In an effort to service small businesses more effectively, Walmart now offers special care with a program that understands their needs. The program, which was launched in September 2022, has attracted a “significant” number of small businesses who can order office supplies – including everything from shelving to sodas, snacks, and fresh fruit for the break room. It also offers installation and assembly services for items like furniture or television monitors for a ‘white glove’ type experience.
Small businesses are being born at a record pace. 10 million small business applications were filed in 2021 and 2022 alone, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Ashley Hubka, Walmart Senior Vice President and General Manager, is in charge of this new Walmart business platform.
Hubka said: “One thing that’s been true for a long time is that we have millions of businesses and non-profits that shop Walmart in our stores and on-line.” That makes a new business service dedicated to serving their needs a good idea.
The time is right to develop a unique offering and site for small and medium sized businesses and non-profits. Verified businesses and non-profit organizations can use the new Walmart Business for free or they can upgrade to Walmart Business (plus) for $98.00, similar in the way that Walmart+ membership is offered to household shoppers.
Hubka explained how businesses and non-profits can get started:
1. Look at the Walmart site or visit a store to see the assortment and pricing.
2. Register and provide information to verify that it is an eligible small business or non-profit organization. A tax ID number is required.
3. Once verified, the organization can remain a free account or upgrade to become a plus member.
4. Walmart Business members get free shipping with no minimum. Free delivery or pickup from store for orders over $35 is available, along with a 2% reward on orders of $250 or more and a 5% discount on repeat subscription items.
5. Walmart Business members also have access to analytics that allow them to look at their spend with Walmart.
Walmart understands that it must gain (and keep) the trust of these organizations who will rely on them to keep their operations running smoothly. The merchandise chosen by the store or non-profit has to be in stock, and Walmart must provide reliable order tracking and delivery
POSTSCRIPT: This is an important step for Walmart because it strengthens their competitive position. Amazon AMZN , Google GOOG , and others have launched help sites for minority owned start-ups. Walmart covers the U.S. with stores and services. It now will be easy for a small store or non-profit to be serviced anywhere since Walmart has a significant assortment of brands to satisfy any demand.