Walmart Affiliate Program: How to Make Money Online as a Walmart Affiliate in 2020
The Walmart affiliate program is one network that’s worth a closer look. Promoting this program can earn you a decent income if you know what you’re doing.
In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the Walmart affiliate program, how it compares to other programs, and how you can make money with this network.
This is a comprehensive guide (Table of Content):
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
What is the Walmart Affiliate Program?
Let’s go back to 1962.
Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. He built a retail empire based on one principle: The lowest prices anytime, anywhere.
That meant shoppers could go into a Walmart and pay lower prices than anywhere else. It’s a business strategy that’s paid off handsomely for the company.
Walmart now operates over 11,500 stores worldwide.
Here’s a snapshot of their annual revenue from 2006 to 2020.
Walmart may dominate offline retail, but their eCommerce sales aren't far behind, and they're only growing.
Walmart's online purchases more than doubled from $15 billion in 2017 to $38 billion in 2020.
Those growing figures are an opportunity for you as an affiliate marketer.
So let’s have a closer look at their affiliate program.
The Walmart affiliate program allows you to earn commissions from sales you refer to their online store.
Walmart uses Impact Radius to manage their affiliate program. You’ll be able to log into your account and track your impressions, clicks, and commissions with their interface.
To join the program, you need to fill out an application form and wait for approval. Their approvals team typically responds within 24 hours.
To get started, simply head to their main affiliate page and click on the “Become a Member” button:
On the next page, you’ll be asked to fill in your personal information, including your name, email address, username, and the location of your bank.
You’ll also need to add a link to your website and a short description.
Your website should not promote sexually explicit materials or illegal activities — This is standard practice for most affiliate programs.
As long as you have a legitimate website, your application should be approved. Then you’ll be able to promote their products and even get access to free banners and data feeds.
What Products Can You Promote?
Walmart offers a huge selection of products across various categories. Unless you’re in an obscure niche, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a product to promote.
Below are all the departments that shoppers on Walmart.com can browse:
Browsing through these departments is also a great way to find a profitable niche. For example, here are all categories within “Sports, Fitness & Outdoors”:
You can click through each of these links to drill down even further. If you don’t already have a niche, you don’t need to pick one just yet, but jot down any that you might be interested in pursuing.
Walmart Affiliate Program Policy
The Walmart affiliate program offers a three-day cookie. That means you’ll still earn a commission even if a visitor returns to their shopping cart a few days later.
Walmart’s three-day cookie may be a limited referral window, but it’s actually more generous than the 24-hour cookie that Amazon offers.
This is a good thing as most shoppers need time to consider their purchase.
Your affiliate tracking code is embedded in the visitor’s browser, so you’ll earn a commission if they decide to buy within the next three days.
An important caveat is that Walmart follows a last click attribution model. You’ll only get credit for a sale if a click on your affiliate link leads directly to a purchase.
For example, let’s say a visitor clicks on your affiliate link. But they decide to do more product research and click a link from another affiliate marketer.
In this instance, you won’t get credited with the sale if they make a purchase even though you were responsible for generating that first click.
Walmart affiliate payments are net 60. Any commissions you earn won’t show up until two months later, so you’ll need to take that into account if you decide to promote their products.
Earning a commission is a great feeling, but don’t celebrate just yet. Any commissions you earn will be reversed if a customer returns a product or there’s a credit card dispute.
Reversals are unfortunate, but they happen. If reversals are occurring at a high rate, you may want to consider promoting a different product or even switching to a different affiliate network.
Walmart Affiliate Program Commission Structure
The Walmart affiliate program pays between 1% to 4% in commissions depending on the product category.
Here’s a look at the commission structure that Walmart offers for different categories:
The only two categories that pay more than 4% are “Business & Personal Checks” (18%) and “Contact Lenses” (10%). The rates for these categories may sound attractive, but they’re also in extremely competitive niches.
Walmart may offer a lower commission rate compared to other affiliate networks. But they’re an established company that gets tons of traffic to its retail locations and online store.
The company also has huge overhead costs like rent, utilities, storage, and shipping, so offering higher commission rates would eat into their profits.
Walmart continually optimizes its conversions. Conversion rates for desktop shoppers rose by 45%, while Amazon’s conversion rate increased by only 16% in the same period.
The strength of Walmart’s brand name combined with their high conversion rates means you can earn a steady income with their affiliate program.
Let’s look at how much you can make.
How Much Money Can You Make With the Walmart Affiliate Program?
You can absolutely make money with the Walmart affiliate program. But don’t expect that you can throw in a few affiliate links on your site and be able to quit your job the next day.
Walmart pays a fairly low commission rate, which means you’ll need a site with a decent amount of traffic to bring in a steady income.
Let’s look at how you can realistically make $1,000 a month. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible if you target the right product categories and deliver value with your site.
Here’s an example of a more expensive product that Walmart sells on its site:
This particular item falls in the “Home” category, so at a 4% commission rate you can expect to earn around $48. That means you need to sell about 20 of these sofas a month to earn $1,000.
How much traffic would you need to sell 20 of those sofas?
It depends on how well your page converts. Let’s say that you’ve written a review that converts at 5%. You would only need about 400 visitors to that page each month to hit your goal.
Keyword data from Google’s Keyword Planner tool reveals that the keywords “sectional sofa” gets a ton of monthly traffic.
Ranking for the keywords “sectional sofa” will be extremely difficult. But there are tons of long tail keywords and related phrases that you can target to reach 400 visitors a month.
Let’s look at another example in a different product category:
Electronics are a popular product category, but they’re far from profitable. If you sell this $328 TV from Samsung, you’ll only earn about $3.2 because of the 1% commission structure.
That means you’ll have to sell at least 312 TVs a month to earn $1,000. Assuming a 5% conversion rate, you would need to have a little over 6,000 visitors a month.
Keywords related to TVs also get tons of search traffic, but you’ll be facing a major uphill battle to get your pages ranked for them.
Ultimately, how much you can earn with the Walmart affiliate program depends on different factors — the niche you choose, the products you promote, your commission rates, etc.
Ideally, you want to target products in niches that get a decent amount of search traffic and have a higher commission rate. That will allow you to increase your earning potential.
Whether you choose to promote the Walmart affiliate program is ultimately up to you. But it’s a good idea to see what other affiliate networks offer before making your decision.
How the Walmart Affiliate Program Compares to Other Affiliate Networks?
You can build a solid income as a Walmart affiliate. But you can potentially earn even more by promoting other networks depending on your niche and target audience.
Let’s take a look at how the Walmart affiliate program stacks up against other major affiliate networks.
Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. The chart below of the top eCommerce retailers in the US shows just how much Amazon dominates the online retail space.
Amazon is an established name that millions of shoppers trust to buy products online. The company sells a staggering 4,000 items a minute across dozens of product categories.
Affiliates can earn commissions by promoting products from their vast catalog.
Below is a snapshot of the commission structure that Amazon offers:
The Amazon Associates Program offers higher commission rates than the Walmart affiliate program in some categories.
For example, the Walmart affiliate program only offers 1% on electronics, but the Amazon Associates Program offers 2% on electronics like TVs and 2.5% on PCs.
Earlier I gave an example of how promoting a $328 Samsung TV on Walmart’s site would earn you $3.28 in commissions. You could earn double ($6.56) as an Amazon affiliate.
A major downside with the Amazon Associates Program is their 24-hour cookie. You only get credited for a sale if a visitor you refer makes their purchase that same day.
Target is the second-largest discount retailer in the US, behind Walmart. You can earn up to 8% as an affiliate promoting their products.
Here’s the commission structure that Target offers for its affiliate program:
Target offers a generous 7-day cookie. But take a look above again and you’ll notice that commissions are only offered across a few product categories.
That means you’ll earn exactly $0 if you refer a visitor that ends up purchasing a product from a different category like electronics, household essentials, toys, etc.
CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is one of the biggest affiliate networks with over 3,000 advertisers. You’ll be able to connect with both small and large merchants.
Many companies use CJ Affiliate to manage their affiliate programs. You can promote products from brands like Zappos, Overstock, GoPro, Office Depot, and more.
You can easily find tons of products across different categories.
Commission rates vary depending on the product you promote. They pay out within 20 days of the end of the month, but you have to meet a minimum payment threshold of $50 for direct deposit or $100 by check.
One downside with CJ Affiliate is you have to individually apply to each merchant. But you shouldn’t have any problems getting accepted as long as you have a legitimate site.
ShareASale is another popular affiliate network with a wide selection of physical and digital products. They currently manage over 3,900 affiliate programs that span 40 different categories.
Commission rates and cookie duration both depend on the merchant you promote. Some programs pay up to 80% in commissions, while others are on the lower range.
One way to find profitable programs on ShareASale is to look at Power Rank — a list of the most profitable merchants.
Payments are issued on the 20th based on a net 30 model. You’ll also need to meet a minimum threshold of $50 before you can get paid by direct deposit or check.
This is just a short selection of some of the most popular affiliate networks. Be sure to check out our post on the best affiliate programs for even more.
How to Make Money With the Walmart Affiliate Program
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. You promote products on your site and earn a commission when a visitor you refer makes a purchase.
Once you put in the work, you can earn a steady income and scale your efforts.
Let’s look at how you can make money with the Walmart affiliate program.
01Build a Niche Site
A niche site is a site that focuses on a particular topic like luxury travel, fashion tips, home improvement, gaming, etc. These sites are designed to appeal to a certain group of people.
The most lucrative niches tend to be evergreen. They get tons of searches and have products that are in demand year round.
Health is an example of an evergreen niche. People are always looking for ways to improve their diets and slim down.
But “health” as a niche is simply too broad. You’ll likely have a hard time differentiating your site. Instead, focus on a more specific subset of health.
Here are some products from Walmart’s exercise and fitness category that you could build a niche site around:
As you can see, the health category has a 4% commission rate and there are tons of products you can promote.
Once you pick your niche, it’s time to register a domain.
Avoid registering an exact match domain (e.g., best-yoga-mats-for-beginners.com) as they appear spammy and limit the kinds of products you can promote.
Instead, register a branded domain (e.g., yogavana.com). Then you’ll be able to build your authority and increase your reach.
I recommend using WordPress — an open-source content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to build a full-fledged affiliate marketing site.
02Publish Valuable Content
Building a niche site is a great first start, but you can’t just expect your audience to find your site. You need to drive traffic to your pages to make sales.
The key to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is to publish valuable content. This achieves two things — it helps you build trust with your audience and drives more traffic to your site.
Publish content that’s relevant to your audience. What kind of questions are they asking? What are they searching for?
One way to find out is to search for your keywords in Google and look at the “People also ask” box.
Here’s an example for the keyword “home gyms”:
These are all excellent topics to create content around.
If you were building a niche site around home gyms, you could write a guide on how to build one on a budget and add affiliate links to those products.
Here’s an example of a well-written article from Garage Gym Power on this topic:
This particular page links out to products on Amazon, but you can link to Walmart instead.
Walmart SDK is a tool that lets you add brandable Buy Now buttons to your page.
These Buy Now buttons can be configured to add products directly to a visitor’s shopping cart.
The idea here is that reducing the number of steps it takes for a visitor to make a purchase can increase your conversion rates.
03Write In-Depth Reviews
One of the best ways to make money as an affiliate marketer is to write in-depth product reviews on your site.
Be sure that you cover each of the following in detail:
Talk more about who the product is for and what your final opinion is. You can even add in user reviews from sites like Amazon, Reddit, and Facebook.
Here’s an example of an in-depth review from Wirecutter, a product review site:
Should you buy the products you want to promote?
If you can, then absolutely. Owning a product and spending some time with it will give you more hands-on experience. You’ll also be able to add your own images and videos to your reviews.
But if you’re on a budget, you can still put together an extensive review on your own by reading through the product page and seeing what others have said about it.
04Optimize Your Content
Consumers today turn to search engines to conduct product research. 51% of shoppers say they use Google to research purchases.
Optimize your content for SEO to improve their visibility online. Be sure to optimize each of the following on-page factors for new content you publish:
- Meta descriptions
- Image ALT tags
- Page URLs
Include your keywords throughout your content. But don’t go overboard here as your primary focus should always be on creating informative content for your audience.
05Promote on Social Media
There are an estimated 3.6 billion social media users and that number is projected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.
Spread the word about your new niche site and reach your target audience on networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Walmart doesn’t allow affiliates to add their affiliate links on social media profiles. But you can still share your content and product reviews to your pages.
Walmart is a strong brand name that carries a ton of weight. Shoppers trust the brand because they know what to expect — a huge product selection at low prices.
Promoting the Walmart affiliate program can earn you a full-time income. But it’ll take a lot of hard work to build a site that gets a decent amount of traffic.
Start by following the strategies described here and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Have any questions that I didn’t cover here? Then feel free to leave a comment or share your own personal experience with the Walmart affiliate program below!