Online marketplaces chalked up nearly $2 trillion in sales in 2020. Although Amazon led the way, Walmart is ramping up to take a larger share—its online sales in the United States jumped by 79% in the 2021 fiscal year. If you’re a marketplace seller, it is time to tap into Walmart’s success. Read on to understand how Walmart SEO works and how to tailor your listings for the platform’s algorithms. By standing out in search results and winning the Walmart buy box, you can drive sales for your business.
Why Is Walmart Successful as an Online Marketplace?
Walmart is the top retailer in the country, generating $430.8 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2021. Amazon dominates the online marketplace, but Walmart is starting to make inroads. Here’s how the company is steadily growing its online platform.
Brand Name Recognition
Walmart is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. With global net sales topping $555 billion in 2021, it’s ahead of even Amazon in overall revenue. About 240 million customers shop at Walmart weekly, drawn by affordable pricing and product selection.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Walmart is attracting customers to its digital storefront through a variety of strategies.
- Deals for Days: Walmart’s online shopping event is timed to coincide with Amazon Prime Day.
- In-Store Returns: Shoppers can return online purchases to more than 4,700 stores in the United States.
- Vetted Sellers: Merchants undergo a strict review before being accepted to the marketplace to ensure quality and professionalism.
- Digitally Driven Experiences: The retailer’s omnichannel strategy aims to let customers easily transition between in-store, online, and mobile shopping.
- Walmart+ Membership: Designed to compete with Amazon Prime, Walmart+ offers benefits such as same-day delivery from your nearest store, free two-day shipping, and in-store mobile scanning to skip checkout lines.
Why Walmart SEO Is Important
When you gain visibility on Walmart’s website, your products are accessible to a ready-made segment of customers. It takes some careful attention to detail to get your listings to perform well, but it’s worth investing time in Walmart SEO.
Walmart’s U.S. website receives 389 million monthly visits, placing it third behind Amazon and eBay for online marketplace traffic. Walmart ranks ahead of its direct retail competitor, Target, which is fifth with 176 million monthly visitors.
Amazon is the undisputed marketplace leader, comprising 40% of all e-commerce sales in the United States. Walmart hit a big milestone in 2020, however, surpassing eBay for the first time to take second place. It accounted for nearly $65 million in marketplace sales, up 21% from the previous year.
Walmart’s online sales have more than doubled in the last two years. Globally, Walmart anticipates e-commerce sales of $75 billion in fiscal 2022, strengthening its market share and positioning the retailer for even more growth.
Walmart vs Amazon: Expanding Your Sales Reach
Amazon has about 1.1 million active marketplace sellers in the United States. Because it’s a mature platform, it’s also more crowded.
There’s less competition among Walmart’s 112,800 sellers. As this number steadily climbs, it’s an ideal time to carve out space on the platform before additional businesses get on board.
8 Ways to Improve Walmart SEO
Like any search engine, Walmart uses an algorithm to ensure the most relevant items appear in search result pages.
The three main factors that determine product ranking are known as the Walmart Optimization Triangle. Listings are evaluated for:
- Content and Discoverability: Completeness for categorization, title, descriptions, images, and attributes
- Offer: Attractiveness in terms of price, shipping, and availability
- Ratings and Reviews: Customer satisfaction as indicated in online reviews
While the precise weight of each factor isn’t known, you can boost your chances of ranking highly by focusing on the optimization triangle. Here’s how it looks in practice.
1. Assign accurate categories
Place your product in the correct category and subcategory so customers can find it in search engine results.
2. Create a concise title
Product titles should be 50 to 75 words and include key features such as brand, size, color, and style. Include terms users are searching for, but avoid keyword stuffing. The title should be precise and easy to read.
3. Write a compelling description
Write a paragraph describing the product, highlighting between three and 10 key features. Most descriptions should be about 150 words, although this depends on the category. Work in keywords naturally so they’re picked up by Walmart’s algorithm, and make the description as original as possible.
4. Boost visual appeal with images
Upload at least four high-resolution images to increase the listing’s appeal; more is better. Images should be in color and clearly focused. Try to provide a variety of angles.
5. Add rich media
Consider uploading product videos, 360-degree images, how-to demos, size charts, and manuals to help consumers make their decisions. Listings that use rich media are considered higher quality by the algorithm.
6. Monitor competitor pricing
Set your price to be competitive with other listings. Products can be delisted if they’re significantly more expensive than other listings, both on Walmart and other sites.
7. Offer attractive shipping options
Products that give multiple shipping options rank higher, especially if there’s expedited or free delivery. Sellers may be able to qualify for Walmart’s TwoDay Delivery program. Products with TwoDay tags experience up to a 75% increase in impressions and up to a 40% increase in gross merchandise volume.
8. Get stellar reviews
Provide a great customer experience in terms of responsiveness, shipping, and quality of product to give your customers a reason to leave five-star reviews.
What Is the Walmart Buy Box?
When several merchants sell the same product, one seller is ranked as the featured listing. This seller has “won” the buy box and gets the sale if the customer adds the product to their cart. According to Walmart, 80% of sales are generated through the buy box.
How to Win the Walmart Buy Box
Several factors determine which seller is awarded the buy box.
- Competitive pricing: Pricing is usually given the most weight. The lowest-priced listings have a bigger chance of winning the buy box.
- Fast shipping: Consider enrolling in TwoDay Delivery. These items are 36% more likely to win the buy box and have up to 1.5 times more product views. Free delivery also helps your product rank higher.
- Product availability: Make sure your product is always in stock so it appears when customers are searching for it. You may have to manage your inventory carefully if you sell on several channels.
Stand Out on Walmart Online Marketplace
Amazon will dominate marketplace sales for the near future; however, Walmart offers businesses an excellent opportunity for exposure. Marketplace sellers that take time to focus on Walmart SEO can lift their product listings in search engine results. Once you know how to rank on Walmart’s website, your business is poised to expand as the platform evolves too.
To receive expert advice or strategy, reach out to Booyah’s marketplace team today.