#519 –  Product Ranking On Walmart, Shopping Experience Survey, and Q&A

Video of the episode at the bottom

Join us as we navigate the intricacies of ranking on Walmart and gauging customer sentiment on this platform with our special guest, Costin Vlaic, from AZRank. Listen in as Costin shares his unique e-commerce experience, shedding light on the importance of product ranking at Walmart.com and how it directly impacts sales. He also shares valuable tips on ranking, from using microworker platforms to leveraging your social circle to place orders.

Further, we explore the value of Walmart Plus and Amazon Prime as essential additions to households. We discuss an interesting survey that reveals a trend of consumers comparing prices and offers on both platforms, with groceries emerging as a hot favorite on Walmart. Get the inside scoop on the potential growth of the Walmart platform and strategies sellers can use to optimize their product range and pricing. Our chat with a successful Walmart seller is sure to provide you with unique insights, from testing and patience to avoiding common mistakes. Listen in as they share their future strategies for selling on Walmart. Tune in for a comprehensive discussion on all things Walmart!

In episode 519 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Carrie and Costin discuss:

  • 00:00 – Ranking on Walmart and Customer Sentiment
  • 04:57 – Developing and Ranking Products on Walmart
  • 09:01 – Insights From Walmart Shopping Experience Survey 
  • 10:08 – Walmart Plus and Amazon Prime Insights
  • 13:52 – Online Shopping Platforms 
  • 17:19 – Initiating Google Exposure Through Walmart 
  • 21:54 – Starting to Sell on Walmart Advice 

Transcript

Carrie Miller:

On today’s episode we have Costin Blake from AZ Rank and he’s going to be talking with us about how to rank on Walmart and customer sentiment about shopping on Walmart, as well as some of the most popular categories to sell on Walmart. So this and so much more.

Bradley Sutton:

Do you like to network with other Walmart sellers? Make sure to join our brand new Facebook group called Helium 10 Winning with Walmart. You can actually search for that on Facebook or you can actually go to h10.me/walmartgroup and you can directly go to that page. So make sure to join, you can tag me or Carrie for questions and ask questions of other Walmart sellers or even share your own experiences in that Facebook.

Carrie Miller:

Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers podcast by Helium 10. My name is Carrie Miller and I’m going to be your host, and this is our Walmart Wednesday, where we answer all of your questions about Walmart and we bring in guests that are experts in the Walmart field. So today I’m very, very excited to bring on Costin Vlaic, and he is from AZ Rank and so I’ve actually worked with him and, if many of you probably know his wife, Alina, I’ve worked with both of them for a lot of different projects, and so I’m very excited. They’ve been selling on Walmart for a while, and so I’m going to go ahead and bring Costin on Welcome.

Costin:

Oh hi Carrie.

Carrie Miller:

Thank you for coming on and talking with us about Walmart.

Costin:

It’s nice for me to be to be here. I’m pretty nervous about but I hope we can bring back. We can bring some very useful information for your audience.

Carrie Miller:

I think you’re going to do great. All right, so let’s go ahead and get into the question. So the first one I want to ask you is can you tell us a little bit about you know, your background and experience in the e-commerce space, just particularly with selling on Walmart?

Costin:

So my background I’m based in Romania, so that this is the reason why it’s 10 pm I’m speaking at. I’m trying to speak at 10 pm. I guess I was an early adopter of e-commerce in Romania and also an early adopter of Walmart marketplace. I liked the challenges. So this is why when they open, the marketplace is the marketplace. I applied immediately. Luckily for me, I didn’t have any issues to be approved, because right now there are still people that have issues with getting approved by Walmart. I don’t find any logic from Walmart to not approve big sellers on Amazon. But that’s, that’s life. So I like to play with the Walmart platform and I discovered things. I’m discovering things, new things every day.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, very cool, thank you, and so so I guess that kind of answers. My next question is like what would inspire you to sell products on Walmart? So I think it’s you had already answered that, but do you have any kind of insights? A lot of people are asking you know, should I sell on Walmart? They’re not really sure if it’s a good opportunity. So Do you have any insights or like success stories from your experience in selling on Walmart?

Costin:

So, first of all, because all the people are talking about brands and branding and building a brand, in my opinion, if you want to become a real brand, you need to be on more platforms or more sales channels, not just rely on Amazon, because I think most of the people that are trying to apply to Walmart are coming from Amazon. So my insight is I mean all the time. I advise especially my European friends that are selling on Amazon in Europe and they want to expand in US, because most of them have a big range of products. I encourage them to try Walmart first, not Amazon. Amazon in US it’s pretty difficult than Amazon Europe Just to get their feet wet with American customers. I always said that maybe they should think to start with Walmart in US.

Carrie Miller:

And so have you seen some success for many of those people selling. Do they get more familiar?

Costin:

Most of the people I refer to are people that are afraid, but I know some people that they’ve been to our company and they are successfully on Walmart. I really think that at some point this is actually one of my personal projects for next year is just to develop a range of products just for Walmart.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, that’s actually an interesting thought, because I have talked to Walmart and they said that the products that do the best are complimentary products to what’s already on the Walmart marketplace. So kind of creating products that are just for Walmart, for products that are just not even on there, I think is a really good idea. So I think that’s a great plan. The next question is, since you all have a company called AZ Rank and I’ve used you all for ranking on Amazon and Walmart and so you basically help people to rank in these different platforms, so how important is product ranking on Walmart and how does it impact the sales for sellers?

Costin:

We can talk about ranking in every platform. So in every platform you are, you just need to think about the ranking. So, particularly for Walmart, I just show you that just before today I did some tests and lately I mean especially for the niches that are not so big add to cards and even some clicks. Sometimes they are working and they are working fine. So you don’t just need to place orders, but at some point if you want to be on top of the page, you need also to place some orders. But just to start some add to cards and some clicks, even from your friends and family, because the TOS it’s not like in Amazon. You can do.

Carrie Miller:

Okay, that’s a really good tidbit there, so can you maybe give a little bit more insight about what you all do, what your strategy is for ranking products on Walmart? You don’t have to go into details, but how do you usually go about helping people ranking on Walmart?

Costin:

It’s depending on the niche. So basically we tried for some customers also the add to cards, which are pretty difficult to be made. But you can always use a micro workers platforms Even you can use even a mechanical Turk or I don’t know. I think there are also other platforms for micro tasks and with a few cents you might get some clicks or some add to cards and just to see evolution. And from time to time just ask your friends just to place from in the first week one order. And it always depends on the niche. But if the niche is not very crowded you can try that and you might be successful.

Carrie Miller:

What kind of keywords do you recommend focusing on when you’re trying to rank? Do you think that Long tail keywords are good, or what do you think about the types of keywords you focus on for Walmart?

Costin:

Well for Walmart. I don’t believe in long tails, I just believe in pretty broad keywords. I mean, of course they need to be specific to your products but not to be long tail keywords. You should try always the search bar recommended what Walmart is recommending in the search bar. I found them very useful and not focusing, like in Amazon, on a bunch of keywords. Just take two or three in the beginning, the most important ones, and focus on them in the beginning and if you are ranked well, you can develop this strategy with other keywords.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, and just for anyone who doesn’t know, that we actually do have two keyword research tools for Walmart. We have Magnet and Cerebro. So you can do a lot of really great keyword research for Walmart on those tools through Helium 10. Okay, so we talked a bit earlier and you mentioned that you conducted a survey with over 300 people about their shopping experiences on Walmart. So what were the main objectives of the survey and what kinds of things did you discover?

Costin:

First of all, I’d be very curious to apply the same survey next year and see the changes. Maybe we can share these results of the survey on the chat. So we always share our opinions about Walmart, but I think it’s better all the time to return to the people, the people in our community, and ask them what they think about Walmart. So I found it very nice that I mean very encouraging for the ones that are starting a business on Walmart Just to see that, for example, 50% of them have Walmart plus, even if they have Amazon Prime. So they consider a very good add-on to their household to have Walmart plus and Amazon Prime. So that’s a very interesting information. Also, I found out that a lot of people are checking both Amazon and Walmart for the prices and a lot of people are following the offers and the prices.

Costin:

We found out also that the main categories they are buying in Walmart are groceries. Most of the people said that groceries in Walmart it’s much better than Amazon Fresh Groceries. It’s a category that’s much better than Amazon Fresh. Other categories where people are shopping in Walmart are toys, electronics, things like that, but all those categories are in that survey. I wanted to make the people to write with their own words instead of just checking some boxes. And also I think the results are very interesting. So, for example, around 30% of the people said that they have some products that are buying only one Walmart, not in Amazon, things like that. I guess these are useful information for the ones that are trying to build a range of products in Walmart, because they have also a direction with some categories. And also, in my opinion, after seeing the results of this survey, I believe that this is a platform that will grow in the next future.

Carrie Miller:

I think that there’s a lot more exposure to Walmartcom, especially because they also have this advertising where you can basically do Google ads through the Walmart platform and your stuff will show up in Google shopping, so you can see a lot more exposure of your products there. When you’re searching for anything on Google, you’ll see Walmart pop up pretty quickly, so there’s a lot more exposure there. Also, I noticed for Walmart Plus, a lot of credit cards are giving free Walmart Plus access. So if you use the credit card to pay for Walmart Plus, then the credit card company reimburses you. Like American Express Platinum is one of them. There’s a few other cards that I’ve seen where they literally give you a free Walmart Plus membership. So Walmart’s doing a really good job of kind of giving people incentive to start shopping on Walmart too. So I think that’s very interesting that people are intending on getting Walmart Plus or they already have it. So very, very good insights.

Costin:

Yes, I’m not living in US, so I don’t know all those information, so I was just preparing to say that I mean, I don’t know if Walmart has a one year subscription like Amazon has. I think it would be a good way to attract people to their platform and also it’s very good for Walmart. I mean this is a plus Walmart has, that they can pick some goods in stores.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, definitely. Was there anything on that survey that you found that you weren’t expecting? That you thought was not something you thought people would say on the survey, or was everything kind of what you were thinking?

Costin:

I was very surprised that a lot of people that are buying usually on Amazon, are checking also the Walmart platform. So I mean I was really surprised.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, I think that’s pretty surprising too. I think it’s definitely growing, because I think probably a year or two ago it wasn’t the same. So that is very, very interesting.

Costin:

This is why I’m very curious what it will happen with this survey next year to see the trend.

Carrie Miller:

Is there any kind of strategy that you think, based on what the survey revealed, like, what kinds of things do you think sellers should focus on, based on what you found in that survey?

Costin:

We all knew that Amazon, that Walmart, likes pretty cheap products. So if they want to move their brand from Amazon to expand to Walmart, I think they should create a few products that are cheaper than in Amazon and just to sell on Walmart and also on the other platforms, but just not to have them in Amazon. I think this is number one. If they are starting right now an e-commerce business and the brand, they should focus on the category, the order, on specific categories. First of all, of course, they can see in the survey what people answered and also they can check where Walmart is not selling many products, because if they are selling products, it’s pretty difficult to rank there.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, I know there’s a lot of brands that do a different brand. That’s a cheaper brand, and I’ve noticed big brands in Walmart when I’ve actually gone into the store. I see Ralph Lauren, like Ralph Polo Lauren. I saw BCBG and a few other really bigger brands that I would have never thought would have been there and they’re basically the cheaper version of what they already sell. So it’s kind of I think that’s a really good strategy and I do know some other sellers who have maybe some products on Amazon, but they do the little cheaper version. They kind of rebranded a little bit for Walmart and they’ve done well that way. So that’s really good on that.

Costin:

Exactly. I mean, in this moment we have three or four products we are selling on only one, walmart. Two of them we used to sell on Amazon but the cost of advertising was very high, so we moved them to Walmart. We sell pretty decent quantities but actually we get some profit in Amazon. We just selling but no profit.

Carrie Miller:

That’s a challenge one. I did see a question in here that somebody asked. Jeremy asked how do you initiate the Google exposure through Walmart? So the way to do this is what you’re going to do is you’re going to go to your growth opportunities tab once you log into Walmart’s seller center and then it’s a tab that’s called SEM. So SEM is where you can create these Google campaigns. So it’s not through Connect, it’s actually on the Walmart seller center part. So growth opportunities and then SEM, so that’s where you find those. That’s a really good question, because it’s kind of some of these things are hidden and you kind of some days, oh, you go in there and you see some new things that pop up. So it’s kind of interesting that way.

Costin:

By the way, also in growth opportunity. You can see the performance of your products. Of course it’s not like very detailed like in Amazon, but, like I said before, just to follow a strategy for ranking, you can see if you really have exposure. You know clicks on your products. First of all, I think you need to start with some clicks for your product. You can do it with friends and family Doesn’t matter if they are doing that, if you have five friends that can do that every day for one week and see what it’s happening. So it’s not, I mean Walmart, it’s not. I find Walmart it’s not a data-driven platform like Amazon. So for the ones that are very data-driven, I think it’s pretty difficult to work on Walmart. But Walmart it’s more of a, let me say, instinct platform or you need to feel a little bit. You need to try.

Carrie Miller:

You got to kind of play around with things a little bit more, since it’s so new, you got to figure it out a little bit. Yeah, exactly, okay. Let’s move on to a different topic and I’m curious to know what you think the most common challenges that you faced as a Walmart seller or that you’ve seen other sellers have. So what are some of the challenges you think that are on Walmart?

Costin:

First of all, it’s opening the account. I mean, I guess you discussed that a lot of times here, so I don’t want to go into very big details. Maybe at some point you will have someone from Walmart to explain as the strategy, if there’s the approval strategy of the accounts, because it is really annoying. There are people that are selling millions of dollars in Amazon and on Shopify or on the other platforms they can open an account with Walmart. So I don’t understand why. So this is the first one. Second of all, I think the common mistake is copy-paste listing from Amazon. I think this is the biggest mistake everybody does Until now. I was about to say that the listing score is very important. I guess it still is because Walmart tries to take care of the catalog. But I did a test if I can rank a product just by optimizing the score in a very, very small niche. It happened.

Costin:

So right now I’m tempted to say that the listing score is not so important. So maybe you can sacrifice a little bit the score just to have a listing that it’s rolled for your customers and not for Walmart. The same is that in Amazon you should write listing for your customers, not for indexing. I guess this is the common mistake. The common mistake, and also the other mistake, is that sometimes people are panicking. In Walmart things are not happening very fast Like in Amazon, so you need to test a lot of things, you need to have patience. And also for the keywords if you really want to be index and rank for a keyword, you need to have it in the title.

Carrie Miller:

A lot of people. When I ask them why they think they’re not doing well, I ask them have they optimized their listing or have they focused on some keywords? They run ads and a lot of times people haven’t they just copy pasted. So I think that that’s probably a big challenge for people is they have to kind of focus on Walmart, like you said, and kind of test things out, because each category is different too. So when I have two different categories of one things that work in one category or not working as well for me in the other category, so it’s kind of an interesting thing.

Costin:

Yes, things are happening, happening differently in the different categories in in in Walmart.

Carrie Miller:

Another question is for any anybody starting to sell on Walmart or that wants to start on Walmart. What advice do you have to give them to start selling on Walmart?

Costin:

You can make really good money in Walmart by starting with a big assortment. You I mean you, you really don’t need for testing out some products, you just need to buy them from a wholesaler in US. Just put it on your list, it with your own brand, different, different UPC, and just you can just test it. With 20 pieces, I mean, you can start this kind of business in one week.

Carrie Miller:

Yeah, you can start. A lot of people do actually also wholesale that I’ve talked to you where they actually use the brand but they bundle it so like they’ll bundle a bunch of different things together that they see people already buying together on Amazon and other places, so they’ll just bundle those and they create their own UPC for that bundle and then there’s no competition for it because other people have that bundle.

Costin:

Right now Walmart, it’s really allowing you to play with different brands. It’s not like the same policy with Amazon, so you can play with those those brands. Yeah, if you want, or even if you are thinking to to have a private label brand, you just buy from a liquidator or from an out-sailor, just to bundling, just buy some product from anywhere else and just test it. Even if you are losing a few dollars, it’s very important to test.

Carrie Miller:

You can also test, you know, with AliExpress too, because you can, you know, get things in shipped and do smaller quantities. So AliExpress is a good place too. What do you, what do you think is the future of selling on Walmart, and how are you kind of planning on changing your strategies for what? What do you see as the future like? What does 2024 look like, you think, for Walmart?

Costin:

Well, I think Walmart is is still flexible and you can test a lot of things, but unfortunately I see a trend that they will become like Amazon, I guess because they have a lot of employees that leave, leave, left Amazon and went to Walmart and actually I thinking they are doing the same mistakes like Amazon. I was expecting for them to listen a little bit more. The sellers, of course, every company is focused on their customers, but guess what? Also, the sellers are focused on the customers, so they at some point I think I think this will make a big difference, just to to to listen some sellers and some some needs. So the strategy for 2024, it’s also from my side and from my point of view it’s just testing a lot of things. A lot of things will change. Maybe the rules will be different in two months in Walmart platform, then they are. Now it is possible Because you you can see also a trend that they are changing a lot of things, but I guess, for next year at least, it’s still a platform where you can test a lot. All right.

Carrie Miller:

Well, I think that’s pretty much. We’re coming to an end here. So thank you to everyone who joined live and thank you so much, Costin, for sharing all this information with us. You you have a lot of really good, valuable tidbits on ranking for Walmart and just strategies for Walmart. So thank you so much for for joining and and answering those questions and and talking with us about those strategies. So thanks again and we’ll see everyone again, I guess in the new year in 2024, for Walmart Wednesday in January. Bye, everyone, thank you very much.

Costin:

Thank you very much for having me. Bye.


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Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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