Walmart Adds Fulfillment Services for Third-Party Vendors

What is Walmart Fulfillment Services?

If you’ve ever used FBA, then you’ll be familiar with what Walmart is rolling out to its third-party vendors with its Walmart Fulfillment Services, or WFS.

WFS handles order fulfillment, customer service, and provides sellers with a dashboard to track inventory and other account-related metrics.

Like Amazon’s FBA, Walmart Fulfillment Services, or WFS, will enable third-party sellers to not only gain more visibility on the ecommerce site, but sellers will also be able to streamline their operations for Walmart further.

Those sellers who are expanding out of Amazon and onto other marketplaces will be able to reduce their own warehousing and logistical needs.

Learn more about Walmart Fulfillment Services from their website.

Here are some other benefits of Walmart Fulfillment Services:

  • Improved customer service with faster delivery, easy returns, and good customer service
  • Save money with simple pricing and no hidden fees
  • Track inventory, orders, and shipments with Walmart’s Dashboard
  • Get higher search placement and visibility with Buy Box and Two Day tags, along with more control over item page
  • Streamline returns and omnichannel free and easy returns (return online or at the store)
  • Personalized support from a WFS expert
  • Nationwide coverage with 2-day delivery

Why use WFS?

Sellers who use FBA know why a fulfillment service can be powerful: it reduces the need for employees to spend time handling support and order fulfillment.

Many sellers look to diversifying their marketplaces so that an incident, like a suspension, on one marketplace won’t drastically affect their business. But one obstacle to Walmart was the need to handle order fulfillment and customer service, aspects of a business that can be extremely labor-intensive and costly.

WFS provides roughly similar benefits to FBA, and just as importantly, WFS will allow sellers with limited warehouse space and technology to expand to a big marketplace like Walmart.

WFS and FBA are very similar in that both programs offer sellers the ability to offload their customer support, allowing Walmart and Amazon to handle customer service (questions, refunds, and returns).

Here are some possible advantages to WFS over FBA:

  • Customers can return their purchases to a Walmart store
    • As of March 2020, there are roughly 4 times more Walmart stores (4,769) than Kohl’s stores (1,158), making returns more convenient for customers
  • Fixed monthly storage fee and fulfillment price based on shipping weight alone (with exceptions for apparel and hazmat items)
  • Customer support for sellers from WFS associates

WFS Restrictions

Like FBA, there are some restrictions for WFS that will turn away some sellers. Those are:

  • Products must ship from within the US
  • No perishable or regulated products
  • Maximum product weight is 30 pounds
  • Maximum product dimensions of 25″ x 20″ x 14″

The biggest of these restrictions is the first one: sellers won’t be able to ship from their factory out of the country straight into Walmart as they can with Amazon. This may help curb some of the rampant listings of Chinese products on Walmart.

Conclusion

Ultimately, sellers on Amazon will find it easier to migrate to an additional platform like Walmart. Previously, the need to handle warehousing, customer support, and other fulfillment logistics made selling on Walmart an obstacle, especially for the millions of smaller Amazon sellers.

Businesses will have to manage two different fulfillment services, so there’s likely room for mistakes and confusion, but once the confusion from adoption is resolved, sellers are likely to increase their sales with less work thanks to WFS.

Sellers who are already using FBA can easily expand to Walmart’s marketplace, and considering how ubiquitous Walmart is in the United States, the appeal to sell on Walmart through WFS will be very strong for all sellers if Walmart can make it work.

Compare 9 Online Marketplace Fees

Marketplace fees from various online marketplaces can sometimes be tricky to find. We’ve collected 9 marketplaces and their fees in this article to help you decide where to sell. If you’re already selling on one of these marketplaces, consider expanding your store and inventory to these others. Expand your store name and brand recognition and capture more sales.

Want to learn where sellers get their inventory from? Check out our article on sourcing.

Amazon

Amazon has both a free individual plan and a $39.99 monthly professional selling plan. This is the largest marketplace with worldwide distribution and reach. While the prices may be competitive, you’ll have access to more customers and more sales.

If you’re a new seller, many of the categories may be gated, while some brands are restricted. Certain categories require approval and sometimes a one-time fee of a few thousand dollars. Amazon fees are 15%.

Amazon Fee Table

eBay

After Amazon, eBay is probably the most recognized online marketplace. Like Amazon, there’s a basic fee structure and different Store levels that take slightly lower fees for selling. We’ve included the starter fee table below. The Store subscriptions take roughly 9% instead of 10%. This marketplace is very popular for used merchandise, whereas Amazon customers expect new products.

eBay fees are 10% plus an additional 2.9% Paypal fee, though this may be changing once eBay starts accepting payments. There are additional listing fees and promotional fees that will increase your total marketplace expense.

Ebay Starter Fees

Etsy

If you’re selling handmade or crafty products, then Etsy is a great marketplace to sell your products. Many customers come to Etsy wanting something unique and with a personal touch. These handmade products don’t necessarily do well on Amazon since these small batches mean that products will never make it to the front page.

Etsy takes 5% and an additional 3% if you use Etsy’s payment system. These fees are in addition to listing and other fees.

Etsy Fee Table

Google

Read our article on Shopping Actions to learn more about listing across Google Products. Google is a major new contender for online shopping. With more than 3 billion searches every day, you’re bound to get impressions and clicks for your products.

Google takes 12%.

Commission Table Shopping Actions

Jet

Walmart purchased Jet in 2016. While Jet may not have the traffic of its competitors, it still has the brand recognition that other marketplaces listed here may not have.

Jet’s fees are 15% for most categories, putting it on par with Amazon fees.

Jet.com Fees

Newegg

Most tech-savvy customers will recognize Newegg. But what most people may not know is that Newegg has expanded its inventory (and marketplace) beyond computer and electronic components. Newegg and its vendors now sell products ranging from fashion accessories to automotive parts.

Newegg’s fees range from 10% (computer hardware) to 14% (apparel and accessories). Newegg also has three subscription levels that offer different features. The most basic subscription is free for vendors starting out. One unique feature Newegg offers is the ability to sell products in China, greatly expanding your audience.

Newegg Fee Table

Rakuten

SimilarWeb puts the number of Rakuten’s visitors on par with Jet.com.

Like Amazon, Rakuten charges a monthly fee and takes 12-15% commission in addition to a per-item fee of 99¢.

Rakuten Fee Table

Tictail

This is another alternative to Etsy. If you’re looking to develop your brand, Tictail may be a great additional marketplace to sell your products and gain exposure. Because it’s aimed at small businesses, there are no commissions except for payment processing fees of 3.5% and 30¢ per order.

Tictail Fees

Walmart

Walmart is one of the largest online retailers with a physical presence across the country. Walmart’s purchase of Jet.com in 2016 means shows that it’s serious about growing its online operations and sales. While there are some issues being worked out, Walmart has the potential to capture more of the online shopping market share.

Walmart takes a fee of 15% for most categories.

Walmart Fees

Below are a few other marketplaces you can look into. Finding the fees for these may require registration and a little more effort. For example, Best Buy requires Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Other marketplaces, like Zibbet, may be too small for larger business to spend time setting up.

  • Best Buy
  • Zibbet
  • Alibaba for USA sellers

If you’re looking to start your own store, then there are numerous options. As an online merchant, selling on these marketplaces will expand your sales and get your brand and store out there. Just starting your own Shopify site won’t give you the same traffic and exposure as selling on Amazon or eBay.  But you’ll eventually want to set up your own ecommerce store, and there are options out there to get started immediately.