Selling on Walmart vs Amazon: Navigating the eCommerce Titans

Selling on Walmart vs Amazon: Navigating the eCommerce Titans

As digital marketplaces continue to dominate the way we shop, the option of selling on Walmart vs Amazon presents a pivotal decision for merchants. Each platform offers unique opportunities, appealing to different seller requirements and target audiences. 

This article is your in-depth guide to unraveling the ins and outs of both eCommerce powerhouses. We’ll cover multiple factors, including fulfillment costs and selling fees, to help you pick the best platform for your eCommerce store.

Walmart Marketplace Overview

A tab for Walmart Marketplace open on a computer.

Walmart is a retail industry giant with numerous stores and fulfillment centers and extends its influence digitally with the Walmart Marketplace. 

This platform allows third-party merchants to list and sell on the Walmart platform, benefiting from their vast consumer base. 

In recent years, Walmart’s online presence has seen exponential growth. In 2022, their eCommerce sales in the United States grew by an impressive 66%.

The platform now boasts over 150,000 sellers – which is far fewer than Amazon, resulting in less competition.

Amazon Marketplace Overview

A tab for Amazon open on a computer.

Amazon Marketplace, a cornerstone of global eCommerce, offers a platform for third-party sellers to reach customers worldwide. 

With over 1.9 million active sellers, Amazon is the largest online marketplace, with a wide variety of products, and is more friendly to international sellers.

Merchants like you contribute to over 50% of Amazon’s total sales. 

As of the first quarter of 2023, Amazon had over 5.9 billion visits, firmly establishing its dominance in the eCommerce sphere. 

It’s home to an unparalleled range of products, enticing over 200 million prime members with its broad selection and speedy delivery. Their two-day shipping is one of the fastest in the eCommerce space.

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Customer Base

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Walmart Customers

Walmart’s customer base is expansive as it’s an extremely popular brand within the US. In 2023, their eCommerce sales in the US amount to $53.4b.

Its customer base predominantly consists of middle-aged consumers. Given this demographic, Walmart Marketplace is an excellent platform for sellers offering value-driven products at low prices.

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Amazon Customers

Amazon’s customer base is incredibly diverse, including tech-savvy millennials, Gen Z, and affluent consumers. They have an incredible base of over 200 million Prime members globally. 

This makes Amazon a potentially profitable platform for sellers with a wide range of products, from everyday essentials to high-end luxury items. Furthermore, Amazon’s global reach allows sellers to target customers beyond the US, opening doors to international markets.

Seller Requirements

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Requirements for Walmart Sellers

Walmart maintains high standards for its sellers to ensure a seamless customer shopping experience. To apply to sell on Walmart Marketplace, you need to meet several prerequisites:

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Requirements for Amazon Sellers

Like Walmart, Amazon also sets high standards for its sellers. This is what you’ll need:

In addition, selling on Amazon means maintaining excellent performance metrics, including low order defect rates, good customer feedback, and timely shipping.

Product Categories

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What to Sell on Walmart

Given Walmart’s demographic of cost-conscious shoppers, the best-selling product categories typically include home goods, apparel, accessories, and electronics. 

Therefore, sellers offering value-for-money products in these categories may find success on this platform. Moreover, Walmart’s broad reach means there’s potential for niche products too.

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What to Sell on Amazon

On Amazon, virtually anything goes. From books and electronics to clothing and gourmet food, Amazon’s vast customer base has diverse needs and wants. However, top-selling items often fall under categories like electronics, books, clothing, and household items.

Regardless of your niche, the key to success on Amazon is understanding your target customers’ needs, pricing competitively, and effectively marketing your products.

Seller Fees

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Walmart Fees

One of the major advantages of selling on Walmart is that there are no setup or subscription fees. 

Walmart does charge sellers a referral fee, which varies based on the product category. Typically, referral fees range from 6% to 20% of the total sale price. 

However, unlike Amazon, Walmart does not charge any fee for using its platform, giving it an edge for sellers seeking cost-effective fulfillment solutions.

In case you’re using WFS, there are fulfillment and storage fees. Estimate these amounts by using their WFS calculator.

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Amazon Fees

Amazon offers sellers two plans – create an individual or a professional account. 

The individual plan charges the Amazon seller a flat fee of $0.99 per item sold, while the professional plan has a monthly fee of $39.99.

In addition to the selling plan fees, Amazon also charges a referral fee. This varies by category, usually between 8% and 45% of an item’s total price, plus a closing fee for media items. 

Sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) must also consider monthly storage fees and fulfillment fees. These vary based on the size and weight of the product and the time of year.

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Getting Started

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Walmart Onboarding

To join the Walmart Marketplace, applicants must undergo a comprehensive trust and safety review. This assesses previous marketplace experience, professionalism, and qualifications.

A review can take several weeks, but partnering with a platform like Printify can expedite the process to up to a month.

After being accepted as a Walmart seller, you’ll receive a launch checklist to register your company. You can create product listings manually via Excel, an application programming interface (API) integration, or with a software partner’s help.

Given the evolving nature of Walmart’s APIs, ensuring proper formatting and adaptation to changes is crucial. Therefore, using a software partner or Shopify’s Walmart integration is advisable.

Walmart mandates a valid UPC for each listing. If a product doesn’t have one, you may need to acquire one or request an exemption.

For more details on how to request a UPC, visit our UPC exemption guide. Also, familiarize yourself with lag time exemptions.

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Amazon Onboarding

When it comes to onboarding, Amazon offers a convenient and efficient process. After purchasing a selling plan and setting up your Seller Central account, you have various options to create your initial listings:

  • Manual creation. Use Seller Central to create individual product listings.
  • Bulk upload. Utilize Amazon’s inventory file templates to upload multiple product listings at once.
  • Integration partners. Collaborate with integration partners like Printify to automatically format and categorize your listings.

Pro tip

Even though there’s no direct Amazon-Printify integration yet, you can still market Printify's print-on-demand products and sell on Amazon through alternative integrations or third-party tools like Order Desk.

Most Amazon categories require products to have a standard identification code, such as:

  • Universal Product Code.
  • European Article Number.
  • International Standard Book Number. 

If your product is already listed on Amazon, you may be able to add your offer without a Global Trade Item Number. Some categories also allow you to request GTIN exemptions for listing your products on the marketplace.

Even experienced sellers frequently encounter listing errors. It’s essential to have a system in place to quickly identify, interpret, and resolve error messages. Failing to address them can result in unsellable listings and stranded FBA inventory, incurring significant fees.

Fulfillment and Shipping Options

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Walmart’s Options

Walmart offers WFS to its sellers, which handles storing, packing, and shipping products, as well as customer service and returns.

They also allow third-party fulfillment, so sellers can choose to handle their own shipping or use other services. Additionally, Walmart marketplace sellers can work with a POD dropshipping model with Printify’s Walmart integration.

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Amazon’s Options

The FBA service is a comprehensive fulfillment solution. Sellers send their products to Amazon’s warehouses, where they take care of storage, packaging, shipping, customer service, and returns.

For those who want more control of this process, Amazon sellers can also use the Fulfilled by Merchant option, where you can handle your own storage and shipping. Amazon also supports dropshipping, POD, and handmade items through specific programs.

Analytics Tools

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Walmart Analytics

Walmart provides sellers with analytics tools through the Walmart Seller Center. These include sales performance dashboards, buy box metrics, and customer rating data. 

Sellers can use these tools to track sales, monitor customer satisfaction, and optimize their operations.

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Amazon Analytics

Amazon’s Seller Central offers a wide range of analytics tools. These include business reports, payment reports, and Amazon retail analytics for professional sellers, providing insights into sales trends, traffic, and conversion rates. 

Using these tools, sellers can monitor their performance, track product rankings, and make informed business decisions.

Branding and Marketing Tools

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Walmart’s Tools

Walmart allows sellers to customize their storefronts with their brand name, logo, and banner. Sellers can also enhance their product listings with high-quality images and product descriptions. They offer Walmart Performance Ads for sellers to promote their products.

For marketing, Walmart offers the Walmart Sponsored Products Program, where sellers can pay for their products to be highlighted in search results and product pages.

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Amazon’s Tools

On Amazon, sellers can create a customized storefront with their logo, a banner, and a company description. Product listings can be enhanced with high-quality images, videos, and detailed product descriptions.

Amazon offers several marketing tools, including sponsored products, brands, and displays. These tools help increase product visibility and improve the chances of securing a sale.

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Customer Support

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Walmart Customer Support

Walmart provides dedicated support to its eCommerce sellers. Sellers can contact Walmart through the Seller Help Center or request a call-back from a support representative. WFS also handles customer service for sellers using the service.

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Amazon Customer Support

Amazon offers comprehensive support to its online sellers. Sellers can access assistance through Seller Central, where they can get help via email, phone, or chat. Amazon also handles customer service for FBA sellers.

Can You Sell on Both Walmart and Amazon?

Absolutely. You can sell on both Amazon and Walmart, which many sellers do to maximize their reach. 

Printify’s integration with Walmart’s marketplace and methods of selling POD products on Amazon simplifies managing your business across multiple channels.

Why Sell on Online Marketplaces?

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Selling on marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart has numerous benefits over traditional brick-and-mortar stores. 

Firstly, these platforms offer significant traffic. Millions of users frequent these sites daily, providing you with a broad audience for your products. 

Secondly, these platforms are customer-centric. They emphasize a user-friendly shopping experience, decent prices with secure payment, and efficient delivery methods with low shipping costs, enhancing customer trust in your products.

However, selling on these platforms also has downsides. 

Over-saturation is a key issue, with high competition making it harder to stand out. Marketplaces also charge service fees, which can eat into your profits – setting higher profit margins might scare away potential buyers. Also, these platforms are ready-made, which can limit your flexibility.

Why Sell on Marketplaces With Print on Demand?

Selling on Amazon and Walmart with the POD dropshipping model offers several advantages, especially for new sellers in the eCommerce business. 

  • Low startup costs. No need for a large initial investment, making it an ideal choice for budding sellers.
  • No inventory requirements. Avoid the financial risk and logistical challenges of purchasing inventory and dealing with storage fees.
  • Product diversity. With Printify’s global Print Provider network, you can offer a wide range of custom products with over 900 items in our Catalog.
  • Access to a vast customer base. Selling on Amazon and Walmart gives you access to their substantial existing customer base and lends credibility to your business.
  • Streamlined shopping experience. These marketplaces provide secure payment options and reliable delivery systems, enhancing customer satisfaction.

How to Start Selling on Walmart With Printify

Step 1: Create your store

Create a free Printify account where you can create and name your new or existing Printify store.

Step 2: Request to sell on Walmart

Next, you need to apply to join the Walmart Marketplace seller community. After approval, you will receive an email invitation to set up your account. 

Note that you need to provide the necessary documentation, and the approval process can take about a month.

Step 3: Integrate Walmart and Printify

It’s time to connect your Walmart Seller Account with Printify. Go to the Stores section in your Printify dashboard and click Add. Choose Walmart from the list of platforms and follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 4: Add products

After linking your accounts, begin adding products to your Printify store. Click Add Product and select the type of item you want to sell. 

Upload, adjust, and save your design in our beginner-friendly Mockup Generator. You can also add product descriptions and prices at this stage.

Step 5: Sync products with Walmart

After adding your products to your Printify store, you’ll need to sync them with your Walmart store. You can easily do it with a simple click in your Printify dashboard.

Step 6: Set up shipping

Walmart requires your shipping rates. As Printify integrates with Walmart’s shipping settings, your customers will be charged for this at the checkout.

Step 7: Complete your seller profile

Before you start selling, complete your seller profile in the Walmart Seller Center. This includes information about your company, customer service, returns, taxes, and payment details.

Step 8: Understand Walmart's selling requirements

Familiarize yourself with details like the UPC requirements and lag time policies. Since Printify products are printed on demand, apply for a UPC exemption and request the maximum possible lag time of five business days.

Step 9: Start selling

Once everything is set up, you’re ready to start selling your custom products on Walmart. Monitor your sales and adjust your strategy as necessary to optimize your profitability.

How to Start Selling on Amazon With POD

Step 1: Choose a POD service

Decide on a POD service to partner with. Options include Printify and Merch by Amazon. These platforms allow you to design, customize, and list your products in an online store.

Step 2: Create and list your products

Next, design your products using the tools provided by your chosen POD service. List them on your Amazon store, and ensure product descriptions and images are clear and attractive to potential buyers.

Step 3: Manage your orders

When customers purchase your products, the order is sent to your POD provider. They’ll print the customized designs, package the merchandise, and handle shipping. This means you don’t need to worry about inventory management.

Step 4: Monitor and optimize

It’s important to monitor your sales and product performance regularly. Make adjustments as needed, such as tweaking product designs and descriptions or exploring different marketing strategies to increase visibility and sales.

Walmart versus Amazon: Final Thoughts

Selling on Walmart vs Amazon can seem daunting. Both offer massive customer bases, robust infrastructure, and tools to support sellers. While Amazon offers a broader customer base and product range, Walmart Marketplace offers lower fees and potentially less competition.

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to one platform. Diversifying your eCommerce selling channels can help you reach more customers and maximize your profits. 

Using Printify’s POD service to start a Walmart or Amazon business can streamline your multi-channel selling experience, letting you focus on what you do best – creating and marketing your products.

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