Walmart isn’t just a retailer with a network of stores and distribution centers across the world. The company also offers Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), which enables third-party sellers to take advantage of the retail giant’s infrastructure and other resources.
WFS is intended as an answer to Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) option and can save you time and money while continuing to provide top-quality service for your customers. When using WFS, it’s still important to manage day-to-day activities, such as staying on top of orders and inventory.
Learn more about WFS and how an inventory management system can help you further synchronize and streamline processes.
What Is Walmart Fulfillment Services?
Walmart describes WFS as “a service where select sellers can leverage our world-class supply chain capabilities — from storing, picking, packing and shipping items to handling of returns and customer service.”
Essentially, WFS offers end-to-end fulfillment services for third-party ecommerce sellers by holding inventory at one of their hundreds of fulfillment centers and managing orders and other elements of customer and seller service. With over 10,500 stores in 24 countries, a massive population across the world has access to Walmart, making it an ideal fulfillment partner.
Why Use Walmart Fulfillment Services?
WFS helps sellers can take advantage of Walmart’s brand recognition and resources without the prohibitive upfront costs. Two-day shipping and other fast-shipping and low-cost fulfillment offerings illustrate shifting customer expectations that can be challenging for small businesses trying to compete with companies like Amazon.
By selling with WFS, you can meet these expectations by taking advantage of one of the world’s largest supply chains. With decades of experience and investment to support it, WFS offers fast inventory receiving. Companies can even benefit from discounted rates for FedEx small parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) deliveries.
WFS stores, picks, packs and ships your orders, but that’s not all. Sales can benefit, too. WFS products receive increased visibility and improved conversion rates when they are displayed with “two-day delivery” and “fulfilled by Walmart” tags.
After your product is sold, WFS handles customer care and returns (in-store or home pickup), and Walmart offers support for customers and sellers seven days a week. In short, WFS provides the scale, quality, cost and efficiency you need to grow a successful business on Walmart.com.
Which Is Better: Walmart Fulfillment Services or Fulfillment by Amazon?
Determining the best sales channels for your business can be challenging, but with their massive reach, extensive product availability and engaged audiences, WFS and FBA can provide value and growth for your business. Amazon may be the king of ecommerce sales, but Walmart is rapidly growing. Walmart’s smaller size can mean less competition for sellers and greater Buy Box prominence.
There’s more to consider than just the size of each marketplace, however. Amazon has a lower barrier to entry for new merchants, but Walmart’s prerequisites help assure that WFS sellers have a history of success and can provide customers with a positive experience.
Each marketplace has specific selling fees you should consider, as they’ll affect your profit margin. These fees are affected by many factors, so you’ll want to carefully research your situation. In general, WFS has fixed storage fees, while fulfillment fees are based on product shipping weight.
Amazon’s fees are structured differently. Monthly storage fees, for example, are based on the amount of inventory you have, while fulfillment fees are based on product weight and dimensions. Amazon sales may also include additional fees, such as referral charges and a required selling plan, which ranges from $0.99 per unit sold to a flat fee of $39.99 per month.
Additionally, WFS and FBA have distinct product restrictions and listing requirements. Walmart also has additional pricing rules and a policy on automatic unpublishing that sellers should note. This essentially means that, if your product can be purchased from a competitor at a lower price, Walmart will delist it.
Personalized support and communication from fulfillment experts is another benefit of using WFS. While Amazon offers seller support, it’s on a more limited basis. Whatever you decide, you’re not limited to selling through one channel. Consider the advantages and challenges for each marketplace and test options like WFS when it makes sense for your business.
How to Sell With Walmart Fulfillment Services
One advantage of WFS is that it offers end-to-end fulfillment services to sellers without minimums or maximums. Fees can vary based on product aspects, but the company does offer a calculator to help estimate the costs of fulfillment and storage fees. Other shipping and storage fees are listed on Walmart Marketplace, along with examples to help illustrate real-world scenarios.
To be eligible to sell with WFS, you’ll need to be a Walmart Marketplace seller. As a new seller, make sure you meet the merchant requirements before submitting an application. Once you’re approved, you can log into the seller portal to begin using WFS. You’ll also need to ship your inventory to a WFS facility. After that’s done, WFS will pick, pack and ship orders for you.
Walmart is one of the strongest brands in the world, and to preserve that reputation, the company has a strict approval process for sellers. You’ll need to be in good standing with a positive order history and high levels of customer satisfaction and service. Additionally, products will need to follow these requirements in order to be eligible for WFS:
- Nonperishable and unregulated
- Up to 150 pounds
- Up to 108 inches in length
- Up to 165 inches in length and girth
- Must be capable of shipping to Walmart Fulfillment centers within the contiguous U.S.
After your application is approved, you’ll receive instructions on setting up your marketplace seller account. You’ll need to sign the retailer agreement with a Walmart representative and complete any remaining registration steps for your profile. From there, you can begin onboarding, request a final review of your store and proceed to launch.
How to Synchronize the WFS Process With Linnworks
Selling with WFS gives you the ability to partner with one of the world’s leading retailers to provide top-tier customer experience. With the Linnworks and Walmart integration, you can have full visibility of orders and inventory managed by WFS in one central location. Connect your Walmart seller account to Linnworks to automate every part of your ecommerce experience from listings, order management and inventory optimization through to shipping and fulfillment.
Through this integration, you can reduce manual effort and synchronize all essential WFS processes, including:
- Automatically download and capture WFS orders.
- Receive order status updates to existing WFS orders to reflect changes on Walmart.
- Receive regular inventory level updates under the dedicated WFS location.
- Orders that have been shipped by WFS will be automatically marked as processed.
- Keep track of WMS products under the “Walmart Mapping” screen.
- Automatically sync order cancellations.
How It Works
Setting up the integration is simple. If you don’t already have a Walmart U.S. channel integrated, add it to your Linnworks account by following these instructions. Make sure your Walmart inventory items are mapped to Linnworks stock-keeping units (SKUs), and enable the WFS setting under your Walmart configuration screen. Once you’re done, a new WFS location will automatically be created.
Walmart inventory is linked to Linnworks SKUs and can be tracked within the “Walmart Mapping” screen. Linnworks synchronizes the available stock levels from WFS and allocates stock to WFS locations, where you can begin tracking stock levels managed by WFS.
After an order is placed through Walmart, WFS receives the order and starts fulfilling it. Linnworks downloads and saves the order data within the “Open Orders” screen under the corresponding WFS location for tracking. After WFS ships the order, Linnworks receives an order-dispatch notification and processes the order automatically. This process repeats for each new Walmart order.
Grow Walmart Sales Alongside Other Key Selling Channels
Selling with WFS is another way your business can meet growing customer expectations and gain a competitive advantage by utilizing Walmart’s extensive and established fulfillment network.
With the Linnworks integration, you can focus on growth with one central location to track all of your orders and inventory, reducing manual effort and ensuring your business is running efficiently.
Learn more about Linnworks and Walmart Integration features, including with Walmart Fulfillment Services. To find out more about how Linnworks can connect and automate your ecommerce operations so you can capture every revenue opportunity, read what our customers have to say or schedule a time for us to connect.