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Walmart Automation Business Versus Owning an Amazon Automation Store.

This sleeping David could grow into another Goliath.

It’s crazy to think that the Walmart seller platform has been open for business since 2009. What’s most surprising is the fact that the worldwide leader in brick-and-mortar retail has yet to aggressively promote its online shopping marketplace or challenge Amazon for market share.

Although interest in eCommerce startups on Walmart.com has risen recently, the aggregate of Walmart automation business is still only a blip on the radar compared to the number of Amazon automation companies.

It seems that Walmart has taken a “slow growth” approach, feeling its way forward diligently, rather than taking on its rival behemoth in head-to-head e-combat. They’re also putting new business through the paces when it comes to applications.

They take their time, and geez, are they picky. Putting applicants through the paces. Vetting hard upfront.

Right now, a new store waiting for approval has about a 50-50 chance. That’s rough.

Intriguing insights from the front lines*.

There are some smart sellers — even though still a small percentage — who aren’t choosing one platform over the other. Instead of choosing between the two, they operate on both. As it stands, 12% of Amazon sellers also own stores on Walmart.com.

In an obvious move to increase its presence, Walmart opened its marketplace to international 3P eCommerce sellers in 2020, expanding its footprint and signaling to Amazon that the day is coming when it will become a serious contender.

Many sellers view Walmart.com as Amazon’s most threatening competitor. Some consider Walmart’s advances too cautious to make a true dent in what appears to be Amazon’s impenetrable armor.

But an entirely different segment sees owning a Walmart automation business as a no-brainer.

Check out this telling data foretelling the future of Walmart.com:

Percentage of Amazon sellers who think Walmart.com will compete strongly with Amazon in 2022.

Percentage who worry about Walmart.com affecting their Amazon sales.

Percentage who plan to expand to other eCommerce platforms in 2022 and will choose to launch their Walmart automation business on Walmart.com.

These Amazon sellers go on the record about Walmart’s potential:

“I don’t think Walmart will catch up quickly, but I do hear more people talking about it as a sales channel.” – seller from Canada

“Walmart is slowly growing and improving their WFS [Walmart Fulfillment Services]. It will be a good competition for Amazon. Sellers need to get in early.” – seller from Arizona

Current Walmart Seller Stats*:

Business models:
54% sell private label on Walmart.com
43% sell retail arbitrage
35% sell wholesale

Sourcing & Fulfillment:
84% source their Walmart.com products from China, and 38% source from the U.S.
40% use Walmart Fulfillment Services and 36% use FBA through
multi-channel fulfillment (MCF)

Sales & Marketing Investments:
31% say their Walmart.com business performs better on Amazon Prime Day than on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Walmart Deals for Days
19% of Walmart.com sellers use Walmart Sponsored Products ads to market their products

After digesting all of the analysis available, at PushAMZ we are bullish on the possibilities of the Walmart platform. But we advise our clients not to take an either/or approach and instead recommend opening stores on both. They each have their advantages: Amazon—more visibility and a seasoned customer base, but also more regulatory policies and systems that could cause account pauses; Walmart—not as wide of an audience but once your account is approved — which isn’t easy — the amount of oversight and suspensions are way lower than Amazon.

Final call: Go deep with both. Get in early. Get in now. Or kick yourself later.

*Some information gathered from Jungle Scout’s 2021 report.

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