Alternative Funding Options for Walmart Marketplace Sellers
Omnichannel selling is vital for eCommerce businesses fighting for a profitable position in crowded online sales niches. It’s not enough to sell through your direct website or a single third-party platform like Amazon. Whenever possible, spreading your products (and your brand) across major sales channels is the right move.
Omnichannel selling increases your exposure to your preferred target markets, diversifies your revenue streams to mitigate risks, and helps you cement your eCommerce company as a success. Channels like Shopify, Amazon, and Walmart Marketplace are great opportunities for long-term growth, and you can use Walmart Marketplace to grow your eCommerce business quickly.
In this guide, we’ll briefly cover the advantages of adding Walmart Marketplace to your omnichannel sales strategy. But we’ll also take a deeper look at the financing you need to take advantage of the growth opportunity.
While Walmart also offers qualifying seller participants access to its Walmart Marketplace Capital program, it may not be the perfect fit for your business, so we’ll give you key insight into the program and popular alternatives, so you can choose your path with confidence.
Walmart Marketplace Is a Sales Channel Worth Prioritizing
Becoming a seller on Walmart Marketplace can make it feel like you’ve entered the big leagues. It isn’t like Etsy or eBay, where sellers with products can simply create an account and set up shop on Day One of their business. Instead, there are several qualifications required before you can join the Walmart Marketplace ranks, such as having properly classified products, creating a compliant catalog, and having a history of proven sales success and vetted fulfillment services that meet strict standards.
Related: Is Merchant Cash Advance Financing the Right One for Your Online Store?
But once you clear those barriers to entry, you have access to a marketplace that’s second only to Amazon in terms of annual eCommerce sales. Walmart continues to be the largest retailer across the United States, and access to its 120 million monthly online visitors can go a long way in making your business far more resilient during economic turbulence. Put simply, reaching new markets and potentially selling through Walmart Marketplace is an opportunity no eCommerce business can afford to miss or underutilize.
How to Grow Your Business Through Walmart Marketplace
There are several tactics eCommerce business owners can use to maximize the profitability and growth of their presence on Walmart Marketplace. These include:
Devoting the bulk of your time and resources to Walmart-based sales
While you may sell across multiple channels, it can be worth your while to spend more time organizing and polishing your Walmart Marketplace catalog, devoting most of your inventory budget to the fulfillment of Walmart-sourced sales, and building any new business processes to ensure they comply with Walmart standards. While you don’t want to rely exclusively on Walmart, it’s such a big channel that you never want to put it on the back burner.
Experiment with additional products
Every customer has unique buying habits, and every channel will show different trends regarding those habits. For example, the combo goods or recommended purchases that flourish on Amazon or your Shopify store may fall flat for Walmart buyers, and product offerings that didn’t shine on your other channels may be the perfect fit for this market. Make sure you do plenty of testing and gather plenty of insight so you can ramp up sales over time.
Secure financing to kickstart faster growth
Simply using profits from past sales to increase your inventory orders and add in new product options is a slow way to grow, and its slow pace might leave room for competitors to grow faster than you. Getting financing from a loan, merchant advance, or other capital programs can help you jump on emerging trends faster and increase your sales.
That last strategy, in particular, can make the difference between barely staying afloat and seeing your company skyrocket. Walmart even seems to be of the same mind, as it offers qualifying sellers access to a lump sum of advance cash through its Walmart Marketplace Capital program.
Walmart Marketplace Capital — Can It Help You Grow Your Business Even Faster?
Through the Walmart Marketplace Capital program, qualifying sellers can get a funding advance and use that money for business growth. Walmart will assess your account, make an offer, and (if you accept it) deliver that lump sum through the same platform you use for payouts. They describe their program as having “one simple fee—no interest or additional costs,” and they base repayment size based on your sales record. Along with the upfront cash, the program gives sellers access to:
- Walmart Sponsored Products marketing options
- More flexible Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) options
- More insights in the Grow Your Catalog Dashboard
Extra money is a great way to grow your business through larger inventory allotments, a bigger product catalog, and more ads or sponsored positions.
But there are some drawbacks to consider. First, the terms of the program can be a little murky as you’re just getting started. The fee that comes with your advance is described as a competitive flat fee that is a percentage of the advance amount.
Also, your repayment schedule is rigid, and on-time repayment non-negotiable. If you don’t have sufficient funds through your Walmart Marketplace portal, the payment will come from your connected bank account. If you are a Walmart Marketplace seller and you receive an offer through Seller Center, it’s important to weigh the advantages and the potential costs carefully before moving forward.
Four Alternatives to Walmart Marketplace Capital for Funding Business Growth and Stability
Walmart Marketplace Capital isn’t the only capital that’s available to fuel your business’s growth. Whether you want to use a different source of funding or you want to create lightning-fast growth by combining different loans and cash advance options, online businesses have access to plenty of ways to grow their business or stabilize their cash flow for long-term business health. Consider these four popular financing alternatives—or accompaniments—to Walmart’s program:
Conventional Business Loans
Short-term and long-term business loans from banks and traditional lenders remain a popular option for many small businesses. While they often work best for traditional businesses that have a location, equipment, and employees, they can be creatively used to fuel marketing and product growth for your eCommerce businesses. The benefits of a business loan are that you get upfront cash, and the interest rate is typically lower than credit card rates or factor rates from funding firms offering merchant advances.
However, the interest rates for conventional business loans can be high, and traditional underwriting practices may not be able to accurately measure your eCommerce business’s value. Loan repayment schedules are also rigid; the lender doesn’t care whether you had sales that month or not, as long as you can pay them back.
Platform-Specific Financing Options
Major selling platforms like Amazon and Shopify also have capital programs similar to Walmart’s. Through them, the marketplace assesses sales history, makes an offer to qualifying businesses, and disburses the cash. Then they’ll collect repayment amounts from incoming sales revenue based on the terms of the agreement.
These options offer several benefits. You get cash to grow your presence on the platform, you may get access to premium selling and advertising resources, and the repayment terms are slightly more in line with the realities of running an eCommerce business. However, the fees can be higher than they look, and the funds from one platform can’t directly help with another’s.
Related: Financing Options for Amazon Sellers
In addition, while they can assess your business’s potential better than conventional underwriters might, these programs really only look at sales history through their specific platform. If you’re new to one after having a successful few years through your independent website, that off-platform success doesn’t enter into their calculations.
Business credit cards are a risky option. They often have higher interest rates than loans, especially once you’re past the introductory window. Late payments have very costly fees, and they can easily jeopardize your business’s credit standing. While credit cards can be a great short-term option to fund a one-time purchase or in an emergency, they shouldn’t be your primary or exclusive financing source.
Integrated Advance Providers That Offer Lump Sums Based on Overarching Sales Performance
Merchant advances that calculate your business potential by your sales history are an excellent vehicle for securing financing. Like the programs through Shopify, Amazon, and Walmart, they assess online businesses based on the metrics that matter most.
However, finding a third-party option that can consider your sales performance across all of your channels—such as both Amazon and Walmart, simultaneously—unlocks far more capital for your business. You’re no longer fighting for funds in a silo. It’s a more strategic option for omnichannel eCommerce businesses, and a valuable one to consider.
Thrive as a Walmart Marketplace Seller With the Right Business Financing
It’s essential to find funding that works for your business as a whole. The right online integration tools can assess your sales performance across multiple channels, so you can maximize your financing and growth potential.
Prioritize growing your business instead of repaying advances. Onramp bases your repayment amount on 1% of your sales volume, so repayment never jeopardizes your cash flow. Contact us today to learn more about how we can offer you an advance based on your sales across multiple platforms.