When it comes to dropshipping, starting your own Shopify store is likely the first thing that springs to mind.
The second thing? Dropshipping on a marketplace. With a constant stream of high-intent visitors, marketplaces offer a great opportunity to get initial sales and leverage existing traffic on large dot com domains.
While most entrepreneurs start with Amazon or eBay, it might benefit you to also take a good look at Walmart.
Walmart’s rapidly expanding online marketplace generated $35.86 billion in sales last year. Plus, it made up 6.7% of total US ecommerce sales. This year, Walmart is expected to make up 7.1% of total US ecommerce sales. These figures indicate that using Walmart as a sales channel for your dropshipping business can mean big returns.
But how does Walmart dropshipping work? What are the pros and cons of dropshipping on the Walmart marketplace? And ultimately, is it worth it?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through whether dropshipping on Walmart can bring you success, how to dropship on Walmart, and top tips to help you stand out in the marketplace.
But first things first.
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Does Walmart Allow Dropshipping?
Yes, Walmart lets you dropship in three different ways:
- Become a Walmart Drop Ship Vendor
- Reseller Walmart products through sites like Amazon or eBay
- Sell dropshipped products on the Walmart marketplace.
Let’s take a closer look at these options:
1. Becoming a Drop Ship Vendor (DSV)
Walmart Marketplace has a program where it allows entrepreneurs to become the supplier of the company. In this case, you act as a manufacturer or wholesaler supplying goods to Walmart. You can either ship items to a Walmart warehouse or deliver straight to the customer using the DSV program.
2. Reselling Walmart Products
Unlike traditional dropshipping methods, reselling Walmart products requires you to purchase items and have them shipped to you, so you can then send the items to your customers. This method means you don’t benefit from the streamlined approach of a standard dropshipping strategy.
3. Dropshipping on Walmart’s Platform
Using dropshipping suppliers, you can sell dropshipped products directly to Walmart customers. Although dropshipping products from Walmart direct to your customers isn’t allowed, dropshipping on the Walmart marketplace is totally fine and permitted.
Why Dropship on Walmart?
Walmart is particularly advantageous to ecommerce entrepreneurs. With Walmart, you get access to a well-known, reliable ecosystem full of high-quality products, fast delivery times, and excellent customer service.
Here are the main advantages of dropshipping on Walmart:
- Low overhead: Walmart doesn’t have a fee for creating a store or register to sell on its platform. You just have to pay a referral fee when you make a sale. You can find more information about their referral fees on this page.
- Speedy shipping: Walmart’s logistics partners can ship products to customers immediately with a next-day delivery option. Faster delivery means more satisfied customers, increasing your chances of repeat purchases.
- Sell a variety of products: Walmart has over 35 product categories you could sell in. Just make sure your product doesn’t fall on the company’s Prohibited Products list, and you’re good to go.
- Launch quickly: Walmart dropshipping takes stressful processes like store creation and branding off your plate, so you can focus on launching your business.
Of course, dropshipping on Walmart doesn’t come without challenges. First, there are countless competitors you’ll need to outshine to earn customer loyalty.
Plus, there are certain pricing rules you must adhere to because Walmart always wants to offer the lowest price possible to its customers.
That said, a large customer base and low overheads make up for the challenges faced by first-time entrepreneurs and small businesses.
What Is a Walmart Drop Ship Vendor?
A Walmart Drop Ship Vendor (DSV) is a supplier or manufacturer who keeps goods in their own warehouse, then ships them directly to customers when purchased on the Walmart marketplace.
Walmart has strict guidelines with regards to what kind of entities can become suppliers. You may need to revisit your paperwork to meet the criteria of the company. For instance, Walmart requires those applying for DSV to have:
- A corporate address
- A clear legal identity (sole proprietor, corporation, etc.)
- DUNS number
- Complete insurance documents for your industry
- A global location number
- Absolute product safety and compliance testing
Remember, DSVs with Walmart ship the products directly to customers, while regular Walmart suppliers ship products to Walmart warehouses.
How to Dropship on Walmart
1. Locate Suppliers for Your Business
The first step is to find suppliers for the products you want to sell.
Platforms like Oberlo are great for finding dropshipping suppliers for various product categories. You can find suppliers for women’s clothing, jewelry, home and garden, toys and games, and several other niches.
Suppliers with warehouses and fulfillment centers in the US are best for Walmart dropshipping as they’re able to ship products faster.
When deciding which suppliers to work with, pay attention to their customer service and knowledge of the items they sell. Suppliers with a high satisfaction rating and who have a long track record of selling on the platform are a safer bet.Also, see if they’re willing to send you a sample so you can evaluate the quality of the merchandise you’re going to dropship. For more tips, check out our guide: 6 Top Dropshipping Suppliers and How to Choose The Right One.
2. Register to Sell on Walmart
Regardless of the Walmart dropshipping method you choose, you’ll still need to apply to start selling on Walmart.
Visit the Walmart Marketplace page to begin your application. Click on the “Request to Sell” option, and you’ll see a form to fill out. Enter:
- Your business tax ID (SSN isn’t applicable)
- W8 or W9 and an EIN verification letter
- Your business address or place of operation
- Planned catalog integration methods (e.g., API)
- Primary product categories (e.g., catalog size)
3. Complete Onboarding
Once your application is approved, Walmart will send you an email with a registration link. Clicking this link will take you to onboarding. To complete the onboarding process, you’ll need to:
- Set up an account by entering your company information, business address, and bank account details.
- Agree to the retailer agreement provided by Walmart.
- Complete tax forms.
- Fill in shipping and payment information. The two payment methods available are Hyperwallet and Payoneer.
- Set up items and upload inventory
- Complete the Walmart Partner Profile. This includes all the information your buyers will see and includes details like your company’s name, description, logo, and policies.
4. Fulfill Orders
Walmart offers a 2-day shipping program to help sellers improve their customer experience.
However, it may not be possible for you to take advantage as delivery times can vary in dropshipping. Unless you’re working with US-based suppliers offering fast nationwide shipping, it’s best to stick with standard shipping.
Alternatively, you can fulfill your orders via Deliverr.
As an official partner for Walmart’s TwoDay fulfillment program, Deliverr guarantees fast shipping and better store visibility.
They’ll pick the products from your suppliers and keep them close to your customers so you can offer fast shipping nationwide.
You can learn more about Deliverr’s Walmart fulfillment service here.
Is Dropshipping from Walmart Worth It?
As with most business strategies, you’ll get out of Walmart dropshipping what you put into it. The Walmart Marketplace achieved a 79% growth in ecommerce sales for 2020-2021, making it one of the most valuable environments for sales. Walmart is even closing on the world’s top ecommerce retailer – Amazon.
However, dropshipping from Walmart requires some finesse. You’ll need to learn the rules, figure out what kind of strategy you will follow, and commit to constantly building and improving. To ensure Walmart dropshipping is worth it for you, make sure you:
Optimize Your Product Listings
All online marketplaces have algorithms to determine which products customers should see when searching for specific solutions. To rank above the competition, you’ll need to optimize your listings to suit Walmart’s SEO standards. For instance:
Be specific with product names
Use no more than 50-75 characters to describe your product with a specific product name. A good formula could be brand + size of the item + defining features + item name + style.
- Don’t include any special characters
- Avoid including retailer-specific information, like special offers
- Use keywords if relevant
Use high-quality images
Use professional-looking photos with excellent lighting and clear angles. High-resolution images work best, with a white background and minimal unnecessary background space.
- Take multiple products to show your customer every detail of your product.
- Crop and zoom to provide the proper focus on your product
- Use the same background on every product image
Highlight key features in your shelf description
Emphasize the biggest benefits of your products in a practical, eye-catching description. The shelf description is a great way to capture the audience's attention.
- Keywords are often helpful in your shelf description
- List the key benefits of your item (bullet points work well here)
- Double-check each description for grammatical mistakes
Leverage your short description
The short description, just beneath your shelf description, needs to be as straightforward as possible. Write an interesting, emotional, and keyword-rich description without keyword stuffing. You can use around 500-1000 characters.
- Highlight what makes your product special
- Focus on benefits to your customers
- Avoid duplicate or generic content
Master the long description
In your Marketplace page, your long description can include around 250-300 words.
- List anywhere between 10-30 features and benefits
- Use unique language and a conversational tone
- Include facts and tips to establish your thought leadership
Choose competitive pricing
Pricing plays a vital role in your Walmart dropshipping strategy. Examine your competitors to see what pricing they offer and focus on preventing stock-outs with a strong inventory strategy.
- Keep track of your competition and their prices
- Offer free shipping on Walmart where possible
- Try to deliver products fast wherever you can
Select product attributes
Appearing on the left of your Marketplace listing, your product attributes categorize your items to help customers when they’re searching for filtered results. To select the right classifications among the 24 options:
- Avoid the “other” category
- Share relevant information about product attributes
- Provide accurate details with keywords
Provide an excellent customer experience
No matter what they’re shopping for, customers want a secure and fast service. To attract attention and boost brand loyalty, ensure your product listings contain Walmart's “fast shipping” badge.
You can also improve your chances of sales by:
- Collecting positive customer reviews
- Using a reliable fulfillment provider
- Providing accurate tracking details for shipping
Meeting Walmart’s Expectations
As a leading retail brand, Walmart holds its partners to high standards. To maintain a strong position on the platform, you’ll need to follow specific guidelines, such as keeping 90-day order defect rates lower than 2% and ensuring the on-site shipment rate is 99% or greater. To boost your chances of success:
- Create clear return policies: Detail your return policy in the Partner Profile section of Walmart. This will help you defend yourself in the case of a dispute.
- Provide shipping information: Add shipping information so your customers know what to expect when buying from you. Your fulfillment process should match the estimated delivery times you give customers.
- Use an inventory tracking system: Access software to track your inventory and ensure you can always serve your customers.
If you don’t meet Walmart’s expectations, you risk them removing you from the Marketplace. Regular returns, cancellations, and complaints put your Walmart dropshipping strategy at risk.
Dropshipping from Walmart to eBay or Amazon
As things stand, there’s no way to dropship from Walmart to eBay or Amazon. Walmart will cancel your orders if it suspects you’re dropshipping from your marketplace store. Plus, eBay’s dropshipping policy and Amazon’s dropshipping policy both state that a seller cannot purchase others from other retailers and ship them directly to customers.
That said, you can use the retail arbitrage method where you buy Walmart products outright, keep them in your warehouse or storage, and later sell them on a marketplace. Because you own the products, eBay or Amazon won’t have any complaints. Just make sure to save your receipts!
Dropshipping from Walmart to Shopify
To dropship from Walmart to Shopify, you’ll need an app like AmaZone DropShipper + Walmart to get started. Apps like these allow you to import products to your Shopify store, so you can then sell through both Shopify and Walmart, depending on your business goals.
With this method, you can also add images from Oberlo suppliers to your products so you can make them more appealing for your visitors.
Summary: How to Dropship from Walmart in 2021
Walmart dropshipping can be a great way to increase revenue for your business.
During the pandemic, Walmart’s ecommerce sales grew by 74%. And this figure is expected to rise even further as the retailer takes new steps to endorse its online segment.
Whether you’re a new entrant or a veteran in the ecommerce industry, dropshipping on Walmart can help you gain much-needed exposure, fast.
In summary, here are the 4 steps to dropship on the Walmart marketplace:
- Find suppliers for your dropshipping business
- Register to sell on Walmart without fees
- Complete seller onboarding
- Start fulfilling orders for customers
What are your thoughts on Walmart dropshipping? Let us know in the comments below.