Walmart Brings Other Retailers on Board for Online Sales
Over the years, Walmart has been widely criticized in some circles for essentially stamping out small businesses across America with its ever-expanding presence. There have even been documentaries made about this. But that’s about the offline world right?
Walmart has now introduced "The Walmart Marketplace," a new online initiative, in which it bolsters its inventory by partnering with other online retailers with large inventories themselves.
Walmart Marketplace sells items in categories like Home, Baby, Apparel, Toys, and Sporting Goods, by allowing customers to buy goods from the other retailers through Walmart’s secure checkout process. The retailers themselves actually manage and support the orders, including shipping and handling, customer service, and exchanges/returns.
"We’ve added nearly one million new items to our online assortment with the introduction of Walmart Marketplace, making it even easier for customers to find more of what they want when shopping Walmart.com," says Kerry Cooper, Walmart.com’s chief marketing officer. "Working with select retailers, known for their strong customer service and large online assortments of new merchandise, gives our customer more reasons to choose Walmart.com when shopping online."
It is unclear what kind of money Walmart is making from the deals with these retailers. The company says they are handpicking the retailers based on "strong customer service track records and large assortments of quality brands and products."
While Walmart says it will continue to grow the Walmart Marketplace program with additional retailers over the next year, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a place where small businesses in general will be able to find many opportunities to participate like with some other affiliate programs.
According to Compete, Walmart.com got over thirty-two and a half million unique visitors in July.