Walmart marketplace may be more in reach for UK sellers than it previously appeared. Up until now Walmart has stocked items from US retailers only but they’re opening the doors to carefully selected sellers from around the world.
Reuters invitations have been going out to sellers in China, Canada and here in the UK in an attempt to combat their limited product selection when compared to their chief online rival Amazon.
There are some onerous restrictions which might limit sellers to those with scale – sellers on Walmart marketplace must be able to fulfill orders from a warehouse located in the US (and probably not Amazon FBA!), they must provide a domestic US returns address and they are also required to have customer support operating during US business hours.
This is interesting times for Walmart, especially in the currently political environment with President Trump being markedly protectionist with a “Made in America” week having just run (16th to 22nd of July). Walmart has wholeheartedly pursued the goal of offering more goods manufactured in the US since a Made in America pledge in 2013. The harsh reality however is that Walmart customers are hungry for goods which simply aren’t manufactured in the US and which if Walmart don’t supply then Amazon will.
Currently less than 5% of vendors on the Walmart marketplace are from outside the US and there marketplace inventory stands at ~50 million items (compared to Amazon’s ~300 million online products). Walmart need to boost their inventory if they want to be a serious online competitor to Amazon and the only quick way to do so is by adding more merchants to the #10,000 US sellers on their marketplace and to get the products they need that means looking outside the borders of the US.
Would you sell on Walmart if you got an invitation, or perhaps you have already had an invitation and are already selling on Walmart. If you are, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the Walmart marketplace.