Fast shipping is no longer a nice perk – it’s a necessity. Research shows that one of the most influential factors in customer conversions is fast shipping and Walmart is no exception. The world’s biggest retailer is battling it out with Amazon and eBay not on price but on shipping, with its Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping program. We’re here to explain how you should take advantage of this opportunity to increase your conversions.
Why fast shipping on Walmart matters
Price wars are an old hat. Nowadays, 99% of US consumers say that fast delivery is important to them when buying online, resulting in online marketplaces (such as Walmart, eBay, and Amazon) using fast and affordable shipping to increase conversions, satisfy customers and beat the competition. If you’re selling on Walmart, or about to expand onto Walmart’s marketplace, offering fast shipping will result in…
Slow and expensive shipping options turn customers away in search of better options, whereas fast and affordable delivery options provide extra value, pushing window and last-minute shoppers through the checkout and enticing them back again.
Fast delivery is so important, that according to PWC, one in four shoppers are swayed by it and 41% would pay extra for same-day delivery.
Tracking information, fast shipping, and on-time deliveries create a better buying experience that results in increased customer satisfaction.
Not only does this make customers more likely to become a repeat customer (increasing their customer lifetime value), but they’re also more likely to tell their family and friends about you – expanding your brand and customers.
Beating the competition
Finally, fast shipping makes you stand out from your competitors – whether that’s in the search results on Walmart, on comparison websites of the major online marketplaces, or when you deliver a better overall customer journey.
It’s true that fast shipping matters on any online marketplace, but online sellers are seeing far-reaching results from offering fast shipping on Walmart Marketplace in particular.
How Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping is increasing conversions
Walmart is undeniably investing in their fast shipping program, giving online sellers who offer this perk benefits that increase exposure and drive significant sales.
What is the free 2-day shipping program?
Launched in January 2017, Walmart’s fast shipping program offers customers free 2-day deliveries with no minimum spend or membership required. This provides online shoppers with an attractive (and more affordable) alternative to Amazon Prime, while still providing customers with the reassurance of a big name that they trust – leading to phenomenal conversion increases. Shoppers simply filter their search results accordingly or spot your listing by the green Free 2-Day shipping badge that is heavily promoted throughout the website.
Fast shipping tags
Walmart sellers offering fast shipping also benefit from fast shipping tags. Online shoppers looking for fast delivery can filter their search result using fast shipping criteria – giving you a better search ranking and reducing the amount of competition returned.
Even better, Walmart favors fast shipping tags even in its unfiltered search results – providing improved search rankings and additional exposure, regardless of price.
Walmart buy box
Similar to the Amazon buy box, when an item is sold by multiple sellers Walmart promotes one seller in particular, listing further sellers (less prominently) below.
Winning the buy box increases conversions by presenting customers with your item first. Many shoppers won’t even realize that other retailers are also listed. It’s a highly sought-after position, increasing exposure and decreasing competition. It’s also an incredibly competitive competition to win; luckily your chances are dramatically increased if you offer 2-day shipping.
Walmart Performance Ads
Walmart Performance Ads are CPC ads appearing across Walmart.com, driving traffic to your products and giving them a special “Sponsored product” tag or banner. Performance ads are a great way to bring customers to your products, but once they’re there, you still need to convert them.
Combining Performance Ads and fast shipping options increases the attractiveness of your products, increasing the likelihood of your ad resulting in a sale, returning significant ROI.
Walmart customer reviews
Like any online marketplace, Walmart allows customers to write reviews about you and your products, which is good when 95% of customers are influenced by online reviews. Online shoppers receiving their items quickly and on time will be more likely to leave a positive review, influencing other customers to buy from you – especially when filtering by five-star reviews. Conversely, those receiving slow and late deliveries will be quick to leave negative reviews.
Once you’ve implemented faster shipping on Walmart, you can replicate it across your entire multi-channel business, appearing on other fast shipping programs such as eBay Guaranteed Delivery. Customers comparing prices between eBay and Walmart will come across you twice – expanding brand recognition, increasing trust and putting you further ahead of your competition.
How to achieve fast shipping status on Walmart
It’s clear that Walmart’s fast shipping program provides significant benefits for both customers and online retailers, which is why qualifying for the program requires strict adherence to Walmart’s speed metrics over a 30-day period.
Sellers must have and maintain:
- At least a 90-day history as a marketplace seller;
- On time shipping rate of 95% or above;
- On time delivery rate of 95% or above;
- Accurate products shipped rate of 99.5% or above;
- Valid tracking rate of 95% or above;
- Cancelation rate of under 1.5%; and
- A generous returns policy.
This is achieved through either in-house fulfillment or outsourcing to Walmart’s fulfillment partner, Deliverr.
Once you satisfy these metrics, you can apply directly through Seller Central (on the shipping settings page) to be accepted into the program. Once accepted, you must then source, store, market, pick and ship your products yourself – all while keeping on top of these standards.
Streamline your delivery process
From the moment you receive the order, to the moment it’s in the delivery truck, you’ll need to create a seamless process of picking, packing, and shipping that guarantees fast delivery. This might mean redesigning your warehouse flow, employing additional staff, and investing in multi-channel management tools.
Using a fast shipping service
Just because the product is out of your door, does not mean it is out of your hands. You’ll need to pay for a fast delivery service and provide the customer with tracking information that keeps them updated – especially if things go wrong. If they do, you’ll need to be prepared to offer goodwill gestures and sincere apologies to maintain a good brand reputation.
The holiday season, sales, expansions, and more all come sooner than you’d expect. Be prepared with backup warehousing space and temporary staff for when sales pick up so that your delivery standards do not drop off. Being busy is not an excuse for slow deliveries.
Many online retailers starting out on their eCommerce journey prefer in-house fulfillment, favoring the control this provides over the fulfillment process, packaging, software, and the costs involved. However, as your business continues to grow, adhering to Walmart’s strict delivery metrics becomes increasingly difficult, time-consuming and expensive, which is why retailers often switch to outsourced fulfillment.
Outsourced fulfillment partner
Deliverr is Walmart’s outsourced fulfillment partner, so any seller who fulfills with Deliverr is pre-approved for Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping. That means you can start selling more quickly, safe in the knowledge that you will always meet delivery standards.
Fulfillment providers have the expertise, locations, warehouse space, and employees to ensure that your deliveries are delivered quickly and on time, all of the time.
Outsourced fulfillment providers also know the most cost-effective way to deliver your products. You benefit from low warehousing and operation costs, and volume shipping prices – savings that you can pass onto your customers.
The right deliveries
Using an outsourced fulfillment provider also guarantees quality when it comes to packaging, delivering the right products, tracking information, and customer service. You’ll spend less time handling delivery complaints and more time improving the overall customer experience.
Deliverr uses the latest technology to find the fastest path to your customer, and integrate all of your sales channels seamlessly. This ensures outstanding delivery regardless of how big or busy you get. You also benefit from inventory management tools, resulting in better oversight of your stock and sales that will help you plan for the future.
Deciding what’s right for you
The best way to decide whether you’re ready for outsourced Walmart fulfillment is to:
- Calculate the costs using a fulfillment cost calculator
- Research outsourced fulfillment partners and ask the right questions
- Trial some products to see how it works
Fast shipping has fast become one of the most important factors when converting online shoppers, with Walmart, in particular, giving fast shippers on their 2-day shipping program preference in their search results, buy box selection, and overall site prominence. If fast shipping is not part of your 2019 eCommerce sales strategy – now’s the time to change things.
- Fast shipping increases customer conversion
- Sellers offering fast shipping on Walmart further increase conversions through:
- Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping
- Fast shipping tags
- Walmart buy box
- Walmart performance ads
- Customer reviews
- Brand recognition
- Fast shipping status on Walmart is achieved through:
- In-house fulfillment
- Outsourced fulfillment
About the Author
This is a guest post from Michael Krakaris. Michael is one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and the co-founder of Deliverr. Deliverr provides fast and affordable fulfillment for your eBay, Walmart and Shopify stores, helping to boost sales through programs like Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping and eBay Guaranteed Delivery.
Deliverr’s FBA-like multi-channel fulfillment comes with clear pricing, easy on-boarding and a hassle free experience so you can focus on growing your eCommerce business.