Amazon and Walmart seem to be running in tandem toward the number one spot in the eCommerce race. As one gains some ground, the other soon follows suit and often moves ahead. Interestingly, no other retailer dared to compete with Amazon for almost 20 years. However, in the past 2-3 years, Walmart’s popularity grew tremendously and now they are almost at the same level with Amazon when it comes to their profits, stores, seller numbers, and more.
They didn’t get there by copying each other, though. While they may both be giant online marketplaces, they have also differentiated their offerings and business models enough to cater to two distinct target markets. This is why, as a seller, simply copying your listing from one platform to another will not help you stand out.
So let’s explore how exactly to position yourself on these two marketplaces by going deeper into some of the similarities and differences between them, particularly as it relates to your product listing.
Both Amazon and Walmart want to prioritize fast selling items, or items that are bought in large quantities. So your sales history will definitely have a big say in how often you show up in their search results pages (aka SERPs).
As a jewelry seller, your best bet for getting more sales is to ensure all your marketing channels are appropriately connected to your sales channels. So your social media, website blogs, affiliate marketing, referrals should all point to the marketplaces where each audience is more likely to shop on. Another way to increase sales numbers and improve your track record is by adding “quick-sellers” to your catalog. These are products that customers tend to buy often which don’t require a complex decision-making process.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Neither Amazon nor Walmart will prioritize items that are out of stock. In the end, their entire purpose is to make more sales and customers are now searching for quicker services and making more last-minute purchases. So restocking your inventory frequently should be a regular business practice.
To avoid running out of stock, it is crucial to practice proper inventory management, an aspect that our Valigara Online Management Software can definitely assist you with. This essentially means organized stocking, effective labeling, and appropriate documentation. This is particularly important for jewelry sellers, as the number of variables (e.g. size, karat, color, gems, metal, certification, etc) is much larger than most other products sold on these marketplaces.
Shipping & fulfillment
Both retailers offer fast shipping options, which sellers should definitely take advantage of. These include two-day, one-day, and same-day premium delivery for Amazon, and three-day and two-day express delivery for Walmart. However, Walmart is making fast progress toward other types of shipment options.
As a seller, you can get your orders fulfilled by each retailer (through FBA and WFS respectively) or do it yourself from your own warehouse. The application process is slightly different but using their own fulfillment centers is definitely the better way to go if you want to offer a better customer experience.
Amazon sellers rely heavily on advertising to get their products in front of potential customers. However, the competition is also intense even for Sponsored Products, and therefore the costs are higher as well. On the other hand, Walmart has far less ads and similar pricing averages.
The jewelry section on Amazon includes a good number of subsections and is fairly saturated. So advertising is almost a necessity. However, on the Walmart marketplace, the jewelry section is still fairly small and not overly populated. But by advertising you have an even bigger chance of getting noticed.
This might be the main difference between the two marketplaces. While both of their algorithms look for SEO (Search Engine Optimized) content, they give different factors more importance than others. In the case of Amazon, their A9 algorithm looks first at the relevance of the content to the search words used, with close but not exact matches being acceptable as well. So filling up your listing content with keywords is of primary importance on Amazon, especially when it comes to titles. The more keywords you can fit in their 200 characters limit for a title, the more chance of your product showing up in a search.
Walmart, however, uses a Listing Quality Score which also takes into account other details beside content, like image quality, product attributes specified on the backend, or post-sale performance. Thankfully, as a jewelry seller, you already understand the importance of a high image quality and product attributes. So the only tweaks needed are using exact search keywords, specific to Walmart buyers, as the algorithm does prioritize exact matches.
At the end of it all, you have to keep in mind the audience and buyers of each marketplace. Your product should fit the needs of that market. That is why fine jewelry is a harder sell on Walmart due to their low overall price point and a generally low-income target market.
Demographics and location are two other factors that can influence your offer. While Amazon sells globally, Walmart only focuses on US buyers. So, for example, jewelry with foreign language inscriptions might not perform so well on the latter marketplace.
Amazon Prime is the membership program for Amazon, where one gets free and faster shipping as well as many other benefits for a small monthly fee. Walmart has a similar program called Walmart Plus, which only got released last year. So obviously, Amazon is in a position to provide greater benefits at this point, although Walmart is slowly catching up. But by getting your products qualified for this kind of program, you can boost your sales significantly.
However, at this point, as a third-party seller you need to use Walmart Fulfillment Services in order to qualify your products for Walmart Plus, whereas Amazon allows you to get the Prime badge without using their FBA services. But, it may still be worth it because, while jewelry is a seasonal product, it can still become a repeat order if positioned as a gift purchase or if offered under a jewelry subscription box. Subscription products also benefits from their own discounts on Amazon, under the “Subscribe and Save” program. And the more unique your designs are, the higher your chances of getting a subscription.
A branded product will not only create a better company image overall, but will also help you distinguish yourself from your competitors. But while that may be important on Amazon, where the competition is fierce and the price range larger, it is less important for the Walmart shopper who looks primarily at the product price. This is why Amazon offers a Brand Registry, with additional benefits including in-depth analytics, whereas Walmart only offers a Brand Portal primarily used to avoid intellectual property infringement.
However, if your product is well positioned for each retailer’s market, having a brand can help you increase your prices and improve your marketing. It can also help customers remember your product and search for it specifically. Also, as a jewelry seller, creating a brand is much easier than with other generic products as jewelry buyers are already looking for items that make a statement.
In the end, every part of your listing should be strategically analyzed and optimized in order to improve your product’s ranking on each marketplace SERP. And, while both Amazon and Walmart care about sales history and product availability, it is in their differences where most opportunities for more sales lay. Those differences include tailoring your listings to each algorithm and customizing your offer to each platform’s target audience.