What Are the Differences Between FBA and WFS?

Pattern Data Science

November 13, 2023

 3 minute read time

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.

eCommerce Fulfillment Center

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).


WFS Advantages 

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.

Read more about WFS capabilities here.

Walmart Fulfillment Services

FBA Advantages

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.

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