Table of Contents
- Is It Difficult To Sell Products In Walmart Stores?
- The Benefits To Selling Your Private Label Products In Walmart
- Selling Your Private Label Products In Walmart Stores
- How Selling Your Products Through Walmart Can Build Your Brand
- Walmart Marketplace Explained
- Should You Be Selling Your Private Label Products In Walmart or Target?
Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, as well as the single largest company in the world. Walmart attributes a large part of their success to consistently offering lower prices than their competitors, driving down their production costs as low as possible and demanding the same of their suppliers. Walmart’s own successful line of private label products is a testament to their compatibility with the retailer’s strategy and store culture. Keep on reading to learn more about how you can get your own products onto Walmart’s shelves.
Is It Difficult To Sell Products In Walmart Stores?
I’m not going to sugarcoat it—getting your products into Walmart stores is not easy. Partnerships with Walmart has been a turning point for so many companies and that’s no secret, so there is massive competition getting into Walmart stores. It can be tough to set your products apart and because the company has so many suppliers to choose from, it has the liberty to be very particular about quality to price ratio, profit margins, flexibility, branding and the like. But it’s like they say, the surefire way to fail is not to try at all, and a supplier relationship with Walmart is well worth the effort required to establish one.
The Benefits To Selling Your Private Label Products In Walmart
The Private Label business model is the perfect fit for Walmart’s lowest cost commitment. Private label products usually offer products sold elsewhere at a lower cost for the consumer, and that is what Walmart is all about. Their foremost criteria in choosing suppliers is competitive pricing, so that gives private label suppliers an edge over national brands, which are generally priced higher, at cutting a deal with the retail giant. And once you’re in, the payoff can be enormous and kick your company into the next gear as Walmart has truly magnificent purchasing power.
Selling Your Private Label Products In Walmart
There are two routes you can go down to get your products into Walmart stores. The first is the Wal-Mart National Program which you can apply to by going to http://walmartstores.com/Suppliers/. The first step in what is quite a long process is completing their Online Product submission form which is a succinct, “elevator-pitch” type introduction to your product including basic company information, product information and description, and a picture of your product.
If your product passes this phase you will be emailed an invitation to fill out their Suppler Questionnaire which gives an in-depth understanding of your company to the Walmart buyers. You’ll have to register as a supplier and pay a registration fee of $125-$275 depending on base country. If the buyer decides to proceed with your company, you will negotiate terms and sign a Supplier Agreement.
If you are fortunate enough to get a meeting with Walmart buyers, make sure to be well prepared. This is not an opportunity to take lightly. You may choose to hire a broker who is more familiar with the industry to pitch your product to the buyers and help facilitate a deal that will be most rewarding for your company, paying them a commission of 5 to 7% on the sale. If you choose to do the presentation on your own, make sure you are prepared with detailed information and numbers related to your company and specific product, and able to relate the info with standard industry jargon and terms.
Some things you should bring along with you to the presentation meeting are the product, the product packaging (you can bring a few options for them to go with as packaging is very important to big retailers), a list of stores already selling your product and pictures of current displays, an all-inclusive price list detailing wholesale cost, retail price, bulk discounts, and any other relevant cost info, a product description brochure and anything to help you stand out such as a successful advertisement you’ve launched, marketing ideas moving forward, promotional videos, media coverage, etc.
The second route is the Local Purchase Program which opens up a much more accessible way for local suppliers to get their foot in the door and prove in-store success to national Walmart buyers. It gives purchasing power to local managers, who you can approach personally to introduce your product. If the manager thinks that your product is well suited for the area, your product will be submitted to the Market Manager and Regional Manager who ultimately decide whether to place an order and how many stores to place the item in. The Local Purchase Program is especially likely to be chosen if your product is directly related to the area, such as hiking gear in an area with big national parks or beachwear in a state that’s coastal and warm year round.
— Walmart (@Walmart) December 25, 2016
How Selling Your Products Through Walmart Can Build Your Brand
As it is the largest retailer worldwide, getting your product on the shelves at Walmart can catapult your brand into the big leagues. A deal with Walmart puts your product on the map in a big way, increasing visibility and brand recognition. With over 5,000 stores in the US alone, if Walmart purchases your product even just once, the profitability is major. Many major national brands have a relationship with Walmart that they absolutely rely on and adapt towards, often accounting for upwards of 30% of all sales.
Walmart Marketplace Explained
Walmart has recently launched Walmart Marketplace, which opens up a world of opportunity for private label sellers. Walmart has been a store whose shelves have been notoriously difficult to get onto, which is expected considering the magnitude of their retail presence. The Marketplace allows independent third party sellers to list products on Walmart’s site, filling in gaps for products or product specifications that Walmart doesn’t offer.
Becoming a Marketplace seller is still more complicated than posting a product on a public seller platform such as Amazon or eBay, but the selective-ness can work in your benefit because it cuts out a lot of competition. According to Walmart’s statistics, over 110 million people visit Walmart.com every month, so the opportunity presented here is enormous. To begin the process of becoming a Walmart Marketplace seller, fill out the “Request an Invite” form here.
Should You Be Selling Your Private Label Products In Walmart or Target?
Finding the perfect home for your products is crucial and both retailers have their own appeal, but it should just be said that getting your products into either chain is an incredible achievement and opportunity. That being said, Walmart generally pays suppliers less than Target does, but their inventory turnover is much more rapid. If you are looking to sell a bigger ticket item that most people don’t buy too often but has high margins, Target is probably best for you. If you are selling an everyday commodity that is low profit but has more potential for high volume sales, Walmart is the place to go.
Some companies have equated working with Walmart to going through intensive basic training with a tough drill sergeant. It can be difficult, but your company emerges stronger and more efficient than ever before. Becoming a Walmart supplier forces you to streamline and tighten up any costs that aren’t absolutely necessary, hone your ability to sell and market your product, figure out how to scale production if necessary, and learn how to operate in the highest level of competition. Best of luck to you, you’ll be needing it.