In the world of ecommerce, two retail giants, Amazon and Walmart, stand out, offering marketplaces for sellers to list and sell their products.
Both platforms have completely changed the way we shop, providing a vast array of high-quality products and an exceptional shopping experience.
Each platform provides unique opportunities that help sellers increase sales and grow their business. While both platforms share some similarities, selling on Amazon and selling on the Walmart marketplace differ significantly in different aspects.
Perhaps you’re thinking of selling on one or both ecommerce platforms.
Read on as we explore the distinctions between selling on the Amazon marketplace and selling on the Walmart marketplace.
When we think of Amazon, we think of that one-stop shop to get high-quality products and fast shipping. The Amazon marketplace is undoubtedly the largest ecommerce platform globally.
According to statistics, Amazon recorded over 5.9 billion visits in the first quarter of 2023.
The marketplace boasts of over 300 million active users, giving sellers the opportunity to sell to a wide range of consumers globally.
The platform has an extensive product catalog that spans virtually every imaginable category, from books to toys, electronics, clothing, beauty, groceries, and more.
Amazon is also well-known for its logistics network (Fulfillment by Amazon) which ensures fast and reliable shipping.
With programs like Amazon Prime, consumers pay more to get their orders as quickly as possible, increasing customer expectations for fast and efficient shipping.
The Walmart Marketplace is one of the world's largest ecommerce platforms in the world. Launched in 2009, the Walmart Marketplace functions as an online extension of Walmart's traditional brick-and-mortar retail store.
The Walmart marketplace allows third-party sellers to showcase and sell their products alongside Walmart's inventory.
The retail giant attracts a large customer base both in-store and online, giving third-party sellers access to millions of shoppers.
Similar to Amazon's FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), Walmart offers fulfillment services through its Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), where Walmart takes care of storing, packing, shipping, and customer service.
Now, let’s look at some key differences between selling on Amazon and Walmart based on these seven factors:
Amazon is the undisputed leader in the ecommerce space with an expansive global reach and accounting for nearly half of ecommerce sales today.
Amazon has over 300 million active users and 200 million Prime members worldwide who are willing to pay more for fast shipping.
With this massive customer base, sellers can potentially target consumers from all over the world and increase sales and profit significantly. Amazon's customer base is not only expansive but diverse including tech-savvy consumers, Gen-Zs, and millennials.
Walmart, a traditional retail giant started competing in the ecommerce space in 2009 and today has a substantial customer base with millions of visitors on the online marketplace. As of 2023, the Walmart sales in the United States amounted to $53.4 billion.
Unlike Amazon, Walmart targets a more specific demographic, consisting of majorly middle-aged consumers.
Amazon has a relatively straightforward registration process, allowing you to sign up quickly. However, Amazon has stringent requirements to maintain product quality and customer satisfaction.
Some requirements for selling on Amazon include a business name, address, phone number, other contact information, bank account number, a chargeable credit card, tax identity information, and an Amazon seller account.
Once your Amazon seller account is set up, you will need to maintain great performance metrics including timely shipping, low order defect rates, and good customer feedback.
Also, you may need to go through a thorough approval process, especially in restricted categories.
On the other hand, Walmart has a more streamlined onboarding process and is more selective about the sellers they onboard.
New sellers may have a tough time getting in as they need to send an application that will go through a review.
Sellers need to show their experience selling on other marketplaces amongst other qualifications. This review could span several weeks, making it challenging for beginners.
To apply to sell on the Walmart marketplace, here are some criteria you need to meet:
Amazon offers two major selling plans - the individual selling plan and the professional plan. On the individual selling plan, Amazon sellers pay a flat fee of $0.99 for every item sold. For the professional selling plan, Amazon sellers pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99.
In addition to selling fees, Amazon also charges referral fees which can go anywhere from 8% to 45% of the product’s total price.
If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you will also need to pay monthly storage and fulfillment fees which can vary depending on the size and weight of the product.
If you're Selling on Walmart, you don’t have to pay subscription or setup fees, making it easy to join the platform without a monthly commitment. However, you will need to pay referral fees which can range from 6% to 20% of the total price depending on the product category.
Just like Amazon FBA, if you choose to use Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), you will need to cover storage and fulfillment fees.
Amazon offers Fulfillment by Amazon service which allows sellers to hand over the responsibility of storing, packing, and shipping to Amazon.
With Amazon FBA, you can have a simplified logistics process, helping you save time for other aspects of business.
Using Amazon FBA also makes your products eligible for Amazon Prime, giving you access to over 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers.
Amazon also provides the option of Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) where you can handle your fulfillment and gain control of the process. Amazon also supports dropshipping.
Walmart offers fulfillment services through its Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS). This program allows you to store your products in Walmart's fulfillment centers and have Walmart handle the storage, shipping, and customer service.
Also, Walmart allows third-party fulfillment, so you can choose to handle everything or use other fulfillment services. Deliverr, Walmart’s official fulfillment partner is a logistics service that you can outsource your fulfillment to. By partnering with Deliverr, you are pre-approved for Walmart’s fast shipping tags.
One of the key aspects of successfully selling online is maintaining control over your brand and fostering direct customer relationships.
Amazon has a reputation for prioritizing the customer experience, but this can come at the expense of giving up control over your brand. For example, you may not be able to access customer data directly from Amazon. You will need to explore other external means like emails and social media.
Amazon marketplace places a strong emphasis on customer reviews and satisfaction, and as an Amazon seller, you must adhere to strict guidelines to provide a positive shopping experience for your customers.
Unlike Amazon, Walmart allows sellers to have more control over their brand presentation. You can establish direct relationships with customers and access customer data as you sell on the Walmart marketplace. This can be great for building brand loyalty and obtaining valuable feedback for improvement.
Amazon offers three main advertising options - Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Amazon Display. With these advertising options, you can make your product visible to a targeted audience, reach more people, and increase your conversion rate.
In addition, you don’t have to lose complete control of your brand thanks to Amazon stores. You can create a customized storefront with your logo, and banner and list products using enhanced images and videos and well-written product descriptions. When customers visit your Amazon store, they can explore various products and learn more about your brand.
Walmart offers the Walmart Sponsored Search Program which includes Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored video ads. With these advertising solutions, you can highlight your products on search results and product pages at a cost.
Walmart also allows you to build your store, and list your products with quality images and product descriptions.
Amazon has grown into a highly competitive marketplace with savvy sellers who have established themselves on the platform. This means that you will find yourself competing with numerous other merchants offering similar products.
Pay-per-click (PPC) costs are also generally higher on Amazon, making it harder for new sellers to compete with well-established ones. So, to increase product visibility and stand out, you will need to invest substantially in advertising.
Walmart's competition is currently less intense, and it's easier to get ranked even in more competitive niches due to lower PPC costs. With less competition in some categories, products may be more easily discoverable by customers browsing the Walmart marketplace. This can help you stand out and capture a specific market without being overshadowed by thousands of similar products.
Yes, you can! You can sell on both Amazon and Walmart marketplace and maximize your reach However, it's important to note that both marketplaces will penalize you if you list the same product at a different price on a different marketplace. Selling on both platforms also requires effective management of your listings, inventory, and customer interactions.
Amazon and Walmart are both prominent players in the ecommerce landscape. But they offer distinct opportunities and challenges. While Amazon has a wider product range and larger customer base, Walmart has lower fees and less competition. You can also choose to sell on both platforms to expand your reach and increase sales and profit.