Walmart Fulfillment Services

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Introduction

Walmart launched the Walmart Fulfillment Service (WFS) in February 2020. A program that was created to give Walmart marketplace sellers unprecedented access to its top-notch supply chain and an alternative to Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Walmart also bans the use of Fulfillment by Amazon for its marketplace sellers and has shown that it is ready to take on Amazon. With the record-shattering e-commerce growth of Walmart, Fulfillment Service has proving to be yet another tactical and smart jab at the current e-commerce king.

Since Walmart Fulfillment Service came on the scene in February 2020, it has received praise from sellers who have adopted it. For example, in 2020, Walmart’s marketplace Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) more than doubled as well as sellers experiencing a significantly seamless time for filling orders quickly.

In its first six months Walmart’s Fulfillment Service demand exceeded the brand’s expectations. The Walmart Fulfillment Service also intends to open more fulfilment centers soon. This is all to provide a world-class experience for third-party sellers and to assist sellers to generate more sales, while also giving buyers a stellar experience in reliable and fast delivery.

 

Walmart Fulfilment Service - How it Works

Just like with Fulfillment by Amazon, Walmart Fulfillment Service offers the ability for sellers to store their inventory at any Walmart Fulfillment Service designated center. At the moment, sellers are responsible for sending and preparing their inventory to Walmart, however, Walmart will soon expand its services to cater to inbound capabilities.

The moment a buyer places an order via walmart.com, Walmart picks, packs, and ships the items on your behalf, and this eliminates logistics headaches.

That said, Walmart also assumes ownership of every post-sale process such as customer service calls and returns on fulfillment service orders. Sellers also have the option of participating in the Free and Easy Returns program, which allows buyers to make returns either by mail or in-store.

 

Benefits of WFS for Sellers

 

 

While there may be additional benefits the below are the primary ones:

Two-day Delivery

One of the major benefits of the Walmart Fulfillment Service beyond convenience is the ability it gives sellers to offer buyers fast shipping in the United States.

Thanks to the brand’s huge supply chain that has been built for over 60 years and its tremendous reach (90% of the USA is within 50 miles of a Walmart store).

So Walmart Fulfillment Service enables you as a seller to guarantee 2-day delivery to your customers anywhere in the United States.

Boost in Sales

Walmart Fulfillment Service sellers usually win the buyer’s attention because of the ability to provide quick and reliable shipping.

Every item on Walmart Fulfillment Service also receives a “sold by the seller, fulfilled by Walmart” and two-day delivery tag in its listings, which boost the item’s organic ranking and the buyer’s confidence in check-out.

Decreased Fulfillment Costs

Due to Walmart’s large-scale supply chain, sellers are able to offload a huge portion of their logistics costs for a monthly fee. Reducing fulfillment costs allow sellers to use that money for reinvestment into their offers, boost their assortment or give their customers discounts. This is a primary factor behind the massive GMV growth that Walmart Fulfillment Service sellers experience.

Diversification

The year 2020 has shown vendors relying too much on one fulfillment service will put your business in harm’s way. For example during the covid-19 initial breakout Amazon temporarily put a hold on its FBA shipments for all non-essential items and this put thousands of sellers in a critical state overnight. And even products that stayed active in Fulfillment by Amazon experienced shipping delays, while sales on non- FBA rose.

So the Walmart fulfillment Service offers you a tremendous alternative to other fulfillment services and ensures that your sales aren’t dependent on just one service.

 

 

Walmart Fulfillment Service Eligibility Requirements

Walmart Fulfillment Service is available only to sellers who are currently selling on the Walmart marketplace. The program has been slowly rolled out even to marketplace sellers. Vendors who have been selling on the Walmart marketplace for a long period or have brought in huge sales volumes currently have the preference with regards to enrollment.

Walmart Fulfillment Service, which is accessible through the Seller Center, demands that applications check that:

  • The applicant has a Marketplace ID
  • The applicant is currently a Marketplace vendor in good standing.

After account review and approval the vendor has to register every item they intend to stock in a Walmart Fulfillment Center before they send the products, which formally concludes the seller’s enrolment.

Though enrollment into Walmart fulfillment service is limited, Walmart intends to roll out extra resources and training to help make the onboarding process seamless for eligible vendors.

 

 

How Does WFS Compare with FBA?

It’s natural to want to know how the Walmart Fulfillment Service compares to Amazon FBA if you are evaluating the program. The answer is that it is quite similar to what FBA has to offer although with a few differences. For example, WFS offers dedicated support staff to aid with direct help on all Walmart Fulfillment Service inquiries.

Beyond just direct support Walmart Fulfillment Service offers bias-free 2-day shipping for all orders $35 and above. And this is without membership requirements. However, FBA offers free one day, two day, or same-day shipping options only to prime members depending on the region.

In terms of Returns, Walmart Fulfillment Service handles returns, which can happen at any Walmart store but FBA only allows returns on purchases to Kohls or Whole Foods. Since Walmart has more physical locations than Whole Foods and Kohl’s combined, Walmart Fulfillment Service will offer vendors more post-sale options than FBA.

Walmart Fulfillment Service by default also stores your inventory separately from those of other vendors at its warehouse to avoid mix-up fraud. FBA on the other hand combines all its wares unless the seller manually opts out of it, which causes issues for vendors when poor quality or counterfeit goods mix with their items and are delivered to customers. And in worst-case scenarios, such vendors may be suspended for offering low-quality products.

Another major distinction is that the Walmart Fulfillment Service processes just fulfils orders from the Walmart marketplace. FBA, on the other hand, offers services to off-Amazon sales through the MCF program.

With regards to weight Walmart Fulfillment Service accepts products up to 30 lbs with acceptable maximum dimensions of 25″x20″x14″.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Walmart Fulfillment Service

How Does the Pricing Structure Work?

The Walmart Fulfillment Service pricing structure is basic. The program charges by dimensional weight or shipping weight, whichever measurement is higher without additional surprise fees. The program’s pricing begins at $3.40 for products under a pound and rises from there depending on the offer’s weight.

The program’s storage space is basic as well. Walmart Fulfillment Service charges per cubic foot ($0.75) for storage space every month. The fees are clear in your marketplace account so you don’t have to worry about surprises.

How Do I Enroll?

The enrollment process into the Walmart Fulfillment Service program is straight-forward. To begin with, you need to be registered as a marketplace seller on Walmart already as well as be in good standing. Next, you need to supply your marketplace ID and use the application link in the marketplace dashboard to begin the process. The application is then reviewed by Walmart. Keep in mind that any product you intend to enroll in the program must be set up on the Walmart marketplace as well.

What are the Restrictions Regarding the Products Eligible for Sale through Walmart Fulfillment Service?

Currently, products are restricted to what Walmart certifies as “sortable”. This means that your items need to be under 30lbs and should have dimensions lower or equal to 25″×20″×14″. However, plans are on the way to start a new pilot for items in the 30 to 60lbs range.

The program also allows you to ship chemicals as far as they aren’t fully regulated. For example, products like vitamins, lithium-ion batteries, and shampoos are fine, but regulated products such as industrial pool cleaners or motor oils aren’t.

You also aren’t permitted to ship completely perishable items that need specific temperatures, however, food products with long shelf lives are permitted.

Where Can I Locate Walmart Fulfillment Centers?

Currently, there’s just one center assigned for the program and it’s called KY-1, located on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky. That said, with the huge growth of the Walmart Fulfillment Service plans are on the way for a second fulfillment center. This new center will be called KS-1 and it’s to be located in Kansas City, Missouri.

Who’s Held Responsible for Returned Items?

Walmart Fulfilment Service receives all returned products. You can choose whether to remove or resell the product from your inventory (removals attract a fee). Also, shipping costs associated with returns are covered by the seller, except the reason for the return is related to shipping or fulfillment. Issues like damaged products or delayed shipping are covered by Walmart.

 

Conclusion

That’s it! Walmart Fulfillment Service offers vendors an alternative to popular fulfilment services like FBA and the program does this excellently. Leveraging on Walmart’s massive supply chain there are tremendous opportunities for vendors and buyers alike with the program.

If you have additional questions or comments regarding Walmart Fulfillment Services feel free to leave a comment below!