Walmart Business Launches, Holiday Returns Decline, and Other News of the Week

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Today’s news is 1088 words and takes 4 minutes and 20 seconds to read.

Walmart takes on Amazon for a larger share of B2B ecommerce market

Walmart made more moves this week to boost online sales when it launched its new ecommerce site for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Walmart Business will feature over 100,000 items curated for businesses — furniture, electronics, food, office supplies, etc. Other features include:

  • Multi-user accounts (up to five)
  • Order history, payment info, and purchase power sharing
  • Enrollment in Walmart’s Tax-Exemption Program for auto tax accounting during checkout for qualified businesses
Businesses opportunity

Additional perks for members

Businesses also have an opportunity to sign up for a Walmart Business+ membership for extra perks. Memberships cost $98/year, plus tax, and gives businesses benefits like:

  • No-minimum free shipping
  • Free pickup and delivery on orders $35 and up
  • 2% bonus rewards on orders starting at $250
  • 5% savings on eligible subscription items

Shifting focus from buyers to sellers

Last week, Walmart announced a partnership with Salesforce offering fulfillment and delivery for Commerce Cloud customers. And this week, they launched this new platform for B2B sales. 

Walmart is trying to take a bite out of Amazon’s business sales. And that’s providing sellers with another platform where they can offload tons of products. Backed by the Walmart brand, this is a fantastic opportunity for online retailers pushing products in the B2B sector.

Big Retailer News

Holiday returns drop after sellers raise fees

In December, the National Retail Federation forecasted holiday returns would decline this year. And according to interviews and incoming data from DigitalCommerce360, it looks like that’s exactly how things are shaping up. 

Running the numbers

The survey stated, “On average, retailers expect 17.9% of merchandise sold during the 2022 holiday season to be returned.” And for online sellers, the number is even better at 16.5% — a drop from 20.8% in 2022. DC360 interviewed CPO Commerce president Mike Ritter who confirmed a “moderate” return rate this year that inexplicably bested returns numbers from previous years.

Why the drop in returns?

Theories floated in the article include:

  • Deep discounts in the pre-holiday season
  • Use of sizing tech in the fashion sector
  • New store features from platforms to optimize sites

Also, the National Retail Federation stated back in August that retailers were getting hit hard by returns overall. As a result, many companies — notably H&M (International section) — began testing and implementing policies for charging customers for returns to pass the cost. The full breadth of data isn’t available yet, but it’s a potential factor. 

Returns are still an issue

Regardless of the drop, sellers should still focus on the holiday season high return rate. In December, we provided insights on how you can implement a solid returns policy that mitigates the impact on your online business. 

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Amazon launches RxPass for Prime Members

This week, Amazon Pharmacy launched an additional benefit for Prime members called RxPass. The program offers a flat, monthly fee of $5 to access generic medications for over 80 common health conditions. It includes free delivery with no additional hidden costs, and it’s now available in most states across the US.

For web retailers

Covering pharmaceutical solutions isn’t our typical focus point for the newsletter. But moves like this have a broad impact on the ecommerce industry. New niche retail platforms are popping up every month, and sellers would be wise to pay attention to new opportunities. You may not be in the pharma business, but supplements and other healthcare items are booming in the ecommerce world. This move could also signal a draw for more Prime members and to retain current ones. 

Know of a healthcare niche platform sellers should know about? Let us know in the comments below!

Also in the News

International Retailer News

Etsy is working with a shipping partner to ease international shipping delays

As many international retailers are aware, the Royal Mail was hit with a cyber incident two weeks ago causing chaos for sellers in the UK. Service is returning to normal, but online sellers are still having issues with international shipping delays. 

To help sellers, Etsy announced this week on its message board that they’ve partnered with international carrier Evri to offer UK sellers 10% off all international parcels. 

Give us the details

The offer ends on March 1st and requires a code. You can get all the information you need on the Etsy Community Forum

Amazon expands cargo services in India

Although Amazon is cutting costs and laying off workers, the company is seeing an opportunity in India to ramp up sales. This week, the company announced the launch of its air cargo service there to ensure faster delivery times. This boost to the logistics arm is a solid investment in their long-term presence in the country.

Welcome news for Indian Amazon sellers

The starter fleet for the service includes two cargo planes flown by Quikjet Cargo Airlines to their fleet. They’ll ship packages between Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, which will increase last-mile delivery times and give sellers an opportunity to add more products to their inventory. 

Final Quote

“We’re thrilled to launch Amazon Air in India to ensure we can provide our growing customer base with great selection, low prices, and faster deliveries.” – Sarah Rhoads, Vice President, Amazon Global Air. 

Also in the News

  • Walmart is about to make a tremendous investment in Indian ecommerce and Flipkart. TechCrunch.
  • Amazon workers held their first strike in the UK. Bloomberg.


For everyone 

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

For US sellers

February 2: Clarifying the Misconceptions Behind Buying CTV/OTT. Tinuiti.

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Prime Day Preparation, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. Amazon.

January 31: eBay Webinar: How to build customer loyalty. ChannelX.


Jake Pool

Jake Pool

A content writer in the SaaS, FinTech, and eCommerce spaces, Jake Pool has written hundreds of articles and reviews for dozens of corporate blogs and online publications. With four years under his wing, readers can expect many more informative articles in the future.

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