The year 2021 is predicted to see increased popularity for online and retail shopping, with the trends only showcasing an uptick in customers opting for digital commerce. While physical stores are still relevant, the rise in popularity of online selling promises better opportunities for sellers and retailers.
Of the many online retail platforms available, Walmart.com is one of the oldest in the market. Walmart Stores also launched its own marketplace online in 2009. This opened up the platform for third-party sellers who could add their products to the existing offerings on the platform.
Becoming a Walmart seller has opened up several opportunities and helped businesses reach out to a diverse set of audiences. But what's the situation like since the pandemic? Here are a few Walmart statistics that will help you make the right decision in 2021:
Although we live in times where online selling is becoming the ace in the game, research has indicated that the popularity of Walmart is still just as high as it always was. More than half the shoppers in the US reported visiting a Walmart store at least once in a given month.
No other store in America can claim to have as many customers as Walmart, and its popularity continues. Walmart's market size of $482 billion is larger than the gross domestic product (GDP) of a few countries, and the physical stores still play a huge role for retailers.
For Walmart third-party sellers, this means the major part of their sales will still provide customers with the services they need, be it at a Walmart store or online. While online selling is gaining momentum, the popularity and familiarity that a physical store brings are quite relevant in the market.
Despite the popularity of physical stores, the younger population has mostly been leaning towards online sales. As per research, 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen X customers prefer to shop online than at a physical store.
These buyers are looking for the ability to research and choose the products they need, making online shopping the preferred choice. This means retailers will have to use a combination of physical and online selling to deliver to every customer segment truly.
To be a top Walmart seller requires retailers to be present where their target customers are. This undoubtedly requires a combination of multiple channels and platforms to succeed, including a comprehensive eCommerce website list.
The beginning of the pandemic was a profoundly challenging time for retailers and online sellers. While many businesses felt the impact of COVID-19, things began to pick up gradually a few months after the height of global slowdowns.
Walmart sellers have been relatively fortunate during this tough period. The retail giant's online sales went up by 74% during the pandemic. With no clear end in sight for COVID-19, the situation is believed to keep picking up from this trend.
Customers are now opting for both online or physical options depending on what's flexible, which is good for both retailers and online Walmart sellers. Regardless, the future is definitely going towards digital, making an online presence a must-have even for the most traditional retailers.
While the popularity of online stores is increasing, it doesn't mean customers don't want to visit physical stores at all. As it turns out, 60% of men and 52% of women (both in the age range of 18-34 years) prefer to visit the store to see, touch, and feel the product prior to ordering them online.
The preference for online purchases has a lot to do with the check-out experience, as customers prefer to add products or remove the products from their cart whenever they wish to.
This added flexibility to keep products in the cart or on their wishlists makes online purchase popular. However, in-store visits are still not going down anytime soon.
Retail and Walmart third-party sellers may not have the resources or the know-how to navigate how technology will evolve to provide targeted ads to customers. Still, large platforms like Amazon, Walmart, Costco, and several others are spending heavily on Artificial Intelligence.
The use of AI to predict customer behavior, understand purchase patterns and even analyze customer search history to make accurate predictions or recommendations is now mainstream. With ads getting more personalized and targeted, customers are now used to the experience of finding just the right product that they are looking for.
Retailers are spending huge sums on AI, and by 2022 this spend is predicted to reach $7.3 billion. The Capgemini report offers much more interesting insights into how AI can be leveraged to increase bottom-line, propel purchases and know the customer better.
The numbers clearly show the Walmart sellers or any other retail sellers can expect to gain greatly as customers make more purchases with the COVID-19 situation getting better globally.
While Walmart is a very different platform compared to other online sellers, each platform offers several benefits and the ability to reach a range of customers. In 2021, the ideal approach would be to have an online and physical presence, with multi-channel platform support on several online selling platforms.
The ultimate reality is that consumers will look for flexibility, price, and trust in today's world when making a purchase. As a result, Walmart sellers must be ready to provide it to their customers to stay relevant in the game.