As ecommerce brands are increasingly selling on Walmart.com and Amazon, many sellers question what the differences are between Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) and Amazon’s Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) service.
As a long-standing partner and key strategic seller on Walmart.com, Pattern has first-hand experience with both WFS and FBA. Let’s dive into the other differences and key points you need to know as an ecommerce seller.
Key Differentiators between WFS and FBA
|Walmart WFS||Amazon FBA|
|Free 2-day shipping to the continental U.S. with a minimum purchase price of $35, but no subscription fee.||Free same day, 1-day, and 2-day shipping to Amazon prime subscribers (shipping options vary by region).|
|4,700 Walmart stores and 20 fulfillment centers in US; 11,766 globally.||110 fulfillment centers in North America; 175 globally.|
|Can return items in any Walmart store or by mail.||Can return items in any Whole Foods, Kohl’s, UPS Access Points, or by mail.|
|Fulfills orders only for Walmart.com.||Fulfills orders for multiple marketplaces (multi-channel fulfillment).|
|Dedicated inventory pool for each seller.||Inventory is commingled by default (but has the option for dedicated seller inventory pool).|
Similar to FBA, Walmart Fulfillment Services gives Walmart.com sellers the ability to utilize Walmart’s storage and shipping capabilities to their advantage. Here are some other advantages of using WFS:
- Better buyer to seller ratio: Walmart has over 150K sellers, compared to Amazon’s 9.7 million globally, and 94% use FBA. Your brand will be able to stand out and get in front of customer’s eyes much quicker and more frequently.
- Quick shipping: Your customers will appreciate that Walmart offers free 2-day shipping with a minimum purchase requirement of $35.
- Walmart TwoDay tags: WFS items qualify for Walmart TwoDay tags, thus gaining higher search rankings and Buy Box prominence.
- Wield Walmart’s physical stores for returns and customer service: 90% of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Walmart store. Returns and customer service are made easier by Walmart’s existing capabilities in Walmart stores.
- Dedicated inventory: Walmart WFS separates a seller’s items and stores them apart from other merchants inventory by default, reducing cost and mislabeling, fraud, and potentially damaged items being sent out with buyers from a commingled inventory pool.
A long-time staple in the ecommerce market, Amazon FBA has the overall advantage of time and experience in merchant fulfillment on its side. Here are the advantages of Amazon’s FBA:
- Multi-channel fulfillment: Amazon can fulfill orders both on and off the Amazon marketplace.
- Customer trust: Customers have come to trust the Amazon and Amazon Prime logos, which can improve customer perception of brands’ fulfillment capabilities.
- Access to Prime audience: By using Amazon FBA, brands are eligible to be included in Amazon Prime deals. With over 148.6 million US Prime members, this can increase brand awareness among a Prime audience.
- Multiple fulfillment options: Sellers who use FBA can save money with Amazon programs like Subscribe & Save and Amazon Small & Light.
With an increasing number of online marketplace options, brands must have a strategic expansion plan as well as seller strategy for each. Amazon provides sellers access to increasingly loyal Prime shoppers, whereas Walmart.com provides for first-mover advantage, in a less crowded ecommerce experience.
Want to learn more about ecommerce fulfillment options on various platforms like Walmart.com and Amazon? Contact Pattern.