Walmart’s New Shopify Partnership Is Another Stroke Of Omnichannel Genius

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Forbes | Chris Walton | Jun 15, 2020

walmart partners with shopify - Walmart’s New Shopify Partnership Is Another Stroke Of Omnichannel GeniusOver the last few months, Walmart has been setting an example for other retailers to follow. When the pandemic began, Walmart quickly battened down the hatches. It waived April rent for its in-store tenants, speed-rushed contactless payment systems into operation, installed plexiglass barriers to protect employees and customers, made an educational push to help people shop for groceries online, and even began metering traffic flow into its stores.

And, if all that wasn’t enough, amid all these crazy and hectic times, Walmart has also not slept one second on its long-term strategy. While many other retailers are just worried about figuring out how to reopen old business models at reduced capacities and likely reduced revenues, too (see nearly all mall-based retail), Walmart has been pushing boundaries and making itself stronger.

See:  Amazon, Walmart, the Secret Battle for FinTech Supremacy: Part II

A few weeks ago, Walmart made the brilliant move of entering the resale market via a partnership with ThredUp, and, then today, Walmart one upped itself again when it announced a new partnership with Shopify.

While ThredUp was a game changer, the new Shopify deal shows that Walmart is now playing a new and more exciting game altogether.

In a press release today, Jeff Clementz, vice president of Walmart Marketplace WMT , announced that Walmart plans to open its third-party Walmart Marketplace to Shopify users.

According to Clementz, “Growing our Marketplace is a strategic priority, and we are going to be smart as we grow. 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.”

The overall process seems pretty straightforward, too.

Interested Shopify sellers simply install the Walmart Marketplace capability within their suite of many Shopify tools, and then, according to Shopify’s website, sellers can introduce their brands “to millions of new shoppers on Walmart's curated marketplace” with no additional “subscription fees” or “upkeep costs.”

The move is a win-win on all sides.

First, Walmart gets access to Shopify’s user base, which is synonymous with cool, digitally-native brands.

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Second, Shopify users can choose to sell on Walmart of their own free will. If they want the expanded distribution and the scale in search advertising Walmart affords, then selling on Walmart’s marketplace could be a no-risk and enticing offer for many of them.

Third, at-will access also means Walmart can add items to its online assortment at a much reduced cost to Walmart. Instead of Walmart having to go out and sell brands to be a part of its marketplace (which costs money) or buy up digitally-native brands like it did in the past (which was not a smart idea), Walmart can now instead just sit back and let Shopify users self-select into the program.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Walmart’s New Shopify Partnership Is Another Stroke Of Omnichannel Genius The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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