business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Walmart’s online marketplace, which is where third party vendors can sell their products, seems to be “getting more choosy … adding far fewer sellers a month compared with a year ago, according to data tracker Marketplace Pulse. The site, which Walmart created in 2009 to compete with a similar offering from Inc., now includes about 18,000 sellers.”

According to the story, “The slowdown mirrors a deceleration in growth at Walmart’s e-commerce business last quarter, which spooked shareholders and renewed concerns about the investments Walmart is making to catch up with Amazon.”

“We’re focused on adding the best items our customers want from the best sellers,” says Ravi Jariwala, a Walmart spokesman. “In any given month, the number of new Marketplace sellers added to our platform may fluctuate as we continuously add new items and offer customers an expanding range of choices.”

The story notes that Amazon adds almost 3,000 third party sellers to its various global online marketplaces each day, and that “Amazon has more than 2 million sellers in the US alone.”
KC's View:
I suppose there is one argument that Walmart can be a preferred choice by curating the products in its marketplace; I’m a big fan of curation as a competitive strategy. (It is sort of what I do for a living.) But in this context, I have to believe that Amazon’s breadth and depth of product is an enormous advantage.