might not have much customer awareness in the market. Appearing higher in the search can be a great way to beat out competition.
When launching a new item, it can be hard to build trust online. We know that customers look at reviews before purchasing and are less likely to make a purchase if an item has no reviews. Walmart also boosts items that are placed higher in search than comparable items with no reviews. Walmart partners with the company Bazaarvoice for review syndication and review generation. If you are using their review generation, you will send samples to customers and in exchange for free product, the customer will leave an honest review. You can then take these reviews and syndicate them across multiple platforms. It is a smart way to ensure that your item will launch with reviews across all platforms and gain consumer trust across the market. VENDO also works with several other review generation groups to ensure there is a solution for Walmart dot com, in-store, or both.
#5 Onsite Advertising
Onsite advertising is quickly becoming more of an expectation online instead of a recommendation. On Walmart.com, their advertising capabilities have grown immensely in the past year. Walmart’s onsite advertising form is managed through Walmart Connect, and you can run both small and large campaigns. The small campaigns are run through the self-serve portal. The primary form of advertising on this portal is through sponsored products on search results and product pages. Self-serve campaigns can run for as little as $50 a day.
If you have a larger budget, and would like to make a bigger splash online, there are Walmart- managed campaigns that can include display advertising, home page lockouts, and brand pages. These types of campaigns range from $50K-$100K. If you are new to Walmart, I would suggest starting with a self-server campaign, so that you can learn about the site and set expectations on the return from the investment.
Launching a new product on Walmart.com can be overwhelming, but the key is to use the information Walmart provides you with and give yourself enough time to prepare so that you can be successful!