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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
Why should you consider using WFS to bring your product to the online marketplace? Beyond potentially boosting your sales, it offers an assortment of perks to Marketplace sellers, including the following:
It’s easy to get up and running with the platform. Once you’re approved as a Marketplace seller, mail your inventory to a Walmart fulfillment center and their team will handle the rest. This allows you to focus on making sales and growing your business.
In addition to the benefits WFS offers sellers, the competitive pricing structure also makes this service stand out. There are no fees to get started with the program, and you won’t be hit with monthly subscription dues to use the platform. Instead, sellers are assessed a fixed monthly storage rate, and the Walmart fulfillment price is based on shipping weight.
WFS is ideal for independent sellers who offer products that are simple to pack and ship, and are seeking ways to increase their online sales without spending a fortune. It’s also a good fit for e-commerce entities with high sales volumes who want to outsource the picking, packing, and shipping.
This low-cost solution can also help these brands identify even more prospective customers, increase brand awareness, and scale their business by attracting existing Walmart shoppers.
For many ecommerce merchants, it’s difficult to independently handle order fulfillment. On top of operational challenges, fulfillment isn’t cheap. According to Statista, 53% of merchants revealed that their fulfillment costs had risen in 2020.
These rising costs can be attributed to the need for personnel, insurance, and warehouse space. Working with a fulfillment service provider allows sellers to focus on other aspects of their business and continue to grow.
Walmart Fulfillment Services can make order management less time-consuming and costly for sellers. Sellers who want to meet Walmart’s performance standards and expectations understand the part that fast delivery at a low shipping cost plays in their success. Merchants using WFS typically see improved visibility in Walmart’s search results, faster shipping, and ultimately, business growth.
Here’s what Walmart sellers need to know to get started with WFS.
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) is an order fulfillment service that allows sellers to outsource inventory management for a fee. It’s commonly called Walmart’s “answer to Fulfillment by Amazon.”
When a customer orders from a seller that uses WFS, Walmart takes over the order process. It fulfills the order, manages returns, and provides customer service on the seller’s behalf.
According to Gartner, Walmart has one of the most impressive supply chains globally. Walmart Fulfillment Services allows sellers to leverage Walmart’s efficient logistics capabilities with a trusted, reliable fulfillment process.
As Walmart grows and expands its marketplace, its fulfillment services are likely to grow with it.
To be eligible for WFS, you’ll need to be an existing Walmart Marketplace merchant. In addition, your products need to meet the following requirements:
You also need to be in good standing with the platform with a history of on-time orders, great customer satisfaction, and overall quality service.
Although Walmart was notoriously slow with approvals for the program, sellers have reported an uptick with monthlong applications going through.
One of Walmart’s stated selling points for Walmart Fulfillment Services is its simple pricing structure. As Walmart’s website states, “Enjoy a simple cost structure that includes a fixed monthly storage fee and a fulfillment price based on shipping weight alone.” However, apparel and hazmat items are exempt from this pricing structure.
As of August 20, 2021, the program’s pricing starts at $3.45 for products weighing under 16 ounces or 1 pound.
Sellers can expect to pay $0.75 per cubic foot for storage space every month from January to September. However, the $0.75 fee only applies to items stored for less than 30 days from October to December.
Items stored for longer than that will add $1.50/cubic foot per month for a total cost of $2.25/cubic foot per month. This article offers more insight into WFS fees.
WFS is often touted as Walmart’s answer to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). However, despite frequent comparisons, WFS and FBA are very different fulfillment services with distinct benefits.
Neither service is perfect. Ultimately, the choice of which marketplace service to use for your business should be determined by your business model.
For Walmart sellers, there’s no better third-party fulfillment option than the one offered by Walmart itself. By offering fast shipment at reasonable costs, Walmart Fulfillment Services allows sellers to focus solely on the core of their business.
If you’re doubting whether to take the leap with Walmart Fulfillment Services, the program offers several benefits that might help you make a decision.
The benefits Walmart sellers will encounter using this service are likely to improve, as WFS is still in its early stages and will only grow as Walmart expands and more customers are drawn to the platform.
WFS is a fairly new program, with Walmart launching it in February 2020. Its recency and low user rate mean that there are issues that sellers will encounter when using it. To provide as much information as possible, sellers also need to understand the drawbacks associated with WFS.
Despite the program’s restrictions, the WFS program is still worth pursuing for Walmart sellers.
Getting started with WFS is fairly straightforward, as long as you’re a Walmart Marketplace seller. If you’re not, visit the Walmart Fulfillment Services Interest Form. Walmart recommends that sellers have the following details on hand before starting their seller application:
For existing Walmart sellers, just sign in to your Seller Center account and use the WFS link in the marketplace dashboard to begin the process.
Walmart then reviews your application. If accepted, you will have to convert your products to Fulfilled by Walmart listings.
Keep in mind that any product you intend to enroll in the program must be set up on the Walmart Marketplace as well.
Next, you’ll send your inventory to Walmart fulfillment centers, where items will be stored until a customer places an order. Then, from Walmart’s warehouses, orders are packaged and shipped.
With the burden of fulfillment taken away, WFS sellers can improve their operations to meet and surpass Walmart’s standards. Merchants can focus on meeting Walmart’s expectations by offering:
The combination of a compliant business model with WFS will help your business scale significantly on the platform.