In a bid to maintain their number one spot on the Fortune 500 list, Walmart rolled out a premium membership designed to compete with Amazon Prime last fall. With the launch of Walmart+, the company was able to announce a 79% increase in US e-commerce sales for the 2021 fiscal year. Is Walmart+ a viable competitor to Amazon Prime? If you sell your products on Amazon, is now a good time to switch? Today, we’re looking at the pros and cons of the new Walmart+ service so you can make an informed decision before making any changes.
Walmart+ is a $98 annual (or $12.95 monthly) membership that entitles the subscriber to a host of perks. Members enjoy free next-day or 2-day shipping from Walmart stores, free grocery delivery (with a $35 purchase), fuel discounts, and a scan and go mobile app so you can pay as you shop in-store to save time.
Sellers accustomed to Amazon know that their professional plans, which include advanced selling tools and the ability to advertise, start at $39.99/ month + selling fees.
Walmart is making it affordable to maintain a selling relationship with zero “set-up fees, subscription fees, listing fees, monthly fees, and category limitations.” Sellers are simply charged a referral fee of 6-20% per item based on the category and fees associated with fulfillments, if sellers require the service.
With such a low barrier to entry, selling on the Walmart Marketplace seems like a no-brainer. In a 2020 survey by Jungle Scout, a platform for Amazon sellers, 39% of respondents say they “are considering selling on Walmart.com in 2021.”
The retail giant also recently completed a New Seller Savings promotion, designed to attract new sellers and simplify the onboarding process. They’re taking note of their weaknesses and making moves to turn them into strengths.
One seller is quoted by Jungle Scout as saying, “[Walmart’s] brick-and-mortar presence gives an edge — if they execute correctly… It’s time Amazon has competition.” At this point, only time will tell.
While selling through Walmart Marketplace seems great, not everyone has the opportunity. While anyone can sell on Amazon, as long as they agree to the fee structure, Walmart requires a vetting process before accepting sellers.
However, they recently removed the rules that required sellers to have a business address or business tax identification in the US, saying that “We have strong relationships with many reputable companies around the world and we have some of the most rigorous seller requirements in the industry… As a result, we are opening our U.S. marketplace to a limited number of international companies who share our commitment to customer trust and safety.”
Amazon Prime’s 15-year lead over Walmart+ enabled the corporation to capture nearly 40% of all US-based online retail sales, according to eMarketer. However, Walmart’s #1 spot on the Fortune 500 list nearly every year since 2002 proves this company is a worthy opponent. Walmart has both the weight and the reach to compete, but will it connect its punches?
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