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Maximize Retail Success: Comparing Walmart Fulfillment Services vs. Amazon FBA

(A version of this article was originally posted by SellCord, a Pacvue Partner, specializing in helping brands grow across Walmart. SellCord and Pacvue work together to help brands elevate their commerce knowledge to hit key goals.) 

In 2020, Walmart rocketed to the top of the global business scene, outperforming Amazon with a staggering $559 billion in sales. The same year saw the introduction of Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), a robust competitor to Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

Walmart, known for its expansive brick-and-mortar network, has now made a powerful entrance into eCommerce, with no shortage of strategies for success. This shift has prompted many sellers to switch or extend their presence to Walmart.com. The key to this shift lies in Walmart’s ability to rival Amazon’s services, especially in the critical area of fulfillment.

While Amazon’s FBA has been a trusted choice for years, the launch of WFS in February 2020 has attracted a growing number of sellers.  

So…

  • How do these two titans stack up?
  • What are their unique advantages?  
  • And which one should you choose for your business?  

We dive deeper into each option below.  

Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) advantages:

  1. Faster Shipping: WFS enables sellers to offer nationwide 2-day shipping on their products, which can lead to a 30% higher conversion rate compared to longer shipping windows.
  1. Better Reporting: Walmart collaborates closely with sellers to create comprehensive dashboards that provide valuable insights into product performance and overall metrics.
  1. Convenient Return Policy: Walmart’s return policy is easy and free. Walmart will manage all returns on the seller’s behalf, and customers can choose to return their items at any nearest stores or by mail.
  1. Excellent Customer Service: Walmart takes responsibility for post-sale processes, including customer service. They have dedicated customer service lines for WFS, prioritizing support tickets and ensuring a faster response rate.
  1. Individual Inventories: With WFS, each seller receives their own separate and exclusive inventory pool, ensuring that their products remain distinct and untangled with other sellers’ items. This is a major difference from Amazon’s FBA system, which combines inventory among sellers.
  1. Beginner Friendly: The platform’s user-friendly interface, coupled with Walmart’s commitment to supporting sellers, makes it an ideal choice for newcomers.
  1. Lower Fulfillment Costs: Leveraging Walmart’s large-scale supply chain, sellers can offload some of their logistical costs in exchange for a monthly fee.

Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) advantages:  

  1. Size & Weight Restrictions: Amazon FBA has fewer size and weight restrictions compared to WFS. They accommodate more sellers with a maximum product weight of 151 lbs. and maximum dimension of 108″ on the longest side, while WFS has a maximum product weight of 30 lbs. and a maximum product dimension of 25″ x 20″ x 14.”
  1. Multi-Channel Fulfillment: Amazon FBA allows sellers to ship through multiple fulfillment centers, and Amazon can fulfill orders both on and off the Amazon marketplace.
  1. Access to Prime Audience: By utilizing Amazon FBA, brands gain the advantage of tapping into Amazon Prime’s extensive audience. With over 100 million Prime members worldwide, businesses can significantly enhance their brand awareness and exposure.
  1. Customer Trust: Amazon’s long-standing presence in the ecommerce industry and its focus on customer satisfaction has fostered a strong sense of trust among consumers. Customers are more likely to have confidence in brands that display the Amazon Prime logo.
  1. Return Methods: Amazon FBA provides more ways to return an item compared to WFS, including drop-off services at convenient locations (like Whole Foods and Kohls), pickup options, and heavy-bulky return options handled by a specialty carrier team.  

How to Harness Walmart and Amazon Fulfillment for Best Results

Embracing Amazon FBA and Walmart WFS can be a game-changer for businesses seeking to grow their online sales. These services provide a potent mix of convenience, reach, and logistical prowess. Sellers can, and should, harness the power of both platforms to maximize their market presence.

And while these services do impact your margins, the competitive edge and sales boost they offer far outweigh the costs. They offer peace of mind and a springboard for additional sales.

That’s hard to ignore.

But remember, fulfillment services are not the end-all-be-all. Building a successful business requires more:

  • Brand Building: FBA and WFS are logistics champions, not brand builders. To create a powerful brand identity, businesses must invest in marketing, social media, content creation, and customer engagement strategies.
  • Competitive Pricing & Product Differentiation: FBA and WFS don’t handle pricing or product uniqueness. Businesses need to conduct market research, analyze competitors, and craft unique value propositions to rise above the marketplace noise.

  • Account Metrics: High seller ratings, positive customer feedback, and low order defect rates are crucial. These metrics enhance visibility, foster customer trust, and pave the way to long-term success.

To discover how to take your brand to new heights on Walmart, contact SellCord, a leading agency specializing in launching and scaling brands exclusively on Walmart.com. As Walmart-approved partners, SellCord works collaboratively with hundreds of brands, helping them achieve unparalleled success with Walmart marketplace.


Author
Michael Lebhar

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