Walmart links up with Shopify to boost its online marketplace

US-based Walmart has announced a partnership with eCommerce shopping platform Shopify to expand its third-party marketplace and pitch it more firmly up against key retail rival Amazon. The deal will enable the US retailer to expand the scale of its $2.5 billion online business and gain ground on Amazon.

The tie-up gives the 1,200 Shopify sellers the opportunity to market their products on the Walmart platform by simply installing the Walmart Marketplace capability from within the suite of Shopify tools.

Jeff Clementz, VP of Walmart Marketplace, stated: "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 move will allow Walmart to potentially continue to benefit from the serious boost to its online sales it has enjoyed as a result of Covid-19. The retailer’s online business grew 74% last quarter, outpacing the growth seen in the rest of the company.

Walmart’s focus will be on looking for small and medium-sized businesses with product ranges that complement its own proposition and have delivered a high level of customer service. But as well as increasing the online assortment of Walmart the deal will also provide the ability for returns from Shopify sellers to be brought into the retailer’s physical stores. This gives it a serious advantage over Amazon.