March 15, 2022

Walmart fulfillment services: What sellers need to know

As a Walmart seller or an intending one, how to get your products to customers would be one thing you want to think about. Walmart fulfillment helps you take care you this challenge. Learn in this article, all you need to know about Walmart fulfillment services.
Walmart fulfillment services: What sellers need to know
Walmart fulfillment services: What sellers need to know

It is no news that the Walmart online marketplace has been working to become one of the top leading marketplaces in the world. The platform continues to expand, experiencing an over 70% increase in sales, in 2021. 


Selling on Walmart comes at a relatively lower cost than online marketplaces like Amazon. This advantage gives online retailers the opportunity to double up sales and increase online business revenue.


However, one aspect every seller must come face to face with while selling on Walmart is order fulfillment. From storing inventory to packing and shipping to customers. 


Thankfully, working with Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) can help you focus on other areas and figure out effective ways to increase revenue in business. 


Walmart Fulfillment Services can make the process of order fulfillment less time-consuming and costly. You can get faster shipping, improved visibility on search results, and overall business growth. 


Read on to find out all you need to know to get started with Walmart Fulfillment Services. 


What is Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS)? 

In February 2020, Walmart established the Walmart Fulfillment Services, giving sellers access to an extensive world-class supply chain and logistics network. 

Fulfillment by Walmart enables sellers to store inventory and ship their products through Walmart ecommerce fulfillment centers. Sellers can leverage Walmart's efficient and trustworthy logistics as they sell products on Walmart. 


So how does Walmart Fulfillment Services work? 

Walmart Fulfillment Services allows you to store inventory in Walmart Fulfillment Centers. When a customer places an order, Walmart processes, packs, and ships the order directly to customers. They are also responsible for handling customer service and returns. 

Eligibility 

To become eligible for Walmart Fulfillment Services, you need to become a Walmart seller. Your products must also meet the following criteria: 

  • Your product weight should not exceed 150 pounds
  • Your product must have a maximum length of 108”
  • Your products should not be perishable or regulated 
  • Your product should have a maximum product length + girth of 165” 
  • The products sent to fulfillment centers must be shipped within the US


How to sign up for Walmart Fulfillment Services 

The process is simple. However, to apply for WFS, you need to be live on the Walmart marketplace. 


As an active Walmart seller, simply go to your Seller Center and click on the WFS icon to apply. Once your application is approved, here's what you need to do: 


  • Sign the WFS contract 
  • Go to your Seller Center and convert your products to fulfillment by Walmart
  • Ship your inventory to a Walmart ecommerce fulfillment center. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of using Walmart Fulfillment Services 

One thing Walmart can boast of is its world-class supply chain. In fact, Walmart appears as number 8 on The Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain in 2021


You can take advantage of its impressive supply chain and efficient logistics to increase sales, scale your business, and possibly become one of Walmart's best sellers. 


Let's examine some of the pros and cons of using this fulfillment service. 

Benefits of the Walmart Fulfillment Service 

  • Order and inventory management: Walmart offers sellers reporting dashboards that can help them monitor inventory levels, track their orders, and shipping. Thanks to the Fulfillment insights page on Walmart Seller Central, sellers can track shipping metrics, monitor carrier performance, and local performance. 
  • Two-day delivery: Customers enjoy fast shipping. With WFS, customers can get their orders within two days. Sellers can provide 2-day shipping anywhere within the US. This not only provides faster shipping but also impacts your ranking on search results and your eligibility to win the Buy Box.
  • Customer service: With WFS, you won't need to worry about handling customer service. Walmart manages all customer complaints and inquiries. They also take care of refunds and returns.
  • Favorable pricing: Unlike Amazon FBA, WFS offers simple and favorable pricing. As a Walmart seller, you will only need to worry about two specific types of fees: monthly storage fees and fulfillment fees based on the weight of your product. 


Drawbacks of the Walmart Fulfillment Service 

  • Only limited to Walmart merchants: The WFS service is limited to only merchants who sell on the Walmart marketplace. This means that you don't get the option of choosing other fulfillment methods once you apply for WFS. This can be limiting as sellers prefer to keep as many fulfillment options open. 
  • Geographical limits: Walmart only permits the shipping of products within the US. This means that Walmart sellers can only ship products to states within the US.
  • Product dimensions are quite limited. 


Walmart Fulfillment Service Fees

Walmart Fulfillment Service comes with a straightforward pricing structure. As a Walmart seller, you will only be paying monthly storage fees and fulfillment fees that are based on the weight of your products. 

Storage fees 

Storage fees are calculated based on the volume of your product and how long the product will be stored. Products that are stored for less than 365 days will be calculated as follows: 


  • January to September - $0.75 per cubic foot monthly 
  • October to December - $0.75 per cubic foot for every product stored for 30 days or less. $1.50 per cubic foot for every product stored for over 30 days. 
  • For products that stay longer than 30 days, you will be charged $7.50 per cubic foot. 


To avoid paying long-term storage fees, it will be beneficial to handle the shipment of slow-moving items. 

Fulfillment fees 

If the unit of your product weighs less than one pound, your fulfillment fees will.be calculated based on the weight of your product. Otherwise, the unit weighs more than one pound, it will be calculated based on the dimensional weight. 

Here's a breakdown of what your fulfillment fees will look like: 


Shipping Weight 

Fee

1 lb

$3.45

2 lb

$4.95

3 lb

$5.45

4 lb - 20 lb

$5.75 + $0.40 for each lb greater than 4 lb

21 - 30 lb

$15.55 + $0.40 for each lb greater than 21 lb

31 - 50 lb

$14.55 + $0.40 for each lb greater than 31 lb

51 - 150 lb

$17.55 + $0.40 for each lb greater than 51 lb


Alternatives to Walmart Fulfillment Services 

As an ecommerce seller, you want to ensure you maintain efficiency at all times and this means creating a distributed fulfillment strategy. While Walmart Fulfillment Services offers a one to two-day delivery, it may not be the most effective logistics solution for your business. Here are a few other alternatives to Walmart Fulfillment Services: 

  1. Open Multiple Fulfillment Centers 
  2. P2P fulfillment network
  3. Third-party logistics companies 
  4. Deliverr

Open Multiple Fulfillment Centers 

You have the option of opening and controlling multiple fulfillment centers in the US. One benefit of opening a fulfillment center is that you get total control. However, this is also a risky option. Getting warehouse space could be expensive. It could also get expensive to hire warehouse workers. However, if you can work your way around these challenges, you can have total control of your order fulfillment and shipment.


Third-Party Logistics Companies (3PLs)

Third-party logistics companies otherwise known as 3PLs for short can also work as a great alternative to Walmart Fulfillment Services. 

Third-party companies work in small operations so you may need to work with more than one company if you hope to provide a 1-2 day delivery nationwide. To get the best companies to work with, ensure you compare the quality and costs of their operations. 


P2P fulfillment network 

Peer to Peer fulfillment network can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to 3PLs. This fulfillment network is created by vetted ecommerce retailers who offer other merchants excess space in their warehouses and the resources they need for WFS. This means you get a cheaper and more flexible alternative. The best part is you still get to offer 1-2 day shipping to your customers. Each customer gets unique solutions to their complaints thanks to innovative technology and high-quality fulfillment services. 

Deliverr

Deliverr is one of the best alternatives you can use to provide free and fast shipping. The company uses a network of 3PLs to provide logistics to Walmart sellers. If you use the company to fulfill your Walmart orders, you qualify to receive the Walmart TwoDay badge. The company will handle the heavy lifting of your orders as well as fulfillment and shipping. 

However, just like 3PLs, they are also limited in their scope and mostly take on small packages. If you choose to use this service, you need to be prepared to pay more for larger products. 


Conclusion 

The Walmart marketplace is an effective online platform that can help you grow and scale your business in a short time. The Walmart Fulfillment Services is a program that helps you focus on other areas of your business while Walmart handles your order fulfillment. The service provides excellent support to help you scale your business. They also provide analytical insights to help you monitor and make the necessary changes needed to up your sales and grow revenue. 

If you need insights on how to sell on Walmart and the best approach to take, you can contact ecommerce experts on ePlaybooks


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