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In October, Walmart launched their new Walmart Creator beta program. They’re letting a limited amount of social media influencers into this new affiliate platform, with intentions of letting all accepted applicants into the program in early 2023.
First, what exactly is this new program? Second, is it a good side hustle opportunity? And most importantly, what does it mean for everyone who’s not an influencer and just wants to go about shopping Walmart products in peace? So. Many. Questions.
We’ll get into all that and more, but before we do, make sure you’ve downloaded The Krazy Coupon Lady app so you can keep on top of all of the latest Walmart deals — whether you’re a content creator or not.
Walmart Creator Program: The Gist
The Walmart Creator Program is essentially a new affiliate program that also comes with the opportunity to get free products from the retailer. It promises to be a supportive environment for content creators, with opportunities for trainings and access to advanced analytics.
Curated product collections are at the core of the program.
On the free product side, Walmart has curated a bunch of product collections across areas like clothing, cookware, and skin care. Influencers who are part of the Walmart Creator Program can get these products for free, though which influencers will be eligible — or if there are caps — remains yet to be seen.
There will be more concrete data after the product gets out of beta in early 2023.
On the money-making side, affiliate programs work like this: the company (in this case, Walmart) issues an affiliate tracking link. That link is good for a set number of days. In Walmart’s case, it’s 14 days.
As long as the last affiliate link the shopper used was yours, and they make a purchase within 14 days, you get a commission on whatever they buy.
As an affiliate, the company will give you access to analytics that show which products (tracked through affiliate links) perform best and other products you may be interested in based on the conversion rates Walmart is seeing across the board.
Am I eligible for Walmart Creator?
Unlike many of Walmart’s past influencer programs, Walmart Creator comes with no minimum follower requirements. You do have to apply, though it’s unclear what eligibility requirements will be after the program makes it out of beta testing.
In the past, Walmart’s influencer programs have required:
- You meet follower requirements.
- Your brand lines up with their company values.
- You aren’t employed by Walmart in any other capacity.
- You’re not separately involved in another Walmart influencer program.
Are there other perks for content creators?
Walmart is carrying over some of the perks of their past influencer programs into the Walmart Creator program. For example, Walmart Creators will get invites to exclusive Walmart events, brand launches, and themed campaigns.
Walmart also says they’ll provide trainings from experienced content creators, so there’s a free education element to it, too.
Related: We found simple and awesome ways to make money on the side.
How much does the Walmart Creator program pay?
Affiliate commissions through the Walmart Creator program can range from 0% – 18%. These rates could change at any time and are especially prone to do so before the program gets out of beta.
Currently, here’s how that breaks down:
Items in the following categories will earn 18% commission:
- Baby & Toddler Apparel
- Boys’ Apparel
- Girls’ Apparel
- Men’s Apparel
- Intimate Apparel
- Women’s Apparel
- Home Decor
- Bath & Shower
- Home Management
- Cook & Dine
- Arts & Crafts
- Sewing & Fabric
- Pets & Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Patio & Garden
- Automotive Tires
- Electronics* (though be sure to look at the 0% commission section below)
- Cameras & Supplies
- Books & Magazines
- All other product categories that are not included on the 18% or 0% – 1% list.
*Low or no commission products between 0% – 1%
You will only earn 1% commission on any food products sold.
The following earn 0%
- Media & Gaming
- Video Game Hardware
- Precious Metals
- Household Paper & Chemicals — so you won’t get rich off of any future TP panics
- Optical RX
- Items in the “Non-Commissionable” category
Get paid for Walmart Plus referrals.
If you refer users to Walmart Plus, you’ll also earn a commission. If someone signs up for Walmart Plus through a free trial tied to one of your affiliate links, you’ll make $7. If they sign up directly for the product without getting a free trial, you’ll make $16.
Related: Find out how you can side hustle yourself out of the 9-to-5 grind.
Is becoming a Creator a good side hustle?
Mehhhhh. It can be. But it takes a lot of unpaid work on the front end.
Let’s say Walmart was paying 18% commission on a shirt that sold for $15. You would need to sell 92 shirts to make $250.
Perhaps for influencers who have worked for a while to build a large, engaged following, that might be an easy task. But they’ve already put a lot of work into building those platforms.
The quality — or engagement level — of your audience is almost more important than the size. For example, if you had 1,500 followers but an incredible conversion rate of 6.5%, where 6.5% of your followers actually followed through on the purchase, you could expect to make $250+ for your promotion of the 18% shirt.
If you have an audience, Walmart Creator can be a way to supplement your online revenue streams. It’s super great because there won’t be caps on commissions.
For those just starting out, Walmart Creator could be a good way to get practical training and experience in the influencer marketplace. But it’s not going to pay your bills until you put in the hard work of building a dedicated following.
Related: Looking for other gigs that will help you make a buck immediately? Check out these other 101 side hustle options.
What does the Walmart Creator program mean to me as a shopper?
Are you wary that everyone you follow on IG is going to start hawking Walmart products? Surely there’s gotta be a downside to the end shopper, right?
Not really. Yes, Walmart is investing in advertising, but there are some protections for you as the end consumer.
Follow people you trust to only endorse products they love.
While there are ethics and regulations requiring honesty in product reviews, that doesn’t mean people always follow them. You can get a feel for if reviews and endorsements by a specific influencer are authentic by following along for a couple months before making any big purchases based on their recs.
Walmart is pretty good about ensuring disclosures.
Fortunately, the FTC requires a disclosure when a post is sponsored or contains affiliate links. Historically, Walmart has been on top of ensuring their influencers include this disclosure, or they risk getting kicked out of their programs.
This should help you identify which posts are organic and which ones have been compensated by Walmart in one way or another.
You won’t pay more just because you’re buying from an affiliate link.
Worry not: you as the shopper are not paying influencer commission on affiliate links. Walmart pays those commissions out of their own profit.
That means you won’t pay higher prices if you buy through an influencer’s affiliate link. In fact, sometimes brands will extend lower prices to an influencer’s following through specific affiliate links.
We have yet to see if Walmart will take this approach, but regardless — you as the shopper won’t pay more.