Walmart Product Optimization Tips and Techniques
Walmart will soon become a competitive space to sell items, much like Amazon. As a result, you’ll need to optimize your listings to get the most attention. In this article, we will provide you with tips you can use to improve your product’s SEO potential. To can learn more about the differences between selling on Walmart vs. Amazon in this article.
What You Can Modify On Your Walmart Listings
If you take a look at Walmart listings, you’ll notice that there are four major areas you can modify product titles, pictures, product highlights, and the “About this Item” section. A good product description can be the difference between success and failure on Walmart.
How to Optimize Products on Walmart
The Product Title
The first thing customers will notice is the title. Titles must be descriptive but use few words. Walmart suggests you keep your length between 50 and 75 characters. There is an art and science to creating titles. Here’s a quick roundup of what you need for a compelling title:
- Always start with the brand name
- Try and mention what problem your product solves
- Only use color if not described in variations (i.e., if you have multiple colors of shirt)
- Decide on which primary keyword to include in the title
- Use the product’s most powerful attribute to describe it
- Do not copy other listings
In the example above, it is clear the product is an upright 3.0 cubic foot freezer with a stainless steel door. If you want to see effective listings, research with your primary keyword. If you find other listings, ask yourself how you can improve on them. Think of alternative and easily recognizable words to ensure you are only inspired during your Walmart listing optimization search.
The Product Highlights (Shelf Description)
The product highlight section is otherwise known as the shelf description. For a comparable section on Amazon, think of the bulleted list you have on the top of your products. At Walmart, the difference here comes from its location. Highlights are much lower, meaning people are less likely to make buying decisions based on these factors.
This section is beneath other areas:
- Color/Variant selection
- The “add to cart” button
- The “add-on services” section (usually for product warranties)
- Delivery information
- Information on other sellers associated with this item
That’s a lot of stuff to get through before getting to highlights. Still, it’s crucial to create an engaging list of the most critical areas to focus on.
Here are some examples:
- Standard features people look for in this item
- The dimensions of the item
- If it has any certifications or awards
- A problem that the product solves
- The most compelling reason to buy your product
Stick to bullet points and be succinct. This section should not exceed 1000 characters.
The “About This Item” Section
The “About this Item” section starts off with a disclosure from Walmart:
“We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it.” This reminds both buyers and sellers that all product claims must be accurate. We will also offer a reminder that, of course, everything you state about your product should be true and accurate. However, you can still provide a compelling product description without making false claims. This section offers ample opportunity to do the following:
- Address any potential doubts
- State all problems your product solves
- Remind people how your product saves them time and money
- State the model number
This section also provides an opportunity to create an infographic. The image from above shows an example. All of these sections allow you to insert alternative keywords as well. You only have to mention the keyword once, but once can be enough to help optimize your Walmart product listing. You’ll also want to keep the length of this area below 300 words.
Upon scrolling through Walmart’s product categories, you’ll notice some similarities between Amazon’s product listings.
The top-ranked products have an image with a white background. The white background provides three benefits:
- It gives focus on the item for sale
- It clarifies what product you will be receiving
- It shows whether or not accessories are included
There are some exceptions, but it’s generally advised to stick to a white background. Like Amazon, Walmart prefers all product images be listed with a white background. Pictures of your product should be bright, have multiple variations, and ideally show the product in use in later photos.
If your product comes in various forms, take pictures of all of those variations. When cropping images out, be sure to take the picture against a background of high contrast. For example, if your item is black, you’ll want a white background.
Transferring Listings from Amazon to Walmart
If you already have effective product listings on Amazon, those same products are likely to do well on Walmart, too. These can be transferred between different online marketplaces with ease. However, one of the biggest Walmart tips we can give you comes back to this: do not copy your listing word-for-word. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when transferring listings is assuming they will work without changes.
The Walmart SEO policy penalizes you if you use duplicate content. This is considered plagiarism. In some scenarios, you may see your listing taken down for this reason. Even if the original content was written by you, proving that can be a nightmare. It’s better to write slightly varied descriptions to start. Thankfully, Walmart Seller Central makes it reasonably easy for you to transfer listings.
How to Upload Product Listings on Walmart Marketplace
When accessing the Walmart Seller Central dashboard, you’ll need to have the following information on hand to fill in for the new product:
- Product images and text descriptions (see above)
- The ideal price of your product
- The amount of inventory
- Accurate SKUs (Stock Keeping Units)
- Product reviews
If you want to upload product listings, you’ll need to have the above information on hand. Once you’ve confirmed that you have this data, you’ll have three options for getting it over:
Option One: Walmart API
The Walmart Develop Portal is an API that has links to multiple developers who can help you quickly transfer data. Much like Amazon’s API, it has a robust platform you can use to integrate your applications.
Test your applications using the sandbox environment if you want to see how they work. There are several online developers you can link to. If you happen to have someone on staff with API experience, that can help as well.
Option Two: The Full Item Spec Excel Spreadsheet
After logging in on Walmart Seller Central, you’ll be greeted with the dashboard. From there, you’ll be able to click on the “add new items” link. That screen provides you with the “add items in bulk” button.
From there, you’ll be able to select a drop-down menu that allows you to choose a category for your item. The type you select differs based on the category, which you can download for bulk uploads. You can also check out Walmart’s guide to uploading bulk products.
This means you’ll need to upload different item categories using different sheets. However, the process for bulk upload is relatively simple.
Option Three: Through A Walmart Channel Partner
A Walmart Channel Partner is someone you can hire to handle Walmart Marketplace for you. This is handy for people who don’t want to create product listings, manage inventory, or drive prices. Many providers, like CED Commerce, also handle some logistical issues for you. While this is the most simple solution, it is also the most expensive.
Issues with Walmart Product Listings
When it comes to Walmart listing optimization, issues are bound to happen. Here are the most commonly encountered:
When creating thousands of product descriptions, you are bound to slip up. That’s why you need to run any description you have through spell check and a second pair of eyes.
Misspelled words and grammar issues can lead to you missing a potential keyword. Double-check your product details anytime you are about to publish something.
Forgetting Product Attributes
The left half of the screen reveals a red rectangle going over one of the key features available on Walmart: product attributes. When uploading products, you want to ensure that the customer has many ways of getting to your listing. Walmart product optimization involves handling all aspects of search, including stating if your furniture or clothing item is considered contemporary or modern. Doing so enables you to hit new target audiences and allow people to search you by product specifications. While it’s important to increase product visibility with keywords, do not forget the attributes.
Going Too Fast and Getting Overwhelmed
If you already have a successful business on Amazon, there’s no reason for you to rush with Walmart Marketplace. While it’s essential to take advantage of the new popularity of this online marketplace, you don’t need to rush. One of the biggest problems new Walmart sellers have is becoming overwhelmed.
Suddenly, they have to manage two inventories, which is much harder than it sounds. Much like having a brick-and-mortar store and an online presence, learn the basics by starting small. If you can, hire specialists that can help you get started. Reaching out to Walmart Solution Providers is a great way to start working with someone already familiar with the platform.
Forgetting the Correct Order for Product Titles
When you look at various product listings, you’ll notice a common theme. The theme is where the “science” of product descriptions comes alive, as you need to place your product titles in a specific order.
Here’s the order we refer to:
- Color or size
- Quality (what makes your product important)
- Name of item
- Style of the item (if clothing item or furniture)
- Number of items available (if sold in a pack)
Almost all products follow this general order. That’s because those products know what works, which is what you want to use to rank high on Walmart.
Utilize Advertising and Promotional Pricing
The Walmart Ad Center allows you to choose between multiple forms of advertising. The two major ones are those you might be familiar with if you use Amazon: Display and Sponsored Products ads.
In both cases, you’ll likely be continuously paying for advertising on Walmart to stay relevant. Much like Amazon, targeting the right keywords is crucial to gaining attention. Another big deal to take advantage of is promotional pricing. Promotional pricing involves placing your items on temporary sale.
Much like any sale, a drop in price from an original higher price creates the following effect:
- A sense that the sale is only for a limited time
- The belief that this is likely a good deal
- An urge to take advantage of the promotional pricing
All sellers want to take advantage of every opportunity to get noticed. While Walmart SEO ensures that you give yourself the opportunity, you’ll want to invest in ads to make sure you get the initial exposure.
Don’t Forget to Diversify Advertising
Much like with all platforms, you don’t want to stick yourself with a sole advertising area. Instead, you’ll want to advertise your products off the platform. Specifically, you’ll want to advertise on your personal website. Ideally speaking, you should work to be able to set up shop anywhere. That means you could feasibly create your own eCommerce site.
Sites like Shopify can help you get started, but you might find more profit in cases where you don’t have to pay other people referral fees. Always be thinking about long-term goals like this one, so you know where to go next.
Walmart Tips for Optimizing Your Walmart Product Listings
If you are still having problems with Walmart listing optimization, here are some extra tips you can use to boost your seller performance:
Focus on Price Optimization
Just like Amazon, Walmart values price optimization. As one of the world’s most significant cost leaders among brick and mortar establishments, this comes as no surprise.
Walmart listing optimization often goes back to being “similar but different.” A big part of similar is maintaining a competitive pricing strategy. If the price of your item is well over the cost of similar products, Walmart will notice . You might find that a comparable freezer you have dips in the rankings because of abnormally high price.
If you have a higher price than others, you must be sure your product attributes reflect that. Selling premium products is alright, but your Walmart SEO needs to have keywords that match.
Take Inspiration From Other Websites
When it comes to Walmart product optimization, you’ll find that their suggested habits are pretty similar to other sites. Our article on Amazon product optimization is a good resource if you want to know the best tips and strategies to optimize your product listings one.
You’ll find that many listings have similarities to one another. When getting inspiration, you don’t have to limit your search to Walmart – you can create a great keyword optimization strategy by looking at other websites, in general.
Since Walmart Marketplace is still relatively new, you’ll find that there is less room for innovation. While you don’t want to completely change the format, you can take ideas and inspiration if your niche isn’t that strong on Walmart.
Always Use Quality Images
A big way to turn people off from buying your product is having a poor quality image. High-quality images always beat out low-quality images, just take a look at a 240p YouTube video if you don’t believe us.
Take pictures with a professional camera. While there are many great phone cameras out there, many of them lack professional quality. If you need to, hire a professional photographer to help you out. For a less expensive solution, you can save money by reaching out to your local college for a student photographer.
Don’t Forget Customer Service
Just because this article is about Walmart Listing Optimization doesn’t mean you can skip offering good customer service. In fact, Walmart Marketplace prefers people who provide high-quality products and good customer service. So don’t forget to optimize your customer service while you are at it.
Walmart SEO is great, but it won’t matter at all if you can’t provide a good customer experience. The result will be positive customer reviews, which will in turn lead to greater exposure for your product listings
Best Practices for Walmart Product Optimization
- Do not include special characters in your listing, Walmart SEO doesn’t like this
- Avoid keyword stuffing, including a keyword multiple times in your listing isn’t going to help it rank higher
- Think of multiple ways to describe your listing when creating backend keywords
- Describe your products in a way that solves a customer’s problems (value proposition)
- If possible, include a video on your media list to stand out
- Avoid passive voice, always use active voice
If you want to win in the Walmart Marketplace, you’ll want to follow these tips. These tips alongside a healthy dose of common sense will enable you to become a successful Walmart seller.
Walmart Marketplace FAQs
What Do You Need To Start Selling on Walmart?
To start selling on Walmart Marketplace, you’ll need to have an official business. So have the following available for an interview:
- A US Business Tax ID (EIN)
- A W9 or W8
- An EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury
- Proof of physical address for your business (typically from your EIN letter)
- An integration method for your product listings (how you plan on listing them)
- Product categories
- Catalog size
Does Walmart Allow You To Sell Used Items?
No, Walmart does not enable the sale of used items. This differs from companies like Amazon or eBay.
However, Walmart does allow for the sale of refurbished items. You’ll just need to have a discussion with Walmart on your refurbishing process.
What Percentage Does Walmart Take From Your Sale?
Walmart has referral fees that vary from 8% to 20%. This is about average when compared to other companies that sell based on referral.
Do You Have To Pay A Subscription To Sell on Walmart?
Walmart Marketplace does not have any minimum subscription requirement to sell on its platform. Instead, you have the option to pay for partners to assist you, which is not a requirement.
Is There A Return Policy for Walmart Marketplace?
Because Walmart is incredibly customer-centric, the return policy for Walmart, in general, applies to all products sold under the Walmart name. So customers have 14 days to return electronics and luxury items, and 30 days for everything else. For more information on returns, you can refer to the Walmart Return Guide on their website.
There are no return shipping fees, but you may charge a merchandising fee in the event of a returned item. The merchandising price is the cost you take from restocking the item. Refunds on the seller end are immediate but take up to ten days to return to the customer.
One final tip If you want to know how to optimize products on Walmart, start by observing how others do it. While Walmart has a listing quality dashboard, automated systems can only provide very general guidelines. If you plan on growing from Amazon to Walmart, you must be prepared for any changes between companies. Regardless of when you move to try Walmart, Datahawk’s Walmart and Amazon Marketing Solutions can provide excellent information about how to succeed.