If you are deciding to sell on Walmart’s marketplace, you may have heard about Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS). Additionally, you may be wondering what WFS is and if you should be using it.
This article addresses all of your curiosities as well as; explains what WFS offers, the similarities and differences between FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), WFS, and alternatives. Without further ado, let’s jump in.
What is Walmart Fulfillment Services?
As of last year, Walmart launched a new range of services in fulfillment, while offering the lowest costs feasible for the sellers. Considering that Walmart has high seller performance standards and expectations, using their fulfillment seems like a good idea because Walmart aims to improve product availability to its consumers.
Moreover, they want to ensure customers have quick access to their goods in-store and online. In order to do so, Walmart needs their orders to be fulfilled accurately, on time, and in full. Because of this, the giant company has increased accountability and visibility of their supply chain. This change ultimately increases the demand for near-perfect metrics from their partners.
Ultimately, Walmart aims to prioritize the customer’s needs for high stock levels and fast delivery. It’s a no-brainer that any business would want this to deliver to their customers. However, the retail giant always plays hardball (that’s how they’re able to keep prices low).
Essentially, Walmart is telling their suppliers to step up or step back; leaving them with little time to adjust to the changes.
How Does Walmart Fulfillment Services Work?
If you’re interested in using the fulfillment services offered by Walmart, there is a process you must go through.
Those who are currently selling on Walmart’s marketplace can log in to the Seller Center account and check to see your eligibility. If you are not a current seller, you can apply and fill out the Walmart Fulfillment Services Interest Form. Here’s where it can get a little dicey. Signing up for WFS is not as simple as signing up for an Amazon selling account.
With fulfillment by Amazon, you can just simply register as an individual or a business. However, to sell on Walmart’s marketplace, your business must be registered and have a US Business Tax ID (SSN will not be accepted).
This is because Walmart is looking for trustworthy partners that are selling high-quality, authentic goods to expand their offerings. In other words, Walmart will not let just anyone sell on their marketplace; whether you are using WFS or not.
There are quite a bit of requirements to sell on Walmart’s marketplace. In fact, the requirements are in two groups: WFS requirements and product requirements.
Requirements to use Walmart Fulfillment Services
- US Business Tax ID (SSN not accepted)
- Primary product categories, catalog size and related information
- Planned integration method for your product catalog
Product requirements shipped to Walmart’s warehouses
- Products must ship to Walmart fulfillment centers from within the U.S. (meaning no shipments from third parties out of country such as China.
- No perishable or regulated products (so no cosmetics or healthcare products)
- Maximum product weight is 30 pounds
- Maximum product dimensions: 25″ x 20″ x 14″
If you’re approved for WFS, you will receive an invitation to set up your Marketplace Seller Account from Walmart.
Afterward, the next steps include: signing the Retailer Agreement with a Walmart representative, completing the profile registration, and onboarding. Even after all of those processes, you have to go through a final review and request to launch your store.
Overall, the process can take a few weeks to complete and can seem like a long drawn-out task.
FBA vs. WFS: Similarities and Differences
At this point, you may be wondering if they’re better alternatives. One alternative is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). However, WFS actually placed a ban on FBA. This way, the retail giant gets a better footing in its competition.
Similarities between WFS and FBA
Nonetheless, both WFS and FBA have their similarities and differences. Shall we take a look?
Guaranteed 2-Day Free Shipping and Free Returns
Like Amazon, Walmart offers 2-Day free shipping.
By storing your products in a Walmart fulfillment center, you can offer this to your customers. Both marketplaces will also pick and pack your orders. In addition to free shipping, Walmart offers to process returns just like Amazon.
Manages Customer Support
Both FBA and WFS will manage all customer service and return requests on the seller’s behalf. In turn, this allows sellers to focus more time on growing their sales, instead of dealing with customer inquiries.
Again, similar to Amazon, this only applies to WFS orders. It doesn’t apply if you fulfill your orders yourself.
According to Walmart’s WFS feature page, Walmart offers dedicated WFS call center associates to answer all of your questions. However, the jury is still deciding if it’s better than Amazon Seller Support.
Launching last year, Walmart now offers Walmart+.
Walmart+ is a service that directly competes with Amazon Prime. Moreover, Walmart+ membership costs $98 annually or $12.95 a month and includes a 15-day free trial period.
Additionally, it includes same-day delivery of groceries and other general merchandise, fuel discount, early access to deals, and other perks.
Walmart ‘Item Page Content
Another similar feature is Walmart’s version of A+ Content.
With Amazon, you need to be brand registered in order to create A+ Content. With Walmart, however, you will just need to be using WFS to be eligible for ‘Item Page Content.’
Differences between WFS and FBA
Sellers Need to Apply and Be Approved to Sell on Walmart
As previously mentioned, to sell on Walmart, you have to go through an application process. On the bright side, you will have less competition from other sellers on the marketplace. Whereas on Amazon, anyone can register to sell. So, this creates lots of competition.
Walmart currently has around 33,000 sellers vs. Amazon’s 2 million sellers.
Walmart Has a Simple Cost Structure
Walmart offers a simple cost structure that includes a fixed monthly storage fee; as well as a fixed monthly fulfillment price. This fixed storage and fulfillment fee is based on the shipping weight of your product alone.
On the other hand, Amazon’s storage fee is based on how much inventory you currently have in their warehouses. Furthermore, its fulfillment fees are based on the weight and dimensions of your product.
Walmart does not have a monthly subscription fee for sellers
Unlike the Amazon professional selling account which is $39.99 per month, Walmart does not charge its sellers a monthly fee.
Although Amazon’s per-month fee is not that much considering how much they do for you, it would be nice not to have to pay for that.
Fewer sellers mean more views per seller
According to Walmart, each seller receives roughly 27,000 monthly visitors. On the other side, Amazon’s sellers receive just 2,100 visitors monthly.
Because Walmart Marketplace is less saturated, Walmart sellers get 13x more visitors a month compared to Amazon sellers.
Personalized account management
Walmart connects sellers with a WFS fulfillment expert. WFS fulfillment experts provide custom recommendations on business optimization and growth.
If you would like to work with one of Amazon’s dedicated Account Managers, you will have to pay a large monthly fee ($1,600/month). Also, in addition to your monthly fee, a percentage of your sales is included as well..
Considering a 3PL Partner for Walmart Fulfillment
If you don’t want to deal with Walmart fulfillment, you can actually opt in to outsourcing entirely. Despite the options that WFS and FBA offers, there are other alternatives that definitely compete with the two.
Alternatives offered by 3PL’s can offer Walmart fulfillment and more. Third-party logistics (or 3PL) refers to the outsourcing of eCommerce logistics processes. This can include inventory management, warehousing, as well as fulfillment.
Why Choose a 3PL
There’s actually a wide variety of 3PL partners to choose from. However, When you need a good 3PL partner, there are certain things that you’ll want to look for and consider in your search.
Considering that many 3PLs find it difficult to meet the numbers Walmart is demanding, sellers should work with well-vetted ones. It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, however, you should take the time to find a reputable, efficient third-party logistics (3PL) partner. Ultimately this partner can help you improve your supply chain and help your business thrive.
There are many benefits to choosing a 3PL such as:
Keeping Up With Walmart’s Numbers Easily
A great 3PL not only stores your inventory but also provides full inventory management. From inventory forecasting, to providing analytics on how to split your inventory geographically, 3PLs can do a lot.
With a 3PL partner, you should be able to offer 2-day shipping as well! This is especially beneficial due to the fact that sellers on Walmart’s marketplace need to keep up with their demands.
Saving Time and Money
Working with a 3PL can save a lot of time as well as money. 3PLs that offer warehousing can take care of shipping and returns; not to mention inventory as well!
With this feature, sellers can take advantage of their time. When orders come in, 3PLs will jump right on it and initiate the order fulfillment process without you doing anything. It’s like having a warehousing team at your disposal.
Another benefit to working with a 3PL is the ongoing expertise.
With this expertise, sellers can receive help with growing their business. Scaling your business isn’t an easy task. Nonetheless, partnering with a 3PL, can provide great analytics such as splitting your inventory geographically.
Choosing Print Bind Ship for All Your Walmart Fulfillment Needs
While there are a wide variety of 3PL fulfillment partners, Print Bind Ship is a great one to consider.
When we’re not printing, we’re handling other logistics such as packaging and shipping. There are loads of services that we offer. Considering we’re covering Walmart fulfillment, here are some features that’ll help solve all your needs.
As previously mentioned, Walmart does not allow perishable or regulated products in their warehouse. So, if you’re a health and wellness or cosmetic seller, you would have a hard time selling on their marketplace.
With our warehouses, you have more flexibility with your products. Our warehouses at Print Bind Ship are FDA compliant which is great considering the sensitive nature of some health and cosmetic products. Ultimately, you can trust that we will handle your inventory with care.
Meet Walmart Shipping Requirements
Our shipping centers at Print Bind Ship are certified centers that are ready to ship worldwide within 24 hours of order processing. This is extremely beneficial because we know what Walmart and your customers are expecting in terms of shipping speeds. You can put your trust in our shipping centers to get orders to your customers fast, and in great condition.
When choosing to sell on multiple platforms, such as Walmart, you may want to start using custom packaging.
Custom packaging provides you and your customers with many valuable items as well as unique experiences! This is great for businesses that want to promote their brand in a way that creates value for customers. Not only can your products be shipped in custom packages, but kits and multimedia can as well.
At Print Bind Ship, we manufacture, print, and assemble custom packaging. From branding to shipping, we guarantee your customers will be excited to receive their orders.
Get Started With Print Bind Ship
Choosing a 3PL Walmart fulfillment partner might sound like a difficult task, but Print Bind Ship makes it easy.
We care about our customers; your success is our success. Get in touch with us to take advantage of our free consultations, and find out how we can help you with all your eCommerce fulfillment needs.