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#282 – Walmart Talk: $6 Million in Sales & Tons of Opportunity

Success on Amazon is great, but it won’t always be enough. In this episode of the SSP, we speak to Michael Lebhar about big opportunities in the Walmart marketplace.

Walmart, Target, Groupon… which of the non-Amazon e-commerce platforms will be the next big thing? Bradley sits down with Michael Lebhar, a seller who has made millions on the Walmart marketplace to discuss exactly what Amazon sellers need to know in order to succeed once they expand.

In episode 282 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Michael discuss:

  • 02:30 – How’s Target Been Treating Michael? 
  • 04:40 – Who Is Qualified To Start Selling On Target?
  • 08:05 – Challenges With Selling On Groupon
  • 11:50 – $6,000,000 In Projected Sales?
  • 12:50 – Walmart Sales Are Catching Up With Amazon Sales
  • 14:30 – Types Of Products That Walmart Shoppers Go For
  • 16:40 – Michael’s Technique For Finding Products To Sell On Walmart 
  • 19:30 – Using Search-Find-Buy & Other Launch Tactics For Walmart Listings
  • 23:20 – An Overview of The WFS Program
  • 25:50- Prime Badge vs. Walmart+
  • 27:30 – Application Process For Selling On Walmart
  • 30:00 – Why Are People Getting Denied For WFS?
  • 37:00 – Using The New Helium 10 Tools For Walmart
  • 39:50 – Michael’s Walmart Agency
  • 43:00 – How To Contact Michael

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today, we got another episode of Walmart talk where we get to talk to somebody who has sold millions of dollars on the platform. But he’s also going to talk about selling on lesser-known platforms like Target and Zulily. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Hey guys, you know, we’ve had a few guests here on the podcast that worked for Thrasio. Now, what’s Thrasio is, they’re a company that acquirees leading FBA brands from small business owners, just like you, they’ve got the experience of acquiring over 125 Amazon businesses. So they’ve seen it all when it comes to managing and growing an Amazon brand. So if you are thinking about selling your FBA business, visit thrasio.com/helium10 to connect with the Thrasio’s deal team. That’s thrasio.com/helium10. For more information on if your brand is a good fit for Thrasio.

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS-free, unscripted, and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the Amazon or Walmart world. And today we’ve got our second ever episode of what we call here Walmart Talk that we do every few weeks or so. The first one was Carrie a while back when we first announced our tools. And we’re inviting back to the show somebody who’s been on here twice already, Michael. Michael, how’s it going?

Michael:

Hey, Bradley. How you doing? Thanks for having me.

Bradley Sutton:

All right now, Michael, you know, you’ve had a great story. I remember meeting you when you were still like 19 years old and you know, we couldn’t take you to the clubs at our social events and stuff cause you didn’t have a, you know, ID that said you were 21 and now you’re like a big baller. You were a big baller back then too. And I remember you were talking about your brother who was like, oh yeah, my brother, like 16 years old and he’s just getting there, but now your brother’s a big baller too, in the e-commerce world. So it was really cool to have seen your growth over the last three, four years.

Michael:

Yeah, it’s been fun.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Now, we’re going to talk a lot about Walmart, of course, but I want to just catch up on your other endeavors first because obviously, you’re not just a Walmart seller, you know, you started on eBay and then, you know, Amazon has been your main thing for a while, but let you know, just catch me up. You know, the last time we talked, you know, you were, you were getting launched on Target and Groupon. So let me just talk about those, because that is something other than you, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anybody else on the show about those. So let’s start with Target. Like what’s been, how’s Target been for you the last year.

Michael:

So, Target, we have one account that we’ve been selling pretty decently on Target, but our main account that we’ve been working with Target we’re actually– For that main account, we’re still in the onboarding phases of Target. There’s been like a lot of work to get everything set up properly on Target. And I’m pretty confident once everything’s set up really well for our main account, it’s going to be pretty big channel. But for our other account, we’re doing pretty well on Target. It’s really interesting because Target is really, you don’t have to do a lot of like ranking work and things like that. So it’s a lot about just getting your listing set up really well and working with your, like, having good relationships with your, you know, your buyer and just account managers there too, you know, give your products visibility.

Michael:

So it’s much more of like, you know, personal relationship kind of process. So it’s like get, make your listings really good, which is always easier for Amazon sellers cause we already have good content for our listings. So it’s like, you know, get those posted really well. And then just, you know, work with your buyers, work with the account managers to just, you know, get visibility to our products, you know, so, you know, whether it’s different promotions they’ll put us in or emails or things like that. So it’s playing, it’s a little bit of a different game, but you know, that’s how a lot of these, you know, marketplaces work. So knowing how to just, you know handle that side of things has been interesting because Amazon, you don’t really need to do any of that. So that’s been interesting for Target.

Bradley Sutton:

So you said, one account is still an onboarding, but you’ve been selling on another account?

Michael:

Yeah. So we have a smaller account, one of our smaller brands that we sell on Target. So that we’ve had for already, I think it’s been over two years. So that’s been good.

Bradley Sutton:

How do you fulfill orders on that platform?

Michael:

So, we’re a dropship vendor, so we fulfill out of our own warehouse. And when orders come in we’ll fulfill them out of our own warehouse.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. So, you know, knowing what you know about, about Amazon and Walmart world and the average Amazon seller out there, who would you suggest to say, “Hey, go apply and get started on Target”. Like, is it about the niche you’re in? Is it about you need to probably be at this level of sales or what, who out there of our listeners, would you say, “All right, guys, go ahead and apply this on Target”. I’m assuming it’s not everybody.

Michael:

Yeah. So I would say if you have a really strong brand presence and like a very strong brand presence, strong, like a really good looking brand a good presence online you know, whether that’s, you know, Amazon a good website, good social. I would apply there. The buyers aren’t going– you know, Target in general is, you know, favors brands a lot and they’re much more like that. But if you have a good brand they’re much more likely to accept you and, you know, it’s interesting because similarly how Walmart works. Like if you do well on Target.com, which is a growing marketplace, like in the past year, the size of they grew ridiculous, but if you do well on Target.com the buyers will approach you to, you know, potentially be considered for their retail. And one of my friends has a beauty brand that they launched on Target.com. It did well. And they’re launching in Target nationwide. So it’s kind of an interesting thing that, you know, a lot. Yeah. That’s an interesting one.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Interesting. All right. So what’s the application process like, you know, do they, is it pretty easy to find on their website?

Michael:

Yeah. If you Google it like there’s a form. What I like doing is like, you’re not going to really get too far with the form usually. So, what I like doing is look for contacts of the buyer in, in your category. And you know, whether it’s on LinkedIn or, you know, different people that might know them or whatever that is and try to reach out to them as well. You know, you can put the application through, but once you put the application through, try to get in contact with the buyer or, you know, somebody in that category and you know, there, you know, it’s easier than you think to get access to them and kind of speak to them if you do it right. So yeah, there’s obviously different events and like trade shows and things like that. Like online trade shows that you know, could help you know, from marketplaces, like Target, but you know, some people are getting accepted through their online portal.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. And then like, is this a brand that you’re selling on Walmart and Amazon as well?

Michael:

Yeah, but it’s mainly retail.

Bradley Sutton:

What do you mean mainly retail?

Michael:

It’s mainly– it doesn’t mean– it’s mainly in stores.

Bradley Sutton:

Wait a minute. You got the product in stores in Target.

Michael:

Not in stores in Target. Mainly in stores in like other stores.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, it’s not because the reason I was asking is. I was just wondering like if you know, what’s the ratio like are, Hey, I sell 10 units a day on Amazon, 3 units on Walmart, and 1 unit on Target or something like if you have any idea of

Michael:

I would say if like it’s really hard to compare that because it all depends, like where you ranked on Amazon for like, you know, because you could have products. I ranked them like page three on Amazon, but like page, top page one for Walmart and Target. So like the way I would like to say it is like, if you’re doing I guess a hundred a day on Amazon. You know, 10 a day on Walmart, probably like 1-2 a day on Target.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right. What about Groupon? How’s that been going for the last year? Did you offer that platform or still doing it?

Michael:

We’re still doing it. It’s terrible. I mean, in like, not just like a sales way, it’s just very hard to work with. They closed down their merchant platform. Right. So they, like, they used to have like, you know, they were doing goods, you know, Groupon goods and then they closed it down right before COVID cause they we’re just gonna focus on services, but then obviously that didn’t work out really well with COVID so they relaunched it. It’s a little bit annoying because you know, everything kind of has to work through buyers. Sometimes you’ll just if you get in the right promotion and the right visibility, you’ll sell a ton, you know, in like 24 hours. But then sometimes it was just going to move a lot. So like I know one of our products, like we a couple of months ago, like we were moving like 30, 40 units a day there.

Michael:

And then like now I think it moves like two units a day, you know? So it’s like, but then like it’ll have one week where they’ll put in a promotion and it’ll move a few hundred units. So it’s diff it’s interesting. It’s not as much worth the hassle. I like, you know, platforms where you could just set up your listings properly set up your, your catalog there properly, have a good presence and you know you know, do little things here and there to help it grow. But you know, it has a presence of its own and it really sells on its own with Groupon. It’s just a little more difficult for that.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Any other new platforms for you? I remember last time we talked, you were wanting to start bigger on Amazon Canada. Did that ever go down or

Michael:

We do an Amazon Canada. But something interesting that we’ve done recently as Zulily. And it was actually, it’s interesting the way it works is, and I like it because, you know, they operate, you know, a little more like, I guess you would say a retailer, so they place PO’s. And it’s like, you know, they pay, I don’t know. I think it’s like net 45 or whatever it is, but it was very simple to do. Like you don’t need EDI set up for them. You don’t need a lot of just, you know, a lot of the things that when you work with a more, a traditional retailer you need them, it was pretty simple to do and like to have a very easy and simple interface to use. And like it just, the process was really simple and easy and it, I don’t remember all the numbers, but the way it works is you basically, you know, pitch them a product if they like it, you know, they’ll put a part of a deal.

Michael:

And then, you know, I think the deals, they have different deal lanes, but like, I think our deal was like seven days. You put them out of quantity, you’re allocating for it. And you know, they have a set that we agree on. You agree on a set price that you’re going to sell it to them too. And then what, you know, they’re going to sell it, whatever. And then what they’re going to sell it at. They usually want to think like 30% lower than where you would usually do wholesale, but you could just compare it to any product, you know, a more expensive listing you have or whatever. And yeah, it’s really good for you. You acquire a lot of like high quality customers. It’s like a very targeted audience. It’s much bigger than I thought.

Michael:

I don’t remember what the amount was, but I know whatever we allocated, we sold out. But also that is like, you know, by just having a deal live there, you could sell, but by, you know, communicating with your buyer and the account managers there, like you could get them to put it in different emails and different, you know, more marketing behind the campaign and you could do a ton of volume. So I’ve had friends that, you know, sold like 100K in like 24 hours on, you know, some of their products there. So it really depends on what products you have and you know, how much marketing they’re putting behind your product, but it’s a lot of like, if you, you know, you have great communication with them and you promote that well, so that’s something we’re going to be doing more out, but we did it, I think a few months ago and it worked really well.

Bradley Sutton:

Interesting. All right. Now, just in general for your Amazon business, I mean, you’ve been seven figures, you know, for years, but what would you say across just your Amazon? I’m not sure if you just look at that channel by itself, but what would you project your 2021 sales going to end up being?

Michael:

It’s a little complicated, cause there’s just a few different accounts and stuff like that. I would say like for Amazon, I think we’re probably, you know, we had one account that did really well this year, so we’re probably looking at like closest $6,000,000 for Amazon. Yep.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Excellent. All right now let’s get to, what we came here to talk about, which is Walmart. So first of all, what about Walmart sales across all your different platforms? You have, you have an estimated, a target for 2021 of what you think you’re going to hit?

Michael:

Yeah. so I would, across our accounts on Walmart, I would say we’ll probably hit, if the holiday season goes well, we’ll probably hit like $4,000,000 on Walmart.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow! So it’s catching up to Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

Cause you’ve got a lot of Walmart only SKUs.

Michael:

Yeah. We have a lot of Walmart only SKUs.

Bradley Sutton:

Let’s talk about that for a little bit.

Michael:

Yup.

Bradley Sutton:

Did you say four wait, you said four million, right?

Michael:

Yep.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So that’s some. What we talk– What we just said, Walmart only SKUs that might be a concept foreign to a lot of people like, wait a minute. I thought we should only, you know, just take our Amazon SKUs and sell, saw Walmart, which guys? Yeah, you absolutely should. You know, if you’re selling on Amazon, you’ve got the product already, you know, you got your own warehouse or something here. Absolutely. It just, just make the listings there. But, what inspired you, to say, you know what, I got this idea, and instead of starting on Amazon, like everybody else on this SKU, I’m just going to go directly to Walmart. Like, how did you have that idea that I don’t think many people think about?

Michael:

So the way I look at it is, once I decided to really take Walmart seriously, it was a lot, I tried to do this, everything in business. It was a lot more about like really understanding if on a much deeper level and coming up with like my own, you know, approach to, so to say how I treat Walmart, like, there’s so many things you could focus on so many different ways to do it, same with Amazon, but, you know, I want it to just develop an approach for how we approach it and you know, what we’re going to focus on. And you know, what our goals with Walmart, you know, as I dove more deep into it, what I’ve started to notice was the type of products that you know, who the Walmart customers, who the Walmart shopper is where is the Walmart platform going, how it’s evolving and you know, where the opportunity lies on Walmart.

Michael:

And, you know, when I started noticing a lot is, you know, a lot of Walmart shoppers are, you know, they’re buying very specific products. They know they do less browsing than Amazon shoppers. They know exactly what kind of, what they want. It’s usually they’ll come to Walmart for very simple, straightforward products general products that they purchase a lot of times in stores. So what we’ll do a lot of time, what we noticed is Walmart shoppers, they’re very simple, like what the products they want to purchase. They’re purchasing very general products and on Amazon the way just Amazon shoppers shop and the way Amazon sellers just successful a lot of times is, you know, there’s a lot of pretty like niche products on Amazon that do really well because there’s so much volume on Amazon. A lot of times Amazon sellers are able to do well with these very specific products and a lot of times for very general products, it’s very difficult for Amazon sellers to do well because you know, you’re going for a kitchen knife, you’re going to try selling a kitchen knife on Amazon. You’re competing with so many sellers have been there for so long. It puts you at a big disadvantage. On Walmart, not only the proportional amount, it’s two things and one of the proportional amount of traffic for those keywords is so much larger than long-tail keywords and specific things. Because shoppers just don’t come to Walmart for very specific items and they don’t unique items, I would say. And the, when the come to Walmart, they don’t, they’re not accustomed to like searching very particularly for what they, what they need, because there isn’t such a larger arrangement of products like on Amazon. So, you know, are sheets of shirts more generally.

Michael:

So we’ll find is a lot of times as though general products just do really well on Walmart and as Amazon sellers, it’s very hard to launch those general products because it’s going to cost you so much. It’s really hard to differentiate. You need to differentiate. Otherwise, you’re just, it’s going to be too hard to be successful. But on Walmart, those work really well, but on Amazon, these really unique products that do really well on Amazon or these more niche products, they just, they don’t have enough volume on Walmart. So unless we sort of started realizing that we realized that, you know, we obviously could be successful with, you know, the regular products we have on Amazon. You might as well put those on Walmart, but there’s a lot of opportunity with these other products that are more general.

Bradley Sutton:

So walk me through a process that you’ve used or plan to use as far as how to find some of these that you’re, that you’re mentioning, like, Hey, we want to launch a new Walmart product. All right. Here’s how we’re going to find where this opportunity is.

Michael:

So what would like to do a lot of times is, well, number one, we have like buckets of the types of products we sell. So first of all, we like to find products within certain buckets of products that we sell, because it allows for cross selling and upselling opportunities. So that’s the first thing. But when we actually start to research, what we’ll do is we’ll go to bestseller lists on Walmart and we’ll go to bestseller lists on Amazon, and we’ll look through those bestseller lists and try to find which products are coming up a lot in the best seller list. So a lot of times, like, you know, in home and kitchen, like let’s say there’s, you know, a bunch of different knives coming up in the best seller list, then, you know, not saying we’re going to launch exactly one of those knives, but we’ll know that we want to launch a knife. On Walmart, we’ll pay less attention to which exact type of product is the best seller, because it just, there isn’t as much you know, the reason why other products might be the best sellers, just not on Walmart. So that’s why it’s not about sell. But if we see, for example, again, nice are best sellers, then, you know, there’ll be an indication for us. And we’ll try to find the knife that, you know, is the most generic that will, you know, will be able to convert for the very general keywords.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Interesting. Interesting. So give us some examples of some of your top sellers, you know, not mentioning you on it, you don’t have to mention your product, but Hey, we launched this product back in March and now it’s doing 20 units a day.

Michael:

Yeah. So I have a couple examples. So, for example, and this is something we would never be able to launch on Amazon. But we have a garden hose like nozzle, top. I don’t know what, even what it’s called exactly, but one of those, you know host tops and we launched obviously though it’s extremely large product and competitive product. It would be really hard to launch on Amazon. I don’t know what, but probably like the top sellers and Amazon had like 30,000 reviews on Walmart, we launched it probably like, you know, I don’t know, five, six months ago already from within, you know, we launched it from starting from probably like three weeks after launch two and a half weeks after launch. We started doing like 60 units a day on Walmart with it. And we’ve been sincerely ranged between, it depends, you know, now you know, during the peak summer was higher, but between like 40 to 80 units a day is where we arranged for daily with that product.

Michael:

And now, you know, it’s not as much peak season, but it’ll still do like 40 units a day. I think, you know, this week has been done on average, like 45 minutes a day or something like that. So yeah, that’s been an interesting product and, you know, it’s so interesting that you basically, it’s just about getting your listings done well and set up properly a little bit of very simple launch mechanisms. And you know, you really capture you get the top ranking and you really could capture those sales and maintain the rank. So.

Bradley Sutton:

You’re doing some search find buy? Or?

Michael:

For that product we didn’t do search find buy. We just made a really good listing. We did PPC for a couple of weeks and we ranked, but we’ve done search find buys for other products on Walmart search find, buy on Walmart is very interesting because the way the Walmart algorithm works is I don’t want to get fully into the way the Walmart algorithm works because it’s a full discussion, but once you’re from page four, so from spot 1-26, I’m sorry, 1-28 and until spot one. It’s based on, on conversion rate almost majority based on conversion rate where you’re ranked within there. So by new listings, you know, it’s pretty easy, I guess you could say to manipulate the conversion rate or not even manipulating it, just to have a really high conversion rate by, you know, these Targeted on sales that you’re driving, whether it’s, you know, Targeted traffic through email or you’re doing search find buy, or whatever it is. But odd times for these new listings, we’ll start, we’ll send very Targeted traffic. So our conversion rates really high for the first couple of weeks. It’ll rank really high and then

Bradley Sutton:

Conversion rate for what though? That keyword just the product is. Okay. So then 2-step URLs would still working on like how we’ve got those or is it all search find buy?

Michael:

Yeah, so like we, I did a lot of tests with this and had a lot of discussions about it. It comes out, we think based on our tests that search find buy, do work better, but the links 2-step links the work well enough. Well, we like to do for the link is basically choose right the keyword and then just filter on the side. There’s a filter by brand and just filter by brand and then use that link. Cause when you filter by brand, then only your products under that keyword are going to show up. And that link has been working really well for us. So we do, we’ve been doing that.

Bradley Sutton:

I think that’s part of our Gems.

Michael:

I think we use the gems link.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, by the way, guys, we’re talking about helium10.com/gems which is free for everybody. Where you can enter in a brand or store or seller and then, and then do a two-step URL. Okay. Let’s see. All right. So let’s talk a little bit about these either the Walmart only brands or the ones you saw on Amazon and Walmart, I’m assuming for your Amazon products, you’re printing the FNSKU actually on the box and on your packaging, right?

Michael:

Yeah. So for our Amazon products, we’re using UPCs is mainly.

Bradley Sutton:

UPC.

Michael:

We don’t have to. Yeah. So

Bradley Sutton:

That means it’s co-mingled inventory?

Michael:

Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So then, okay. Then that answers my question because I was just, I was like, wait a minute, like if you’re doing FNSKUs on it, like, what are you doing for when you send this to WFS? So WFS by the way, guys is kind of like the FBA of Walmart. So if you just have UPCs on all your packaging, it’s the literal same exact package you can send to Walmart or to Amazon.

Michael:

Yup. And it makes it so much more, you know, we have a lot of SKUs. So just in terms of streamlining operations keeping that same UPC and then you know, managing like that, it just makes it much easier.

Bradley Sutton:

So then, let’s talk about a more typical Amazon seller like me who doesn’t. I mean, of course, we all have UPCs you know, in the backend of our Amazon listings, but most of us print the FNSKU onto our packaging. What would I need to do to send that to WFS do I have to cover up the FNSKU with another sticker of the UPC?

Michael:

That’s what I would say is the easiest thing to do because you need to send it in with the UPC. So I would just cover up the FNSKU label with the UPC with a UPC sticker. They might have their own like also labeling options that are not UPC. We don’t deal with anything as such now UPC, just because it makes things much more complicated. But I think the easiest thing to do is just UPC label over the FNSKU. I know we have one account that we use FNSKUs and I’m 99% sure. That’s what we do.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, now walk us through a little bit WFS because you know a year or two ago, like almost nobody was in this program, but now it seems like Walmart has opened it up and it’s getting like, is it two day delivery across the board? Are you sending to different locations? Is it all to one location? What’s the, you know, how does it compare to FBA? I mean, think about what, what our typical Amazon seller out there might be wondering. Who’s never dealt with WFS.

Michael:

Awesome. So I love this topic because I love WFS. So, when WFS launched, we were the first batch of sellers approved to the WFS program. I don’t remember if maybe it was like a hundred sellers. I don’t remember exactly how many sellers, when the first batch of sellers for WFS. So kind of, I’ve seen like, sort of see the evolution of the program. I guess some basic things to know about WFS is right now, there’s a good advantage of using WFS. And, you know, you don’t need WFS to succeed on Walmart. That being said, it has so much of an impact on your performance and just your competitive advantage on Walmart. And it’s becoming more and more of a necessity. I always be like, you know, as soon you’re going to have to be WFS in order to, you know, to be competitive. So why not do it now, when you get a little bit of an advantage and a little competitive edge out of doing WFS. So that’s my approach on WFS. The way it works is, you know, very similarly to how, you know, Amazon FBA works. They have a contract with FedEx that, you know, they updated a few months ago that the pricing is really cheap. Like for some of our shipments into WFS it’s cheaper than the Amazon, you know, UPS rates that you get. So that’s pretty cool.

Bradley Sutton:

So instead of you having to cover the shipping, it’s like Amazon, where they give you a partnered shipping cost.

Michael:

Exactly. Yeah. And the pricing is really good. It’s through FedEx and it’s really good pricing.

Bradley Sutton:

Can you send directly from your factory in China or something to WFS? Or do you have to send it to a local facility first and make it a domestic shipment?

Michael:

We send them directly from our factories as well to WFS and, you know, it’s been working pretty well. They, you know, you have to just make sure you give your factory all the guidelines of how they want their stuff, you know, prepared. But yeah, we’ve been doing that. We started doing that. We didn’t do that right away because we wanted to make sure it, you know, everything was streamlined, but a few months ago we started sending directly from our factories and it’s obviously been saving money and time.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. What about on the retail side of things? Like how customers view, you know, how on Amazon, there’s like a Prime badge and then they say two day delivery and stuff. Like, how does it look to a buyer on Walmart when somebody has you know, WFS.

Michael:

So when you look on Walmart you’ll see, there’s like this Walmart+ logo it’s called, it’s called Walmart+ on the customer’s side and you’ll see, it’s like, it’s like a Walmart logo with, it’s kind of like a version of the Walmart logo you know, under the price or like on like in that price area. And so a few things about it is that because kind of resume mentioned before, like your ranking is mainly determined by conversion rate on from spot 128 until on spot 1. One fact it’s a little off topic. One thing I want to mention about that is a lot of times you’ll notice products in the first 10 spots that like maybe, you know, shouldn’t be there or are not, you don’t think are as you know, make sense that they sell as much.

Michael:

I’m there, that’s why they’re on, on the top spots. A lot of the reason why they’re there, is there something called pinned spots? So the first, it depends which keyword, but like, I think it’s approximately like 10 slots for different keywords is products chosen by the Walmart buyer. And the Walmart buyer will go and be like, I want these 10 products to show in the, you know, I want this product to show spot one. I want this part to show spot two and it’s called pinned items and it’ll be there for 14 days. That’s just a little tidbit.

Bradley Sutton:

Interesting. Okay. So if something has intrigued you know, current or potential Walmart sellers walk, you know, really quickly through the process of applying, like, can anybody apply, should they hit a certain level before they apply? How fast does it take to get approved? What’s the approval rate? Things like that.

Michael:

Yeah. So the way Walmart works is they have a pretty simple application. It used to be more complicated. They wanted, like, I know it was like 400,000 revenue and whatever. But now it’s more simple. They want to make sure you’re like a legitimate brand or a legitimate company with a presence. So they’re going to ask you for links to like your Amazon or your website. You want to send them links where, you know, it shows you have a good presence. They like largest source of products. So if you have like a website with a large source of products I suggest you put that on there. They, you know, it goes through something called their trust and safety team where they just make sure you’re legit. A lot of times what they’ve been doing is conditional approval. So you basically get approved right away.

Michael:

And then it’ll go, it’s a conditional approval. And then I’ll go through like another vetting. So to say process and either you’ll get it like approved or then denied. And you know a lot of times right now, they’re just the accounts that I’ve done while they’ve been accepting accounts. If you do get denied, which happens all the time, you can just appeal explain to them like what I was like doing. And I explained to them, you know why that you’re taking you have a really strong catalog and you’re investing a lot in growing your catalog and, you know, like saying that we’re planning on putting behind, you know, ad dollars and things like that. And you know, we’d gotten denied for a couple of accounts appealed and then got approved. I wouldn’t get too concerned about it if you get denied, you got to appeal again. If it gets denied, still appeal again they’re gonna, you know, loosen it up more. But right now it’s technically pretty strict, but I know most, most people haven’t been getting it, having too many issues, as long as they have a presence.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. You just mentioned like approval and denial. We’re talking about, you know, WFS, but I think approval and denial is one of the main topics of people applying just to sell on Walmart.

Michael:

So I was talking about selling on Walmart, sorry. I’m about to tell

Bradley Sutton:

So you were talking about selling on Walmart. I though you were talking about WFS. All right. Let’s expound further on that then. So the typical, I heard, correct me if I’m wrong, but like, one of the reasons why people are not hearing back is like, maybe they didn’t realize they had applied like a couple of years ago or something. And now this is like a duplicate. And then, so that’s what ties it up or what are you seeing as one of the main reasons why people are either getting denied or not hearing back from Walmart.

Michael:

The main reason why people are getting denied is because of their presence, how their presence looks like on Amazon or whatever, you know, platform, whatever other platform they link there. So that’s the main reason why people are getting denied. You just want your company to look like a legit company. They don’t want to work with like what random seller accounts, you know, they don’t want to have these issues that Amazon is having where like, you know, different companies have like 15 different seller accounts and things like that. So they want to just, you know, make sure it’s legit clean businesses. So if your business looks good, just make sure it’s pretty clear like that on the outward, on the application and you usually will be fine. But yes, if you did get denied before, you want to log in to that account and open up a case and appeal under that account that got denied and you could still log in, you know, all the times you have a lot. They’ll send you an email with a login, even if you get denied. And then you could open up a case under there to to basically, you know, to appeal the decision.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Excellent. Now, you know, in the past, in all of our other episodes, or first of all, speaking of other episodes, I’m still on your case because you were supposed to be the ultimate culmination from the very first episode I had you on where it just so happened. That’s another Amazon seller who had the same exact birthday as you. You were supposed to get married to her so that we can just like have the most epic you know, podcast and whenever, but I take it you’re not married yet.

Michael:

You never know though, right? There’s still time.

Bradley Sutton:

There’s still time. Anyways, we still have time for that one. Guys, go check back to Michael’s first episode on our podcasts to see what that’s about, but we have the dating connection here too, on the podcasts. Anyways, like I was saying, you know, you are a podcast veteran here, so you know how we do our TST 30-second tip, but instead of just doing one little thing, instead of keeping it to 30 seconds, I thought we’d take like the last 5, 10 minutes here and just do some, you know, whatever you think is a great tip for Walmart, it could be about PPC. It could be about you know, listing optimization. It could be about customer service. It could be about whatever. You know, you’re not tied to 30 seconds, but I don’t want to take the whole 10 minutes for just one tip. So, if you can get like three or four good ones in here and let’s rock and roll.

Michael:

Awesome. Let’s do it. So just some tips for Walmart. I think you should, number one take a lot of– understand something about the Walmart platform, which is the customers are used to buying from national brands from brands they know already and trust. They’re not as accustomed to buying from private label brands, keeping that in mind. You want to, when you’re crafting your listings and something that we do is try to, you know, you’re lacking some trust that they usually have. So try to there’s ways to build that trust with the customer on Walmart. And the ways you could do that is we like to use rich media, which is basically enhanced brand content to you know, to tell the brand story more and to build some brand trust, add in some social proof there. So that’s something we do just in general at building consumer trust with. Consumer trust on your listings is really important.

Michael:

So small thing ways we do that is we’ll add in like a small scroll of UGC images you know, like Instagram style images of people using our product into the you know, the A-plus content area. We’ll also do is there’s FAQ section you could use on Walmart. What we’ll do is we’ll have, like people ask questions, we’ll have like the commonly asked questions and a response you could add in video responses, we’ll have like an influencer or, you know, a customer at answer the answer, the question like a short video style. It helps both consumer trust. So that’s a little thing about trust. Some other things that just for Walmart I think is really important is right now it’s much easier to take up real estate on Walmart than it is on other platforms. And it doesn’t really cost.

Michael:

You know, there’s a little bit of advertising spend here and there, but it doesn’t really cost to take up space on Walmart. So what I would say is something that’s just you could really do and we’ve been doing is bundling. You know, bundling is basically an opportunity to make more listings and have more visibility for a big product. So, a lot of times you don’t want a bundle where you know, the price point is higher, so you can’t compete at the main keywords, but we’ll do a lot of times is we’ll bundle an add in products into a bundle that, you know, keeps the pro the product based, get the same price point. So for, you know resistance bands, we’ll make a resistance bands with a jump rope. The price might be the same price almost or like 50 cents or a dollar more.

Michael:

Our cost is basically a dollar more but it gives us another spot on page one to take up. So we’ll do a lot of different things with bundling, which is a great opportunity to just take a more space. What you’ll notice is on Walmart, there’s a lot of like customers reviewed also viewed customers who purchase also purchased. So the more listings you really have in the category, you’ll just, you know, you’ll product create more visibility, which also helps with trust customers, see your brand more, or they see, or, you know, they recognize you, they start recognizing your brand and Walmart. So that’s obviously you know, something that we like doing.

Michael:

Advertising, I think there’s a lot of tips with advertising, but, you know, you want it, the platform is constantly evolving. It just, bids are so cheap right now. You’re not really bidding against people. So like take advantage of just learning the platform now and being able to just, you know, gain that rank while it’s just so cheap.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, any others for us?

Michael:

Okay. So yeah, another thing we could do is that I like doing for Walmart is understanding that there’s also a human element to Walmart. There is buyers and merchants behind each category in Walmart. So you know, if you have a product that’s doing well, try to reach out to your merchant, you know, you can find them on LinkedIn or whatever that is, communicate with them. You might be able to get your product in like featured deals or you know part of, you know, maybe their retail program or whatever that might be, but definitely getting it on their radar. It’ll be more, there’ll be, you know, likely to pin it, or once you start working with them, maybe they’ll pin other products of yours. So you know, don’t forget about that element, you know, as Amazon sellers, we’re not really used to that as much.

Michael:

But Walmart does, has that component to it. And there’s, it used to be Walmart at two buying teams like a retail buying team, and then an e-commerce buying team. Now, you know, as of last year, it’s been more than a year, they dissolve that and it’s just one team. So their merchants in charge of.com are also in charge of retail. So you know, it’s good to build relationship with them and be able to do that. So that’s another thing that I think is important and people aren’t paying attention to as much.

Bradley Sutton:

How about, you know, obviously it’s still in the beta phase and it’s just, you know, new, and you’ve helped us out a lot with, with developing some of these, these new tools, but, but has your team started using any of the new Helium 10 tools for Walmart and what parts of it do you think people might be overlooking? Like the one like the thing that comes to my mind is an Xray, you know, looking at the gift like how many gift eligible because that tells you if it’s a vendor product or not.

Michael:

Yeah. So there’s honestly really good things with– there are some really cool things with the tools. Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s been pretty cool to be able to work with the Helium 10 team with developing these tools. So, you know, they’re actually tools that actually, you know, really help Walmart vendors and help Walmart sellers. And, you know, there’s some really cool things, for example Cerebro I know our copywriting team has been really excited about it because there’s, you know, it’s really helped to just be able to craft your list and craft our listings specifically for Walmart. There’s, it just, it makes it really efficient. I think, you know, something that mistake people are making on Walmart is they’re just putting their Amazon listings on Walmart copy of the same way. There’s some simple guides out there and information on how Walmart wants their listings try to follow them.

Michael:

But you know, using as you’re redoing those listings, using Cerebro to just know which keywords you want to focus on. It’s honestly really good. It helps a lot and it’s been saving us a lot of time. So Cerebro is a great one. When you’re working on recrafting your listings, which is honestly step one of succeeding on Walmart. Xray just for your product research and, you know, even if you’re in ready, know what product you’re selling, cause you have them on Amazon, but just to know what the competition looks like and what you should focus on. You know, being able to see, you know, the amount of sellers that are WFS, you know, the amount of sellers that are, you know, what the average price points on, you know, she just having an easy view of that.

Michael:

Being able to just see, you know, which listings have rich media, which has things don’t gives you a good understanding of, you know, it gives us when we’re doing product research like this product is pretty competitive on page one and, you know, we should go the extra step with all of this or this product isn’t as competitive, you know, we don’t have to do everything up front. Like let’s just get those listings up and then, you know, we’ll work on adding in rich media and WFS later. So I’m really using that, having a good understanding of what, you know, what the environment is for these listings, just using Xray for that is obviously really helpful. You’ll see, there’s a lot of different information Xray gives you, and each one of those, like is helpful to just understand how to best use the platform. So definitely take a look at that stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

Excellent. So now, you know, apart from just selling on all these platforms, you’ve also started your own Walmart agency/agencies. I’m not sure if it’s one or more. I know you’ve got one for like refunds and different things, but what are you guys doing there now. Now that, you know, since you are one of the, kind of most experienced Walmart sellers out there, what kind of things are you helping other sellers with?

Michael:

So what we’ve realized is like after you know, understanding the Walmart platform, having all our brands on there is there was no real services that really understood Walmart to help with different parts of it. So we, you know, we took on a few large accounts and we started managing those. It went really well. So we launched our Walmart agency and our Walmart agency is really a full service agency. It comes from, we work with like the sellers to just really recraft all, all their listings specifically from Walmart and then, you know, work on monthly management on their listings. You know, Walmart’s, I like to say that it’s a little more complex than Amazon in a lot of ways. And you know, the revenue isn’t there sometimes to justify all the complications and, you know, all the intricacies of Walmart and for a lot of sellers, you know, they’re very busy with Amazon or they don’t have a catalog is big enough where I’m really makes sense to stay on the edge of what’s happening with Walmart.

Michael:

So, you know, we kind of noticed that that was really a big opportunity there and you know, sellers want to get, you know, want to obviously get that extra revenue from Walmart, but it’s also about like, you want to have your brand set up properly on Walmart now, so you could grow with the platform. So that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been working mainly with Amazon sellers who already have large, you know, or just catalogs of product with, you know, they have their products, they have their supply chain set up, they already have good quality content. So we’re able to just transition those quick, pretty quickly over into Walmart, make those listings, you know, really stand out on Walmart really well and, you know, manage those listings monthly. And as you know, different changes with Walmart happen, as you know, they’re launching new discoverability guidelines and, you know, as they’re launching into different edits to their algorithm or updates with advertising, whatever that might be we’re able to kind of, you know, transition to that quickly and really upscaled these brands at Walmart.

Michael:

So it’s been pretty cool to be on, you know, there’s a limit how much you can do with your own brands and your products on Walmart, but it’s been pretty cool to help, you know, brands that already have strong products, have strong catalogs really do well on Walmart.com and set them up for success along with Walmart.com. So that’s been cool. It’s led by most part by, you know, my brother and our team behind there. And yeah, it’s been going really well. Part of our agency is we did launch a refund tool for Walmart as well, which is, you know, we realized like, since we were the first batch of sellers in WFS program, we realized like we’re starting to lose a lot of money. Just, you know, with just things that happen when you’re using a fulfillment service.

Michael:

And there was nothing. Nobody really hadn’t, nobody had any service at all to help with that. So we launched the first Walmart reimbursement tool. So when everybody comes out in a year and says, they’re the first one, just remember where the first one. So yeah, that’s called refundstacker. And yeah, we’ve been able to get back up, you know, especially because WFS is new. There’s just, you know, some things that are just not as streamlined yet. So we, you know, we really dove into it and been able to get some good money back for our accounts. So, yeah, that’s been cool as well.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. So how can people find these links on the interwebs?

Michael:

So, for our agency, go to sellcord.co, sellcord .co I think we’re on the Helium 10 directory, or we’ll be on there. So you can check us out there. You could schedule a call to kind of speak to us to get, you know, more information you know, if your catalog is something that we would work with and you know what the pricing would be like, but yeah. You know, clients have really been liking it. You know, we set when we started, the agency always said like, but we’ve used so many agencies like this up in a way where everything we didn’t really like about agencies and working with some agencies in the past is from the seller side of things. We don’t operate like that. So it’s been pretty cool working experience and it’s been cool to just, you know, be more involved in the growth of Walmart.

Bradley Sutton:

Nice. All right. Well, Michael, thanks for coming on here. And obviously you are a few years been 21 now, so don’t forget to or stop forgetting to invite me when you come out here.. All right, cool. All right. And it’s been great to see, you know, see you and your brother. You know, like at events, it’s like funny, you know, we went to Chicago, Vegas twice, and you guys are like at every place, and it’s great that the world is somewhat getting back to normal, but congratulations on all your success online and thanks for the help with Walmart and consider Walmart because it’s a great platform to sell on. Michael, we’ll see you maybe in about a year and let’s see what’s new in your world

Michael:

Awesome, will be in touch. Thanks, Bradley once again!


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