Walmart is aiming to bring its customers more selection online, and it is opening its doors to more third-party sellers to do it. Arch-rival Amazon currently has nearly 2 million active third-party sellers on its site; Walmart, while declining to share numbers, is certainly nowhere close.
But the smaller scale and selective vetting process has a definite upside: Walmart can exercise more control over the quality of products on its marketplace. Amazon, on the other hand, has been raked over the coals repeatedly for the counterfeit and defective products sold on its site.
Walmart recently opened its marketplace to sellers outside the United States, a move that concerned some analysts and many sellers. Walmart cited the high bar it sets for its sellers, US-based and otherwise, and said that customers are looking for more selection.
"Our customers are looking for us to provide them as much breadth and depth as they can find," Jeff Clementz, vice president of Walmart Marketplace, said in an interview.