In recent years more and more businesses have been turning to marketplaces to power their ecommerce sales, and for good reason. Third-party marketplaces come with many advantages compared to stand alone online stores, such as instant reach, much larger audiences and out-of-the-box solutions for common eCommerce challenges, like shipping and marketing. These benefits help businesses scale incredibly quickly, but they can also be a double-edged sword.
In increasingly saturated marketplaces many businesses struggle to make sure their products stand out, which drastically decreases the impact of the increased customer base. To fully realize the rewards of selling on a marketplace, sellers must be able to carve a unique niche for their business. That could mean competing on price or focusing on catalog optimization. But for the best results, businesses should focus on offering a unique product assortment. While this may sound daunting, sometimes the secret to success is simply to look in less expected product areas, such as refurbished products.
The power of refurbished goods
Fueled by increasing eco-consciousness in consumers, the market for refurbished goods is hot and growing. According to one poll, 94% of consumers have purchased a refurbished product in the last three years.* The market for refurbished mobile phones alone was valued at $52 billion in 2021, and is projected to grow to $145.9 billion by 2031.**
Despite this, breaking into refurbishing comes with its own set of challenges, such as:
- Building and maintaining customer trust in your refurbished goods
- Maintaining high-demand inventory
- Creating competitive pricing that appeals to price-sensitive consumers
With the right tools building a successful refurbishment business is more than possible. Most marketplaces will provide solutions for things like fulfillment or advertising, but refurbishment businesses may also look for marketplaces that have tools specifically designed to help their businesses grow.
For example, Walmart Restored provides a dedicated shopping experience that drives traffic to listings of refurbished goods. It’s given many refurbished sellers a leg up—including outdoor equipment seller SJM Ventures. Read on to learn how they grew their refurbishing business on Walmart.
SJM Ventures sees 89% YoY growth
Part 2: SJM Marketplace Ventures business growth on Walmart Marketplace
When SJM Ventures joined Walmart Marketplace in 2017 they were looking for a place to sell their products online. They got a partner that helped them grow by reaching new customers, marketing to them effectively, and most importantly, expanding their assortment. In 2021 the company saw an impressive 86% growth in sales, followed by 49% growth in 2022. How did they do it?
Create customer trust with Walmart Restored
SJM Ventures saw an opportunity to sell their refurbished goods using Walmart Restored. This program fosters trust between buyers and sellers by establishing high-quality standards and offering customers a 90-day free return window. Buyers feel safe knowing they have the guarantee of Walmart’s brand, and sellers can sell confidently knowing they have a dedicated partner in commerce.
Increase assortment to reach more customers
Finding a category that resonates with customers is the first step to starting any business. Expanding that niche and finding new products your customers will love is an important step two. Before joining Walmart Marketplace, SJM Ventures already carried great brands such as Troy-Bilt, DeWalt, Cub-Cadet and Snow Joe. They noticed a demand online for heavy machinery and saw an opportunity to expand their assortment even further. SJM used Walmart Restored to market and sell their refurbished machines online. They now ship over 100 riding mowers, tillers and more every week.
Just having great products isn’t enough. SJM Ventures needed a way to get their products in front of customers. They boosted exposure and sales by offering competitive pricing with Flash Picks and utilized the Walmart Marketplace Repricer tool to make sure their customers always had access to fair, competitive pricing. Then SJM Ventures increased product visibility by marketing to customers actively searching for related items on Walmart.com using Sponsored Products advertising with Walmart Connect. Now 27% of SJM Ventures’ sales are made through Sponsored Products advertising.
Offer free, fast shipping to customers
Like any consumer, refurbishment customers are drawn to convenience. SJM Ventures leveraged Walmart Fulfillment Services—Walmart’s low-cost, end-to-end fulfillment service—to provide customers 2-day shipping. They were able to add another 15% in GMV and saw a 49% in YTD sales as a result.
See what you can do with Walmart Marketplace
Walmart Marketplace has the tools to help you up-level your business, whatever it is. Whether you’re selling refurbished goods or new, you’ll benefit from the unique ecosystem of solutions that help you reach customers and grow your business, every step of the way. Want to see how Walmart can change your business for the better? Join today, it takes 3 simple steps.
*Business Wire, “Consumers Choosing Refurbished Products to be Environmentally Responsible According to Liquidity Services’ Survey,” April 24, 2014
** Allied Market Research, “Refurbished and Used Mobile Phones Market Research, 2031,” January 2023