Walmart is joining forces with Shopify in its latest push to expand its e-commerce marketplace.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer today announced that it will open its Walmart Marketplace to Shopify’s more than 1 million sellers — with a focus on U.S.-based small and medium businesses. Through the integration, approved Shopify sellers will be able to list their items on the Walmart website as third-party sellers, which will in turn offer Walmart customers with an expanded product assortment. Walmart will begin integrating new sellers now, with the hope of adding 1,200 new Shopify sellers by year’s end.
“Growing our Marketplace is a strategic priority, and we are going to be smart as we grow,” stated Jeff Clementz, Walmart Marketplace vice president. “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.”
E-commerce has grown at an unprecedented pace in recent months due to the coronavirus crisis, which forced nonessential stores to temporarily shut their doors and caused many fearful shoppers to shift their spending online. According an eMarketer report this month, online retail sales are on pace to climb 18% in 2020 to top $700 billion, which would represent 14.5% of overall U.S. retail sales. For the year, eMarketer predicts that Amazon will account for 38% of overall e-tail sales in the U.S, while Walmart will come in a distant second with a 5.8% market share.
And during the pandemic, Walmart has seen sweeping gains in the e-commerce space, having logged a whopping 74% sales gain for the three-month period ended May 1. In particular, the big-box chain said that contactless pickup and delivery services helped to drive purchases on its website and marketplace.
“Our omnichannel strategy — enabling customers to shop in seamless, flexible ways — is built for serving the needs of customers during this crisis and in the future,” president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.
In effort to gain traction in digital sales, Walmart acquired Jet.com in 2016 for $3 billion, using the site as the learning foundation to grow its own e-commerce operations. The retailer announced last month that it would shutter Jet, with the “vast majority” of the site’s employees to join Walmart’s e-commerce team.