For years CommerceHub has helped sellers navigate the most important aspects of marketplace selling. In this guest blog, they’ll discuss the dramatic impact of offering expedited shipping options for sellers of all types and sizes, with a detailed look at what happened when CommerceHub offered 2-day shipping across all of Bare Necessities® catalog.
As a marketplace that has tripled its US sales in three years, actively added thousands of sellers in 2019 and is continually investing in both marketplace and seller growth, it’s clear Walmart Marketplace is making a notable dent in the once single-player US ecommerce industry. During these unprecedented times, sellers are considering new opportunities to diversify their online reach, fuel their sales funnel and gain a new customer base. Walmart Marketplace is an obvious solution, presenting a huge omnichannel presence with access to over a hundred million monthly customers.
Walmart Marketplace has large growth potential and a laser-beam focus on their sellers. Walmart is carefully selecting their sellers and only adding those with assortment that aligns with their performance, category and customer service expectations. Because Walmart is taking a slower, more thoughtful approach to scaling their marketplace business, many of the opportunities to make your brand and products stand out are new and primed for growth. In this blog we are going to highlight one of the newest and largest drivers of performance on the Marketplace: Walmart’s variety of expedited shipping methods, featuring its free TwoDay program and the brand new ThreeDay feature.
Fast and free shipping is a necessity for retailers today
One of the largest influencing factors on buyer behavior is the ability to get product purchases fast and free. In response to buyer needs and an increasingly competitive landscape, Walmart debuted their Free TwoDay Delivery program on Walmart.com in 2017, specific to only their first party (1P) products. As demand for this service increased, Walmart took steps to actively grow assortment participation by leveraging their (3P) marketplace sellers. Walmart slowly expanded this program to select, invite-only 3P sellers in 2018 and soon thereafter released full support for all marketplace sellers in 2019.
Given that this program just recently launched to all sellers, this is a huge opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a massive growth accelerator on the Marketplace. For example, as seen in this chart, customer conversion on expedited shipping with the promise of two- or three-day delivery increases dramatically over non-expedited options:
In 2020 Walmart also announced its ThreeDay delivery feature, an enhancement for the existing Expedited shipping method which allows more flexibility in offering fast delivery to customers nationwide without having to enroll or maintain high performance metrics for it. Now, when you offer free ThreeDay expedited shipping, your products will receive Buy Box prominence, increased conversion rate, and consequently, more sales as a result. However, you should be aware of a few differences between TwoDay and ThreeDay options when you decide on the expedited shipping strategy for your business.
Free ThreeDay delivery offers select benefits and gets you qualified for the TwoDay program faster
|ThreeDay delivery||TwoDay delivery|
|Buy Box prominence|
|Fast delivery promise|
|Fast delivery tag|
|Improved search rankings|
|Eligibility||N/A||Eligibility criteria apply|
|Access||Available to All||Available upon request|
What are the key advantages for sellers?
When you offer free expedited shipping on Walmart, sellers get benefits in three main areas:
- Increased product visibility
- Buy Box prominence
- Fulfillment reach and efficiency
1. Increased product visibility
The Free TwoDay Shipping program improves search rankings and filter inclusion on your listings by applying the 2-day delivery tag to all participating products. This allows buyers to find your products easier and even filter on products that are only available for TwoDay Delivery. On average, products participating in this program can see a 75% increase in impressions and drive up to 1.5x more product views. Plain and simple, this means a lot more eyes on your products!
2. Buy Box prominence
Win the Buy Box and improve conversion rates. Both TwoDay and ThreeDay shipping options give you a better chance at winning the Buy Box on Walmart.com. Walmart’s report on items participating in Walmart TwoDay shows an average 36% boost in Buy Box wins. With Buy Box winners taking the lion’s share, that equates to a lot more dollars in your pocket.
3. Fulfillment reach & efficiency
Walmart gives the seller heightened control over what products and what regions you choose to display your expedited shipping offering. This is a big win for sellers. This means that if your distribution centers are only in select regions, you can build your 2-day shipping support around those regions without additional fulfillment needs. Not only that, but Walmart gives you tools within Seller Center that will calculate what regions you will be able to apply 2-day delivery tags to standard ground shipping at no extra cost. This is a noteworthy advantage for sellers trying to drive additional sales without investing more money to cover fulfillment costs, as the ability to offer free expedited shipping will help drive conversion significantly.
Free 2-day Delivery Program Delivers Big Results for Bare Necessities
CommerceHub partnered with Walmart-owned Bare Necessities® to test the application of free 2-day shipping on their entire assortment. As I’ve mentioned above, Walmart has seen significant sales growth the last three years, so it was no surprise that when Bare Necessities started out in 2019, they were seeing organic YoY growth hovering around +62% for the first two months of the year.
Bare Necessities then partnered with CommerceHub to activate Walmart’s TwoDay program towards the end of March 2019, and the results were astounding. Bare Necessities began to see triple digit YoY growth, starting with 485% YoY increase in April, followed by increases in subsequent months leading to a whopping 1,002% YoY growth when the test data set completed in July. Seasonality didn’t play a major factor, and assortment stayed relatively consistent. There appeared to be one major lever fueling this type of performance increase: Walmart’s free 2-day shipping program.
“It was remarkable how customers responded—our program growth was nothing short of phenomenal,” said VP of Marketing and CRM, Bill Elliott. “Working with Walmart and CommerceHub, setup couldn’t have been easier; we were up and running literally overnight.”
Ways that CommerceHub Can Support Your Success with Walmart Free 2-Day Delivery:
Product listing setup
CommerceHub leverages proprietary tools to get your listings live and optimized for maximum search relevancy.
Fulfilment lead time adjustments
CommerceHub applies and customizes your fulfillment lead time down to the product level. Walmart relies on product fulfillment lead times to better understand the products that are eligible for Walmart’s free 2-day shipping.
Configure fulfilment center settings
CommerceHub assists in the setup, configuration and ongoing management of your fulfillment center settings.
Program assortment inclusion
CommerceHub works with sellers to identify which products make sense for the program and assists in ongoing management of assortment changes.
Configure shipping coverage area
CommerceHub partners with sellers to help identify your Walmart TwoDay coverage area and assists in the configuration on your shipping coverage area within Walmart’s Seller Center.
Managed ad program
CommerceHub provides a team of paid search experts to fully manage your Walmart Sponsored Products so you get the benefit of increased sales and optimized performance without the worry of additional resource allocation and/or program know-how.
Bottom line: Walmart’s TwoDay program is proving to be an important catalyst to enhance 3P Walmart Marketplace performance.
The Walmart Marketplace integration through CommerceHub enables both retailers and brands on the CommerceHub platform to reach more customers through this growing channel. CommerceHub supports both Walmart 3P Marketplace and 1P Drop-ship along with several Walmart Marketplace seller programs: Free Value Shipping, Free 2- and 3-day shipping, Enhanced Returns (return to store) and Walmart Sponsored Products ads. Since launching this integration, we have enabled more than 1 million orders on Walmart Marketplace, and the combined GMV for CommerceHub partners selling on Walmart Marketplace increased by 18 percent in 2018. To learn more about how CommerceHub can help you thrive on Walmart Marketplace, connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.