The Walmart marketplace has been booming over the last few years, and the addition of Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) shows that they’re ready to take another step forward for third-party vendors.
While the retail giant has always stayed competitive, the growth in Walmart marketplace really kicked off in 2020. The company saw this section of their business double in sales.
Now, Walmart is looking for even more ways to draw in marketplace sellers. The biggest change came by adding a fulfillment option for third-party vendors.
Multichannel sellers with a presence on the Walmart marketplace can take advantage of this program, and we want to help you do just that. We’ve put together this guide to provide you with a solid overview of the new service so you can make an informed decision for your brand.
What is Walmart Fulfillment Services?
Walmart Fulfillment Services allows Walmart marketplace sellers to store inventory and fulfill orders through various Walmart fulfillment centers.
Walmart established the WFS program in February of 2020 to support third-party vendors selling on their platform, giving them access to multiple fulfillment centers and one of the most impressive supply chains in the world.
The service started off slowly, with Marketplace Pulse reporting that a mere 430 Walmart sellers started using the service by the end of 2020.
However, the service has grown alongside the marketplace as a whole with a variety of sharp jumps in the numbers throughout 2021, according to Michael Waters at Modern Retail.
As the new year rolls in, the company shows continued signs of prioritizing this part of their marketplace business to better serve their vendors.
Walmart Fulfillment Services Pros and Cons
There are lots of advantages to Walmart Fulfillment Services, but just like any other program, it comes with unique challenges. We want to give you a full picture, the good and the bad with this pros and cons list.
Fast and free delivery for your customers. To stay competitive with Amazon, Walmart has introduced two-day shipping for WFS sellers.
- Improved inventory management. The reporting dashboard offered by the WFS portal gives Walmart sellers the ability to track orders, manage stock levels, and monitor shipments all in real time. While everything is housed in a Walmart fulfillment center, you still have the ability to keep your eye on your products.
- Simple pricing structure. There are only two primary costs that factor into the WFS price: a monthly storage fee and shipping costs according to the size of the product.
- Greater visibility on the Walmart Marketplace. Joining Walmart Fulfillment Services also allows you to have higher search rankings and greater Buy Box prominence. WFS sellers automatically get assigned the TwoDay tag because of the two day shipping option attached to the program. The marketplace platform prioritizes these brands in their search rankings, making this a great way to get ahead of your competitors. You can also combine this with search boost tools that bring you even higher in the rankings.
- Outstanding customer support. WFS sellers have access to Walmart’s excellent customer support services, and their team will handle issues on your behalf, too. They manage any of the inquiries, refunds, and return issues customers might have along the way.
- Exclusivity Rules. Walmart Fulfillment Services doesn’t want to share its glory with others, so sellers cannot sell products through the program and other fulfillment services at the same time.
- Geographically Limited. As of right now, Walmart sellers using WFS can only ship within the United States or to select military addresses and American territories.
- Specific Product Dimensions. The size of eligible products can be frustrating and limiting for marketplace sellers looking to ship large items.
How does Walmart Fulfillment Services Work?
Like any specialized service, the WFS program is not right for every multichannel online seller. In order for the service to operate smoothly, they needed to put some guardrails around specific details like product specifications, shipping, and seller reputation.
Understanding the specific requirements will help you determine whether or not Walmart Fulfillment Services will work for your brand.
Products must fit the following criteria to be eligible for the program:
- Must be shipped from within the US to Walmart fulfillment centers.
- No perishable or regulated products allowed.
- Shipping weight cannot exceed 30 pounds.
- Dimensions of no more than 25″ x 20″ x 14″.
Walmart Fulfillment Services’ simple pricing structure makes it easy to predict the cost of the program for your company.
The price is made up of a fixed monthly storage fee as well as a fulfillment price that fluctuates based on only a product’s shipping weight.
Fulfillment fees start at $3.45 for one pound products and go up from there, topping out at $17.55 plus $0.40 per pound for anything between 51 and 150 pounds.
Oversize items have their own additional expenses, and you can find a detailed account of all fulfillment costs and storage fees at the Walmart website.
How Does Walmart Fulfillment Compare to Amazon FBA?
Walmart fulfillment services can be seen as a response to Amazon FBA, but the two aren’t exactly the same. Knowing the differences can help your team in your decision-making process.
- WFS gives all Walmart shoppers access to free two-day shipping on orders over $35. Only Amazon customers with Prime memberships get that kind of fast shipping, no matter what services the seller has signed up for.
- WFS has not had the same kind of delivery issues that Amazon experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Walmart’s extensive fulfillment network makes it likely that customers will always have their items delivered quickly and in good condition.
- FBA requires sellers to ship their inventory to various fulfillment centers. WFS just uses one or two of Walmart’s fulfillment centers, making the process much simpler for Walmart sellers.
How to Get Started With Walmart Fulfillment Services
Online sellers looking to join Walmart fulfillment services will go through a simple onboarding process. Our company has partnered with Walmart to create a seamless application that shouldn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes to fill out.
Every potential seller will need to provide the following information:
- Your US Business Tax ID (not your SSN – that won’t be accepted).
- Either a W9 or W8 form and a EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury that verifies your US business address or place of physical operations.
- The address or place of your company’s physical operations.
- A US Business address.
- Which integration method you plan to use for your product catalog.
- Information regarding your primary product categories, catalog size, and other related items (things like total SKUs and if you sell new or refurbished items).
You can find the whole application and fill it out here.
Existing Walmart sellers can skip over the application part and simply sign in to their seller central account or add Walmart as a channel in their StoreAutomator dashboard.
Optimize Your Walmart Fulfillment Services Experience with StoreAutomator
Walmart fulfillment services offers a great opportunity to join an already booming marketplace. The growth of the Walmart ecommerce platform has shown that it can be a great tool for online sellers looking to diversify their sales channels.
Just like any channel, though, Walmart’s marketplace requires certain best practices if brands want to have the greatest level of success. Companies should look for ways to
- Stay on top of their inventory management
- Enhance their product listings to lead to more conversions
- Monitor analytics across channels to identify successes and areas to improve.
StoreAutomator exists to help multichannel sellers thrive in such a competitive market. Our platform is well established, trusted by brands that focus on various niches and industries. We have the tech capabilities to easily integrate into your current workflows, empowering you to start strong as you join Walmart Fulfillment Services.
If you’d like to discover how StoreAutomator can help your brand succeed, book a free demo with us anytime.