Walmart has made another move in the never-ending ecommerce battle with market leader Amazon, through an alliance with ecommerce platform titan Shopify that gives Shopify’s 1 million-plus merchants access to Walmart’s online marketplace.
“As we launch this integration with Shopify, we are focused on U.S.-based small and medium businesses whose assortment complements ours and have a track record of exceeding customers’ expectations,” said Jeff Clementz, Vice President of Walmart Marketplace, in a blog post.
The partnership will allow approved Shopify sellers to list their items on Walmart.com, giving its 120 million monthly visitors access to a broader assortment of goods. Sellers can also quickly and directly integrate their product listings into the Walmart platform without use of a third-party solution.
Walmart now has over 75 million SKUs available on its marketplace, according to Modern Retail, adding 10,000 new sellers in 2019 to total over 32,000. While way behind Amazon in the trifecta of sellers (2.5 million), sales ($280.5 million) and SKUs (12 million), Walmart is growing rapidly. The world’s largest retailer increased ecommerce sales this year by 44%, behind only Target’s 52% growth.
In the most recent quarter, U.S. ecommerce boomed even more for Walmart, Clementz said, growing 74%, “and growth in marketplace outpaced the overall business even as first-party sales were strong.”
“Growing our Marketplace is a strategic priority, and we are going to be smart as we grow,” Clementz said. “We will start integrating new sellers now and expect to add 1,200 Shopify sellers this year. Shopify has a long history of helping small businesses leverage scale, and we’re proud to be part of the solution that is helping customers and other retailers.”
MCM Musings: Walmart needed a big ecommerce win after the disappointing shutdown of Jet.com in May, which was acquired for $3.3 billion nearly four years ago and never lived up to expectations. But CEO Jeff McMillon has said on a few occasions that the acquisition was well worth it in terms of the technology and expertise it brought in house and incorporated. Jet.com founder Marc Lore remains CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S. This new Shopify deal provides a significant boost as Walmart works to expand its SKU base and tries to gain ground on Amazon, rounding the far turn. It also helps Shopify pursue its manifest destiny in marketplaces, after recently adding integration deals with Facebook and Pinterest.