By: Hiram Gonzalez, Strategic Account Manager
It is no secret that COVID-19 changed many aspects of the way we once used to live. One huge change that came with this global pandemic is the way customers shop. Now, more than ever, customers are relying on the internet to search for their daily necessities, common household items, and even that new pair of Jordan’s that just dropped. One big winner of this shopping transformation is Walmart.com—more specifically, the Walmart Marketplace. This is a channel where sellers can apply to sell their products on Walmart.com. It was designed as a way for sellers to easily integrate their catalogs, manage orders, arrange shipping, and provide customer care. By partnering with the world’s largest omnichannel retailer, your business is tapping into a massive network of over 100 million unique monthly visitors. In order to make your business stand out, you will need to reimagine the customer shopping experience and leverage Walmart’s innovative programs to meet the demand of today’s average customer.
Protecting Your Brand
Being proactive is one of the most important things you can do to protect your brand’s integrity. If you establish healthy and consistent habits from the jump, you will save yourself from a lot of future stress. One example is protecting your intellectual property. It is quite shocking how many brands have not filed for trademarks, copyrights, and patents. This is something I always emphasize to my accounts, as you are setting yourself up for failure by not taking the appropriate steps to protect your intellectual property rights.
As a brand, it is important for you to know who your sellers and distributors are. This applies to brands who work with third parties. Nevertheless, it is not surprising to run into a brand every now and then who does not know their sellers or competition. Third-party sellers are literally the bridge between a brand and its customers, so if they are doing a poor job of representing your products, customers will automatically attribute those negative experiences to your brand. This is the same case for distributors. In fact, some distributors may sell your products without even having your permission. Not only can this create holes in your supply chain, these unauthorized sellers are exposing your brand to unnecessary risk. The most important thing here is to work with sellers and distributors that you know, and trust will be accurately representing your brand to the customer.
Launching New Products
Launching a new product is always a unique adventure. No two products in your catalog go through the same customer journey; setting up these items always requires research, marketing, sourcing, customer service, and much more. Confirming Demand, Remembering Intellectual Property, Planning a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy, and Taking Calculated Risks are 4 important steps to follow for your launch to be successful.
- Confirming Demand: This is a step that is often forgotten due to its simplicity. This is where the research comes in. You need to have a fundamental understanding of the landscape of the product you are thinking of launching before you go all in.
- Remembering Intellectual Property: Going back to the information above, does your new product need trademark, patent, or copyright filing? If so, do your due diligence to save yourself stress in the future.
- Plan a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy: Invest in your product. Make sure your new product has best-in-class content, including high-resolution images, videos, rich media, below-the-fold content, review syndication, and accurate and descriptive titles and key features.
- Taking Calculated Risks: It is critical to not overcommit on your first batch of inventory. On the other hand, being overly cautious can also be dangerous. The worst situation is ordering too much of a product when you are unsure of demand, as this can leave you stuck with slow-moving inventory and expensive warehouse costs. Before placing an order on your new product, it is vital to have engaged in demand planning and forecasting sessions with your respective team.
By joining platforms like Walmart Marketplace, you are allowing millions of shoppers to view your products, hence growing your customer base. Achieving a goal like this requires a combination of Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): SEM is internet marketing that involves promotion of products by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine will be more likely to show it as a top result. By accurately and descriptively tagging your products during their initial setup, you are setting them up for success. Unlike SEM, SEO targets unpaid traffic.
One of the most frequent questions I get from recently onboarded sellers: How can I grow and succeed on Walmart Marketplace?
- Join Walmart’s Free TwoDay Delivery for eligible products. This is a seller-fulfilled shipping program you can join to offer free 2-day delivery to customers. Your included items are displayed with TwoDay delivery tags that attract attention and improve conversion.
- Walmart’s Sponsored Products Advertising. You can drive higher sales by increasing the visibility of your products, without having to pay directly for those views. With Sponsored Products, you only pay when a customer clicks, and Walmart’s internal relevancy engines help determine the best time and place to make that happen.
- Enhanced Returns. Your customers expect a consistent and easy return experience. In fact, industry research proves that an easy product return experience is a top contributor to overall customer satisfaction and repeat purchases. Walmart’s Enhanced Returns program offers a truly omnichannel experience that allows customers to return Marketplace orders easily – online or in Walmart stores.
Disclaimer: Vendo has no affiliation with Walmart.