Affiliate marketing has played a huge role in the booming growth of the E-commerce industries worldwide. Many brick-and-mortar brands have now gone online, opening up a plethora of opportunities for marketers. As a result, affiliate marketing has now become a sustainable career in itself.
Website and blog owners can ensure a steady source of passive income through affiliate links. However, the business gestation period and subsequent cash flows depend heavily on the brands you choose to market.
How Does the Walmart Affiliate Program Work?
Just like many other affiliate programs, Walmart’s program is easy to understand and work with. Here are the steps you need to adhere to in order to enroll in the program.
Step 1: Application
If you own a website with decent traffic, you’re good to go. You’ll need to fill in all the details in the application form and make sure to adhere to Walmart’s terms & conditions and policies. Here are a few websites that are ineligible for the program:
- Websites that promote illegal activities in any manner.
- Websites that deal in sexually explicit material.
- Websites that propagate violence or promote racial or other forms of discrimination.
Walmart also reserves its rights to turn down your application if you do not appear to be a fit candidate as per its policies. The approval process takes a meager 24 hours.
Step 2: Qualifying Links
Once you’ve completed the application process, you’re provided with qualifying links that you can place on your website. These links are generated by Impact Radius, which handles Walmart’s affiliate programs.
Walmart necessitates the placement of only these qualifying links (and no other links) on your website. You’re also given access to the Walmart newsletter that contains pre-designed banners, buttons, and templates that you can place on your website.
Step 3: Generating Sales and Getting Paid
Once you’ve placed the product links on your webspace, it’s now time to wait. Whenever a user clicks on your link and purchases a product, you’ll be paid a pre-decided rate of commission on products. Meanwhile, you can divert your resources to increase traffic on your web page.
More visits would translate into more affiliate sales and consequently more commission. You can do so by producing quality content on your website and using content optimization tools.
Why Choose Walmart
The legacy of Walmart dates back to 1962 when Sam Walton established the first store in Bentonville.
When the rest of the world was still awaiting the growth of the internet and smart devices, Walmart had already started testing its e-commerce prototypes in 2013. As a result, it now boasts a successful e-commerce business.
Here are a few reasons why you should choose Walmart as your affiliate partner:
Wide Range of Products
Every possible thing that can be manufactured can be found at Walmart. From household commodities to contact lenses, the catalog of Walmart products knows no bounds. This wide variety of products makes it suitable for all kinds of businesses and niche sites.
No matter the products you deal in, you can always provide links to the desired products on Walmart. It has a huge variety of both physical and digital products.
Some niches generate more affiliate sales than others. All you need to do is identify those profitable niches and build your affiliate website around them. This implies that your focus should be on few profitable products rather than a single product.
The idea here is to create a perfect blend of different types of products that’d earn you a sizable income. This can include both popular products and niche products. Products from popular categories would ensure you a regular source of income, whereas niche products can be your multi-baggers.
If you can attract traffic for some expensive products such as luxury beauty products and software products, you'd be set to make hundreds of dollars regularly.
Walmart accounts for more than 55% of online sales in the US (followed by Amazon). That means almost half of US online shoppers prefer Walmart as their market. This opens up a huge opportunity for marketers. You can focus more on your core activity of increasing traffic, without worrying about the quality of product, or customer service.
Walmart, being a trusted brand, facilitates the achievement of high conversion rates on your affiliate websites and blogs. You wouldn’t need to spend a lot of resources convincing your readers about the quality of the products.
All you need to do is design a visually pleasing webpage with quality and detailed product reviews that users can rely on. A conversion rate of 4% would result in a steady income.
Walmart offers assistance to its affiliate marketers by providing access to affiliate marketing tools like the Walmart SDK. This allows you to add a ‘Buy Now’ button on your website, which would take a prospective customer directly to the checkout tab on Walmart.
This comes in handy when your website already describes the product in detail so that the customer doesn’t need to go through different listings on Walmart.
Apart from various affiliate tools, it also offers newsletters, banner ads, templates, and buttons for you to put up on your website through Impact Radius and affiliate newsletters. You’re also provided access to the Affiliate Member Center, where you could access more such banners and templates.
Three-day Referral Window
Walmart provides a time span of 3 days, within which the purchase made by a customer would be counted for affiliate program commission, provided yours is the last-clicked link. This is more than the Amazon Associates Program, which only provides a 24-hour cookie period.
This 3-day cookie duration makes it easy for marketers as customers are given enough time to arrive at a decision.
Disadvantages of the Walmart Affiliate Program
Though this program has a lot of advantages, the Walmart Affiliate Program does have a few downsides. Here are a few points that can serve as bottlenecks in your decision.
The general commission rate is 4%, which can be as low as 1% for movies, books, and video games. This is low, especially when compared to Amazon and CJ Affiliate, but before you decide against it, there’s one thing to take into consideration. Walmart is a huge brand with different types of products from every niche and millions of customers.
So, even with a low profile fee structure, you can make a steady full-time income. As your webspace grows, you’ll see your affiliate earnings grow considerably, as well. The popularity and brand image of Walmart makes up for the low affiliate commission rates.
Last Click Policy
Now, this is something that many marketers have complaints about. As a part of Walmart’s policy, only the last click would be paid for. This means that if a customer visits your affiliate website and clicks on the affiliate link, but ends up purchasing the product from the affiliate link of another marketer, it wouldn’t be counted as an eligible sale.
Only the sales generated through the last clicked link would be paid for. As dicey as customer behavior can be, the last click policy adds to the marketer’s problems.
A 60-Day Credit Policy
The affiliate payments you generate can take a while to be credited to your bank account. Walmart follows a 60-day retention policy, after which it credits your bank account with your share of the commission.
Is the Walmart Affiliate Program Good for Me?
It all boils down to the decision between commission rates and conversion rates. While other affiliate platforms might provide higher commissions, you might have a hard time boosting your conversion rates. Whereas, with Walmart, you’d be able to generate decent conversion rates, although at a low commission.
If you already have a well-established website (or one that deals in top-selling and exclusive products) with decent traffic and search volumes, you would probably tie up with other affiliate programs that offer higher commissions on products.
For example, if you deal in software products, the Avangate Affiliate Network would prove to be more profitable. On the other hand, if you deal in furniture and household, the Wayfair Affiliate Program would provide you with better odds.
However, if you’re just starting with your affiliate marketing journey and don’t own an authoritative website, you might as well lean on a brand like Walmart for better website views. Linking trusted products from the platform would help you boost your search traffic. You can then move on to other affiliate programs that offer better commission rates.
With an easy enrollment process and a wide selection of digital and physical products, the Walmart Affiliate Program is definitely one of the biggest affiliate marketing programs available.
You need to weigh the benefits against those from other programs such as Amazon and Wayfair. With the right kind of website content and promotion, you can set up sizable passive affiliate earnings for yourself.