One program offered by Walmart that’s catching the attention of online sellers is the Walmart Drop Ship Vendor program, commonly known as Walmart DSV.
This model allows sellers to tap into Walmart’s massive customer base, while retaining control over the packaging and shipping of their products.
But what exactly does becoming a Walmart DSV entail? What are the benefits and challenges involved? And, most importantly, is it the right move for your business?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into all these questions and more, providing you with everything you need to know about the Walmart DSV program.
What is Walmart DSV?
Walmart Drop Ship Vendor (DSV) is a program that allows sellers to list their products on Walmart’s online marketplace. Unlike traditional retail models where the retailer purchases, stores, and sells the inventory, the DSV model is based on dropshipping.
In the Walmart DSV program, the seller maintains the inventory. When a customer purchases a product, the order details are sent to the seller, who then ships the product directly to the customer.
This means that Walmart doesn’t physically handle the product; instead, they provide the platform for the transaction and the customer base.
This model allows sellers to tap into Walmart’s massive online audience without the need for significant upfront investment in inventory storage or the complex logistics of shipping to multiple Walmart warehouses.
However, as a Walmart DSV, sellers are responsible for maintaining inventory levels, shipping products promptly, and providing excellent customer service.
Products sold by DSVs on Walmart’s platform are listed as “Sold & shipped by [Your Business Name].”
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Walmart
Becoming a Walmart Drop Ship Vendor (DSV) offers a range of benefits for businesses looking to expand their online presence.
Here are some of the key advantages:
Trust and Credibility
When you’re a Drop Ship Vendor (DSV), your products are indeed listed as “Sold by Walmart”.
This is a significant advantage because it can enhance the perceived trust and credibility of your products.
Walmart has a well-established reputation and a strong customer base. When customers see that a product is “Sold by Walmart”, they tend to trust that the product is of good quality and that it has been thoroughly vetted by Walmart.
This can increase the customer’s confidence in purchasing the product, potentially leading to higher sales.
It’s important to note that while being a Walmart DSV can increase your products’ perceived trustworthiness, it also comes with increased responsibility to maintain high-quality products and meet Walmart’s supplier standards consistently.
Walmart Handles Shipping Cost
Another benefit of being a Walmart DSV is that Walmart covers your shipping costs. This presents a profound advantage that can considerably transform your business operations and profitability.
Lower operating costs are one of the most direct benefits of this arrangement. Shipping costs, especially for high-volume or large-item sellers, can quickly accumulate, biting into your profit margins.
When these costs are absorbed by Walmart, your operating expenses reduce, providing a welcome boost to your profits.
This benefit also bestows a competitive edge on your offerings. When Walmart covers shipping costs, your products may be eligible for a ‘free shipping’ tag on the platform.
In the world of online shopping, free shipping is often a decisive factor for customers, making your products more appealing and competitive in the marketplace.
Potential to Win Walmart Buy Box
While Walmart hasn’t officially confirmed the exact algorithms they use for awarding the buy box, it’s generally understood that products sold directly by Walmart (including those from DSVs) might have an advantage.
The buy box refers to the section on a product page where customers can click to add the product to their cart. Winning the Walmart buy box can significantly boost visibility and sales.
Ship To Store Eligibility
As a Walmart DSV, you are eligible for Walmart’s “ship to store” option which is a delivery method offered by Walmart where customers can order items online and choose to pick up their purchases from a local Walmart store.
This option appeals significantly to the growing customer segment that values the hybrid convenience of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shopping.
They can browse and shop your products online at their own pace, and then, rather than waiting for home delivery, they can choose to pick up their orders at a Walmart store that fits into their daily commute or errand route.
Walmart DSV Requirements
How to Apply to Be a Walmart DSV Seller
As we stated earlier, applying for Walmart DSV is more rigorous than any other selling option Walmart has made available.
You will be asked to provide a bunch of intricate information about your business, financials, etc, as stated in their supplier onboarding checklist.
Let’s start with the necessary information you need as a Walmart DSV:
Provide Company Information
You must provide your company’s legal name, address, and DUNS number.
Your company’s legal name is the officially registered name that must be the same exact name you have filed with the IRS and must match the name on your W-9 or W-8 Tax Form. For the company address, you need to provide a physical address as P.O. Box will not be accepted.
The DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. It is developed and regulated by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). You will need this number for your registration as a Walmart DSV seller.
If you do not have one, you can contact D&B at this number (1-866-815-2749) and inform D&B you are applying to become a Walmart supplier.
You will also be asked to provide other company-related information such as your annual gross revenue, if you have warehousing facilities in the retail markets you work with, which countries your factories are located in, and so on.
Provide Tax Information
Tax info such as your tax ID, tax ID type, and your tax ID country. If you are a supplier based in the US, the only tax document required is the W9 form. If you are a supplier based internationally the tax document required is the W8 form & the onboarding questionnaire
If you are importing directly, either as a supplier based in the US or internationally, then you’ll need the required tax form (W9 or W8 depending on if you are a domestic or international supplier) and your business registration certificate document.
Provide Product Details
Walmart wants to have an idea of the product you are planning to sell on their platform so you will be asked to provide an overview of your product catalog.
Product details such as product ID, GTIN, UPCs, EANs, ISBNs, or your own unique SKUs. You can submit up to 200 items at a time.
Provide Other Information
Once you’ve provided important details such as your company info, tax info, and product info, you will be asked to provide a series of other information for Walmart to fully onboard you onto their DSV program.
One such information is insurance. If you are approved as a supplier, you will need to procure and maintain insurance to cover legal costs or other liabilities that could result from claims or lawsuits related to your product.
You are required to provide insurance information during onboarding before you receive your Business Terms Agreement.
You will also be asked to provide some logistic information.
Your facility information (i.e. address, city, state/province, zip/postal code), lead time for shipping products, and how you will be handling the delivery of your products are some of the questions you will be asked.
Create an Account for Walmart DSV
Now that you have all the documents and information required to become a Walmart dropshipping vendor, the next step is to apply.
As a DSV seller, you will be creating a retailink account instead of a Walmart marketplace. Follow the instructions and provide the necessary information to get started.
After creating your account, you will have to wait for a while to get approved. During this approval process, you might be asked to provide additional information. If you provide the right information, you will be approved.