Selling on Walmart in 2021: Updates & Trends to look out for
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Quick Brief: Last year has been crucial in paving the path for the future of e-commerce. Speaking strictly of Walmart, numerous changes were brought about in the marketplace with the shift in customer behavior. Buyer’s evolving expectations and the marketplace’s focus on customer satisfaction have brought about updates that will change the way you sell in 2021. In this blog, you’ll take a deep dive into the evolving world of e-commerce and everything exciting in store for 2021. Analyze how the Walmart Marketplace changed in the last year and how it will bode in 2021.
Walmart 2020 Recap: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”
2020 has been an extraordinary year, for the e-commerce industry. The world of e-comm saw a boom in business that surpassed any predictions! The change was so substantial that it made the smallest of mom&pop shops set up online stores.
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As millions of homebound consumers turned to the e-commerce platform to buy household, cleanliness, personal care, and recreational products, thousands of small enterprises onboarded global marketplaces and forever changed the way we do business.
The change was more imminent and was felt more deeply in the way people did business. Consumer expectations changed in 2020. ‘Grocery’ was one of the biggest selling formats; customers placed ease over price, and new avenues for business mushroomed on social media.
What this means for 2021
The previous year’s changes have restructured the e-commerce scene for the world. The after-effects of which have been felt significantly at global marketplaces like Walmart. The change in buyer behavior has shaped new policies and enforced new ones at the marketplace.
An increased focus has been brought on customer satisfaction, post-purchase quality being a big thing.
Listing Quality has also been brought under scrutiny as more and more people started conducting online product research owing to the pandemic.
Grocery, staples, home improvement, kids, and pets category grew many-fold on the marketplace.
With increasing online competition, sellers are also focusing on Walmart’s paid services.
Other than that, sellers are also turning towards new forms of advertisements as new OTT platforms and streaming services enter the market every day.
How last year’s updates will shape new Walmart 2021 trends
2020 was a big year for Walmart, and not just because the US was busy stocking up toilet paper or canned beans. Here’s looking at everything that changed in the Walmart Marketplace universe and how it will change in 2021.
Walmart Partnerships & Revenue:
- In June, Walmart teamed up with e-commerce giant Shopify Inc. with plans to add over 1,200 Shopify sellers in 2020 alone. Subsequently, Walmart invited hundreds of S&Bs to onboard the marketplace and made its application process more straightforward.
- Walmart Inc.’s U.S. e-commerce sales grew 97.0% in the second quarter of the year, as more and more shoppers chose to buy online rather than go outside.
- While in the third quarter of the fiscal year, Walmart recorded a staggering 79% increase in its e-commerce sales.
- Compared to 2019, Walmart’s grocery sales (online and offline) were up by about $3 billion in the second quarter and have reached over $8 billion so far.
- Walmart expanded store pickup and delivery slots by nearly 30% since February. The company has permanently increased its ship-from store-capabilities, currently offering almost 3,500 pickup locations for online orders at its stores and same-day delivery from roughly 2,700 stores.
New Walmart Features and Updates to keep in mind for 2021
Other than its record-breaking profits, Walmart also introduced several changes to its marketplace. These additions finally made life easier for marketplace sellers.
Listing Quality Dashboard
This new dashboard can prove to be one of the essential Walmart features in 2021. The Listing Quality Dashboard is aimed directly at product SEO and ranking. Walmart introduced this update intending to help marketplace sellers increase the visibility of their products.
The Listing Quality Dashboard analyzes the overall average quality score of products, the breakdown of the components that make up average listing quality, post-purchase quality, Pro Seller Badge status, while also provide item-level scoring for all published items.
Another great feature introduced last year; the Pro-Seller Badge is a synonym for quality at the Walmart Marketplace. This almost works like a verified blue tick on social media, making the seller look more authentic.
Walmart awards pro-seller badges to top-performing sellers, who follow strict guidelines to attain this as a mark of excellence. This, in turn, makes the buyer more confident about their purchase and increases the seller’s conversion rates.
Post-Purchase Quality is an added metric that sellers need to be aware of in 2021. This aims to help sellers improve the quality of their products and services.
PPQ is a measure of the product’s overall quality and the customer’s post-purchase satisfaction from it. Post-Purchase Quality is another factor that will influence buyer confidence and help with increasing conversion rates.
One of the most significant features launched last year, Campaign Management, has automated promotional campaigns. With this feature, Walmart aims to help sellers promote their products during seasonal and category campaigns managed by Walmart.
Walmart also changed its panel design to a more user-friendly panel, which is significantly less complicated. This makes navigating the seller center and managing day-to-day operations a cake-walk for sellers.
The new panel includes robust features such as Listing Quality, Pro Seller Badge, Shipping Templates, Message Alerts, and many more!
Walmart Fulfillment Service
At the beginning of last year, Walmart launched its fulfillment service- WFS. This new fulfillment service holds the fastest delivery potential at the lowest costs feasible for marketplace sellers.
They are thus allowing sellers to offer fast and cheap delivery services while improving their seller scorecard.
Another great feature that’ll be big in 2021- Message Alert. Who can argue that seller-buyer interaction is key to customer satisfaction? However, customer messages are lost in the myriad of emails sellers receive. The new Message Alert aims to correct this. Sellers can now see buyer messages directly on the seller panel.
Another great feature introduced in 2020, the new shipping templates make it easier for sellers to set shipping exceptions for all the states. Where old shipping exceptions only extended to 7 US states & UTs, with the new templates, sellers can manipulate shipments to all 51 US states & UTs.
This allows sellers to set precise rules and facilitate a frictionless shipping experience for the sellers and the customers.
Ship With Walmart
Walmart introduced another shipping-related update, the new Ship With Walmart program– to promote selling on Walmart Canada. The feature allows US-based sellers to onboard Walmart Canada with ease with Walmart’s negotiated customs and excise duties.
With SWW, sellers can successfully onboard Walmart Canada and sell across the border without thinking about high handling and shipping costs.
What we’re saying is-
Last year has been a roller coaster ride for all of us, but especially for the e-commerce world. We hope these recaps and Walmart Marketplace predictions for 2021 will help you understand the changes that will hold significance this year, be it behavioral or technical. The new updates and features introduced by Walmart aim to evolve the marketplace for the better and pave the path to a brighter future. However, the year-by has provided several beneficial lessons for 2021, especially for the Walmart sellers who want to make it big in 2021.