What Are the Differences Between FBA and WFS?

Pattern Data Science

February 26, 2020

Now that Walmart.com officially launched its own fulfillment services option (WFS) this week, many ecommerce sellers may be wondering what the differences are between WFS and Amazon’s Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) service.

As a participant and key strategic seller in Walmart’s WFS launch, 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.

Walmart Fulfillment Services Center (WFS)

Photo courtesy of Walmart.com.

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 U.S.; 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 or Kohls, 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).

What are the advantages to WFS?

Similar to FBA, Walmart Fulfillment Services gives Walmart.com sellers the ability to utilize Walmart’s storage and shipping capabilities to their advantage. Pattern has seen great success using WFS in the WFS beta program so far. Here are some of the advantages of using WFS:

Walmart Fulfillment Services Center (WFS)

    • Better buyer to seller ratio: Walmart only has 30K sellers, compared to Amazon’s 3 million. 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 love 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.

    WFS vs. FBA

    Photo courtesy of Walmart.com.

    What are the advantages to FBA?

    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, and having these years-old logos 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 100 million 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.


    Want to learn more about ecommerce fulfillment options on various platforms like Walmart.com and Amazon? Contact Pattern’s fulfillment experts below.

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Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 2022)
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

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Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/11/amazon-plans-to-add-mental-health-support-to-primary-care-service/) GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/09/gmb-calls-for-15-an-hour-minimum-pay-at-amazon-warehouses-in-uk) Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/17/amazon-third-party-sellers-have-received-their-first-ever-holiday-fee-hike/) Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/21/amazon-pauses-uk-grocery-shop-roll-out-following-disappointing/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire](https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/08/18/shopee-surpasses-alibaba-in-international-sales-amazon-searches-for-entertainment-exec/) H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/16/hm-returns-to-alibabas-tmall-platform-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy/) Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry](https://www.theindustry.fashion/klarna-launches-new-feature-allowing-uk-consumers-to-view-full-online-order-history/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/09/online-marketplaces-responsible-for-280-billion-business-turnover-in-uk/)