There’s an old saying in business that drop shippers would do well to live by: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. When you’re building your e-commerce business, a common fear is that you’ll never be able to compete with the likes of larger companies like Walmart. And that’s very true — which is why you should find ways to partner with them instead. That’s where Walmart dropshipping comes in.
Walmart allows different forms of dropshipping on its platform, which is good news for website owners of all sorts and sizes. Walmart is right behind Amazon in terms of sales and scope, accounting for 6.7% of all retail e-commerce sales in 2020. That’s pretty impressive, especially since Walmart marketplace isn’t nearly as crowded or competitive as Amazon. In fact, Walmart Marketplace has roughly 123,000 sellers compared to Amazon’s 1.6 million!
Here’s your ultimate guide on how to dropship with Walmart and why it belongs in your e-commerce strategy.
Walmart’s marketplace allows third-party sellers to tap into the company’s massive audience. Similar to listing products in your own store, you can list products for sale in the marketplace. The advantage for you, the seller, is that you have a ready-made audience with tons of website traffic. Walmart wins, too: they can provide their customers with an even broader product offering without the expenses of extra inventory and personnel.
The best part is that you have more ways to expand your e-commerce dropshipping business. While many e-commerce store owners are focusing on driving traffic to their own websites or making it big on Amazon, Walmart’s marketplace is going largely unnoticed. We recommend taking every opportunity to put your products in front of the most customers. If Walmart dropshipping isn’t already part of your strategy, it should be.
Walmart dropshipping takes many forms:
● Dropshipping Walmart products to other platforms, like eBay or Amazon
● Walmart’s Drop Ship Vendor Program
● Dropshipping directly to customers the traditional way
We’re going to cover each of these in more detail.
Walmart allows drop shippers to sell products via the marketplace provided they are not purchasing items from Walmart to resell at a higher price. Walmart’s amazingly low prices make it easy to turn a profit if you use Walmart as your supplier. But Walmart sees such moves as competition, and doing this could have your orders canceled and your account banned if they catch on.
However, Walmart prices are so good that many drop shippers can’t resist. So instead of using the Walmart marketplace, you can use other platforms to sell your items and reach more customers. Let’s look at three common methods:
Dropshipping from Walmart to eBay breaks the traditional dropshipping mold because it’s more hands-on for you, the seller. Instead of having items come straight from a supplier to a customer, you act as the supplier in sending items to your buyers.
Here’s how it works:
List items for sale on your eBay store.
Once someone buys an item, you purchase it from Walmart and have it shipped to you.
You then ship the item to your buyer.
This method is a little more time-consuming than traditional drop shipping because it requires an extra step. eBay will not allow sellers to drop ship directly from Walmart, which is why this extra step is necessary. It’s not as streamlined, but drop shippers choose this method because they can make a nice profit from it.
Similar to drop shipping from Walmart to eBay, you can sell drop shipped items on Amazon, too. However, Walmart will cancel orders if it suspects you are dropshipping items bought on Walmart to your Amazon customers. Thus, there’s an extra involved here, too.
Here’s what the process looks like:
Locate items for sale through Walmart and add them to your website.
When your customer places an order, you will order the items from Walmart and have them shipped to you.
An alternative is to use retail arbitrage, which is where you buy discounted or clearance inventory from a retailer and sell it at a markup.
Ship the items from you to your customer.
The biggest downside to this method is that it takes more management on your part. Walmart continually updates its products and is prone to shortages just like any other retailer. For the items listed on Amazon or eBay, you need to make sure those listings are active only if the items are available for you to order.
If you have a Shopify store, you can use it in your Walmart dropshipping strategy. Shopify offers a number of apps that make it easy to import products to your store. Save time on filling out each product listing so you can start making sales quickly.
What’s more, combining Walmart marketplace and Shopify acts as a two-way street. Not only can you sell Walmart items on your Shopify website, you can also dropship through Walmart’s marketplace. It can be a little difficult to get approved to sell on Walmart. But once you’re in, you can post all the products you sell from other dropshipping channels.
Walmart drop shipping provides a lucrative opportunity to expand your e-commerce business and grow your reputation.
For starters, Walmart offers free “Next Day Delivery” on thousands of items. You can have your customers’ items in hand fast and ready to ship out within 24 hours of them placing the order.
Walmart also has a large variety of products. Sources estimate there are roughly 46.1 million products across the company’s 900+ stores.
Specifically, to dropshippers, Walmart has a lot to offer:
● There are no upfront fees to sell on Walmart marketplace. Unlike other platforms, you do not have to pay any ongoing fees or set up a store. You only pay a referral fee when you make a sale.
● You can sell a variety of items on Walmart. Similar to Amazon, Walmart does have a few restrictions, which you can learn more about here. However, restrictions are few and far between considering the 35 different categories that are up for grabs.
● Gain more visibility through limited competition. Winning Amazon’s Buy Box is a dream goal of thousands of sellers, and it’s almost impossible. This isn’t the case with Walmart, since there are far fewer sellers and therefore more chances to earn visibility.
● Competition is limited for a reason. Walmart only takes the best of the best sellers, so consider yourself among the elite if you’re approved to sell here. The application process isn’t difficult, per se, but many sellers simply don’t want to go through it. This is good news for reputable sellers, who can gain instant credibility simply by gaining approval.
● Walmart offers a price match. If items you buy from Walmart decrease within the returns period, you can request the difference in the form of a refund. This helps you make even more on those orders!
However, it’s not all sunshine and roses for Walmart dropshippers. There are a few downsides you’ll need to consider before going all in.
For starters, you’re catering to Walmart’s audience. These are bargain-hunters for the most part. They expect sellers to offer similar price points as Walmart itself, which means you’ll need to price your products attractively. This is especially true if you are selling the same items that Walmart sells, as customers can just order through Walmart to get an item cheaper.
A few other downsides to consider include:
● The long application process. We already mentioned it’s not for everyone. You will need a tax ID and business address, as well as other details to complete your application. Walmart wants to ensure that only quality sellers are connecting with customers. This is good news for you, though, since it means you will likely have less competition.
● Pricing rules. Walmart holds sellers to high standards when it comes to pricing. In many cases, they will remove listings where pricing is unfair or uncompetitive. For example, if a customer would save substantially by purchasing an item on another website, they may remove your listing.
As you’re considering your drop shipping options, make sure you explore them from every angle. Dropshipping on Walmart can provide you with a larger audience and more sales, but only if you’re able to maintain the highest quality standards.
If you’re eager to stick to the traditional drop shipping model, using a drop shipping partner like Doba is your best option. Doba allows you to import millions of dropshipping products to the Walmart marketplace. Find trending items with ease and add in-demand products with just a few clicks. Get fast shipping and attractive prices that appeal to Walmart customers to help you stand out in the market.
Try Doba free for 30 days and discover how it can transform your Walmart sales!