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Walmart is the world's largest bricks-and-mortar retailer and the growth of the company is not slowing down.
In this review, I will cover everything there is to know about the Walmart affiliate program.
You will learn how much money you can expect to earn, how you can approach promoting the program, and also read a comparison with the Amazon Associates Program.
Table of Contents
What is the Walmart affiliate program? It’s an affiliate marketing program that allows website owners to earn commission when customers buy products from the Walmart website.
The program uses Impact Radius as their affiliate service provider (until June 2019 it was Rakuten Linkshare). To join the program, you need to complete an application and wait for approval. They claim that the approval process takes no more than 24 hours.
In order to get accepted, you need to have a website. Your website should not promote sexually explicit material, illegal activities, etc. This is standard for all affiliate programs. If you have a normal website, you should be fine. You can read everything about the enrollment process in their terms and conditions.
Generally speaking, Walmart is not very strict about letting people join their program unlike some other affiliate programs, such as eBay’s.
Once you are accepted onto the program, you will be provided with banners and, most importantly, you will be able to generate links. Walmart obviously allows deep linking so you can create a link to any product page you wish.
You will be also provided with data feeds with information about top-selling and exclusive products.
What’s worth mentioning is that you cannot place links to any social networking site and that you can’t use paid advertisements.
Walmart affiliate program commissions vary depending on the category. The commission rate for the majority of categories is 1% or 4%. Below you can look at the referral fee schedule.
Commission rates are obviously not very exciting. However, keep in mind that even though the commission rates are low, Walmart is a trusted, established company so if you promote the right product to the right audience, you should have quite a high conversion rate.
Walmart has, just like Amazon, a huge number of different products across various categories so whatever your niche is, you should be able to find products that fit your website audience and make sense to promote.
The program has a three-day referral window and last click credit policy. That means that if a visitor to your website clicks on your affiliate link but doesn’t buy the product and then the following day goes on the Internet, reads a review on a different website and clicks on their affiliate link and buys, you will not be eligible for commission as only the last click gets the credit.
When will you get paid? According to the terms and conditions, approximately 60 days following the end of each calendar month. It takes quite a while compared to other affiliate programs.
You already know how much the Walmart affiliate program pays and it is not much. The question is whether you can make $1,000 a month with such a low commission rate.
The short answer is ‘yes you can’. Just like many affiliates reach the $1,000 a month benchmark with Amazon Associates, the same can be achieved with the Walmart affiliate program.
However, don’t expect it to be easy. If you want to make $1,000 a month with any affiliate program that has low commission rates, then you need to have a website with a lot of traffic.
Preferably, you should focus on products that are more expensive and fall into the 4% commission rate category.
Let’s do the math on a specific product.
This product, which sells for $105, claims to help create clean and clear skin and falls into the beauty category with 4% commission.
4% of $105 = $4.2
In order to earn $1,000 a month on this specific product, 238 people would have to buy it.
How much traffic would you need to reach 238 buyers? It’s obviously impossible to calculate a precise number but let’s calculate at least an estimate.
A good conversion rate is anything above 3%. Let’s be optimistic and say that you have written a kick-ass review of this product and have a conversion rate of 5%.
With a 5% conversation rate, you would need around 4,800 people to read your product review each month.
Would it be possible for this product? It would, but it’s not very likely. Even though acne treatment is a huge niche with a lot of search volume, it’s also very competitive and so it would be hard to reach that kind of traffic.
Let’s do one more product example. This time, I have selected a product from the electronics category which has only a 1% commission rate.
1% of $1000 = $10
With this product, you would need 100 buyers a month to earn $1,000 a month.
With a product that costs $1000, you cannot expect to get 5%, even if we were being very optimistic. The very optimistic conversion rate would be around 2%.
To get 100 buyers with a 2% conversion rate, you would need to have 5,000 visitors a month.
As you can see from this example, promoting more expensive products with lower commission rates requires a similar amount of traffic.
Obviously, the way to earn more would be to promote a product that is expensive, like this TV, but falls into the 4% category. If you managed to get a 2% conversion rate with a commission rate of 4%, you would obviously earn significantly more.
4% of $1000 = $40
However, for expensive products the conversion rate will, most of the time, be pretty low (below 1%).
After reading the previous section you may feel that the Walmart Affiliate Program is not worth your time as in order to make a decent income you need a lot of traffic to your product review.
However, don’t get too discouraged.
I selected a product in a competitive niche on purpose to better demonstrate how you should approach promoting Walmart products.
Whether you want to make $1,000 a month promoting Walmart’s or Amazon’s products, you always have to promote a lot of products related to your niche. With retail affiliate programs, it doesn’t happen often that a single product earns you more than $100.
If you ask any successful affiliate who makes a living promoting Walmart or Amazon, they will tell you that they do have a couple of products that earn them significantly more commission than others, but they will also tell you that their overall earnings are mostly made up of small earnings on a lot of products.
This means you should preferably go with a niche in which you have a lot of products to promote.
Of course, if you go with a very narrow niche in which you can promote only three products then you can still be successful provided that there is very little competition for that niche and that it has good search volume for related keywords. If you find such a niche, it can be a gold mine.
If you don’t discover such a niche in Walmart’s categories, select a niche with a lot of search volume and then find a subcategory within that niche that is not so competitive.
You can more easily rank your product reviews for such products and at the same time, you have room for growth. Once you reach your earnings limit in one subcategory, or you have no more products to write reviews about, you can simply expand to another subcategory.
It’s therefore important that when you launch a new affiliate website you think long-term and that you think about later expansion.
I don’t recommend registering domains that include your keywords. For example, if you register a domain ‘budgetbeds.com’ then you limit yourself to promoting just beds. If you later decide that you want to expand to promote furniture and home décor as well, you will not be perceived as an authority because of your domain name. Therefore, choose either domains with more generic keywords, which allow expansion, or go with a brand domain.
If you have built up an affiliate website in the beauty niche, then obviously you should never add a category ‘electronics’ and start promoting appliances as well. In that case, building a new website would be necessary.
The other approach is to not limit yourself to a specific niche and go broad promoting products across various categories.
This approach is, in my opinion, much harder as it is much more difficult to establish authority. If you promote beauty products as well as electronics, people will not take your reviews that seriously as they will not perceive you as an expert.
If you decide to go with a general website, you should focus more on people who are looking for inspiration and not anything specific.
A lot of successful general affiliate websites I have seen curate products that are either funny or uncommon. For instance, a floating beer ping pong table, inflatable T-Rex costume, etc. – you get the idea.
These kinds of affiliate websites convert extremely well in December when people are looking for present ideas.
If you get momentum with a general website, it’s a great source of passive income as it does not require you to do much work. You don’t have to spend time writing lengthy reviews, you can just list product images, a description and a ‘’buy/check it out button‘’.
The problem with general affiliate websites is that it is harder to grow them with SEO. With general affiliate websites, you have to try ranking for more general keywords like ‘’cool gadgets’’, ‘’cool things to buy’’, etc. Obviously, general keywords are always competitive and ranking for them is not easy.
Funny and unusual products tend to do very well on social media, but don’t forget that the Walmart affiliate program forbids using social media. If you wanted to use social media, you would have to link from your social accounts to your website first.
Affiliates can use some affiliate tools that make it easier to find Walmart’s deals, create links and banners right from Walmart.com or to place a ‘’Buy Now’’ button in your content.
Walmart SDK allows you to embed a ‘’Buy Now’’ button next to product banners or anywhere in your content.
What’s great about the ‘’Buy Now’’ button is that it can be configured to directly add the product to the cart on Walmart.com. This is something that can increase conversion rates as it shortens the buying process of the customer.
Walmart has developed its own WordPress plugin which provides you with banners and links to Walmart products. The plugin also lets you create links to search pages which can be useful if you want to promote a particular brand or particular type of product and not a specific one.
Links and banners can be added while composing your articles on WordPress which can be very convenient if you are adding a lot of products.
From the WordPress plugin repository it seems that Walmart has stopped updating the plugin as it hasn’t been updated in three years. Plugins that are not regularly updated can include a security vulnerability. Most likely the plugin is fine, but just be aware that it represents a higher risk than plugins that are regularly updated. I personally try not to run any plugins that haven’t been updated in over two years.
The official Walmart Chrome extension is quite powerful as it allows you to generate links and banners while browsing Walmart.com. This extension can save you a lot of time. You can see how the extension works in the video below.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article the extension could not connect to my Impact Radius account. The extension now works only with accounts created with Rakuten Linkshare. Impact Radius has been Walmart’s main affiliate service provider since June 2019 so hopefully they will reflect that change soon so affiliates with accounts with Impact Radius can use the extension.
This chrome extension gives you easy access to Walmart special offers, bestsellers, clearance and rollback deals. Unlike the Walmart official Chrome extension above, this extension is not connected to your affiliate account so you cannot create any links. This extension is only good for quick previews of Walmart’s offers.
The Walmart affiliate program is often compared with Amazon Associates.
If you look at the Amazon affiliate commission structure, you will see that Amazon Associates have the edge.
Amazon Associates has higher commission, but it only has a 24-hour referral period compared to the three-day period offered by Walmart.
In my opinion, you should not limit yourself to just one of these programs. As an affiliate marketer, you should constantly test, analyze and optimize.
Join both programs, see what program has a bigger conversion rate and earns you more and then decide to which program you should devote more attention.
The Walmart affiliate program definitely has potential and there are many people making full-time income with just this program.
Personally, I don’t think that the program is good for people who are just starting with affiliate marketing and launching their first affiliate websites.
As you have learned from my product examples, to earn $1000 a month, you would have to have around 5,000 visitors a month (if you had an optimistic conversation rate of 5% for mid-price products and 2% on expensive products).
But, of course, your conversation rate could as well be just 1% and then you would need to have around 24,000 visitors a month to earn $1000 a month with the same product. This is a lot of traffic for anyone who is just starting out. If you write good reviews and understand SEO, it’s just a matter of time for you to reach that traffic, but the question is if it is worth the effort.
There are other affiliate programs that have much higher commission rates and which do not require that much traffic to earn $1000 a month, even if the conversation rates are just 1-2%.
On the other hand, if you are in the position that you already have an established niche website with decent traffic, then trying the Walmart affiliate program is worth a shot.
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