Amazon, the eCommerce giant, is seeing some merchants frustrated with the inability to stand out in a crowded shopping marketplace and turn to rival Walmart, which has been growing its merchant business online.
According to a report in Bloomberg, rewind a few years ago, and the idea that merchants can sell things through Walmart would be unthinkable, but with the retail company struggling to grow its business offline, it’s starting to see some successes online. Amazon, on the flip side, has a reputation among merchants as the angry and demanding landlord that has kicked merchants off its marketplace platform due to customer complaints and is charging more in fees and advertising requirements in order to get a sale on the eCommerce giant’s website. There’s also the issue of overcrowding on Amazon, which is raising concerns among merchants about their ability to make a sale. Walmart, however, is what Amazon was 10 years ago, luring merchants who want to make a sale and a profit.
According to Bloomberg, while Walmart has had a rocky relationship with its suppliers in the past, it has more incentive to be accommodating to merchants online. After all, it is tiny in comparison to Amazon, with thousands of sellers catering to those shopping compared to Amazon’s more than 2 million. Walmart needs to expand that if it wants to compete with Amazon, noted Bloomberg.
“You don’t want to have a person shopping look for something on your site and not find it, because you might lose that customer for good,” said David Spitz, whose firm ChannelAdvisor works with Wal-Mart to recruit new sellers, in an interview with Bloomberg. Unlike Amazon, which lets anyone who registers online become a merchant, Walmart has it set up as an invite-only service so that it can vet sellers ahead of time. It uses third parties like ChannelAdvisor and CommerceHub to invite merchants to join the Walmart marketplace and sell them the software they need to become a merchant.