Walmart is shaking up the ecommerce landscape with its answer to Fulfillment by Amazon: Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS).
At least 45% of Amazon sellers believe Walmart’s online business will be strong competition for Amazon in 2022—and 31% are considering launching WFS businesses in 2022.
Similar to how Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) operates, WFS allows sellers to ship their items to Walmart’s fulfillment centers where Walmart then handles all of the storing, picking, packing, and shipping — as well as customer service.
With its fulfillment network, select sellers can utilize Walmart’s logistical expertise and state-of-the-art supply chain capabilities to grow their businesses. They are doing this as a way to expand its own unique product offerings, and to give brands a way to expand their business and reach millions of potential customers.
As more and more customers find their way to Walmart.com (over 100 million unique shoppers per month) it’s important that brands go where consumers are shopping.
WFS provides unique incentives to get qualified brands to apply and help them grow on the marketplace.
In this post, we will be going over:
- The similarities and differences between FBA and WFS
- How to sell using WFS
- The requirements for selling on the platform
- How to optimize your Walmart listing
- The benefits of expanding your business on Walmart
FBA vs. WFS: The similarities and differences
Fulfillment by Amazon has proven to be an extremely successful business model and has allowed millions of sellers across the globe to sell their products online to millions of potential customers.
Amazon receives over 200 million visitors per month, just in the US, so it makes sense why they would be the largest online marketplace for sellers.
Though, you shouldn’t count out Walmart — they’re a behemoth in their own right. Walmart.com receives over 120 million unique visitors per month, while its brick and mortar business is located within 10 miles of 90% of Americans.
Differences between WFS and FBA
1. Sellers need to apply and be approved to sell on Walmart.com, whether or not you use WFS
This means you will have less competition from other sellers on the marketplace.
Whereas on Amazon, anyone can register to sell — thus creating lots of competition. Walmart.com currently has around 135,000 sellers vs. Amazon’s 2 million sellers.
2. Walmart implements a simple cost structure that includes a fixed monthly storage fee and fulfillment price
This fixed storage and fulfillment fee is based on the shipping weight of your product alone.
Amazon’s storage fees, on the other hand, will be based on how much inventory you currently have stored in their warehouses. Its fulfillment fees are based on the weight and dimensions of your product.
3. Walmart does not have a monthly subscription fee for sellers
Unlike the Amazon professional selling account which is $39.99 per month, Walmart will not charge its sellers a monthly subscription fee.
And though Amazon’s per-month fee is not that much considering how much they do for you, it would be nice not to have to pay for that each month.
4. Fewer sellers means more views per seller
According to Walmart, each seller receives roughly 27,000 monthly visitors. On the flip side, Amazon’s sellers receive just 2,100 visitors monthly.
In other words, because Walmart Marketplace is less saturated, Walmart sellers get 13x more visitors a month compared to Amazon sellers.
5. Personalized account management
Walmart will connect sellers with a WFS fulfillment expert for custom recommendations on business optimization and growth.
If you would like to work with one of Amazon’s dedicated Account Managers, you will have to pay a large monthly fee ($1,600/month) plus a percentage of your sales.
Similarities between WFS and FBA
1. Guaranteed 2-day free shipping and free returns to customers across the U.S.
By storing your products in a Walmart fulfillment center, you can offer 2-day free shipping to your customers — just like Amazon FBA.
And, by using Walmart’s state-of-the-art supply chain capabilities, Walmart will pick, pack, ship, and deliver orders to your customers within two days.
2. Walmart will manage customer support for you
Just like FBA, Walmart will manage all customer service and return requests on the seller’s behalf. This allows sellers to focus more time on growing their sales on Walmart, instead of dealing with customer inquiries.
Again, similar to Amazon, this only applies to WFS orders. It doesn’t apply if you fulfill your orders yourself.
3. Seller support
According to Walmart’s WFS feature page, Walmart will have dedicated WFS call center associates to answer all of your questions. Now let’s just hope they’re better than Amazon Seller Support.
4. Walmart ‘Item Page Content’
This feature seems as if it will be Walmart’s version of A+ Content. (Though, with Amazon, you need to be brand registered in order to create A+ Content.)
On Walmart, you will just need to be using WFS to be eligible for ‘Item Page Content.’
Walmart recently launched a service that will directly compete with Amazon Prime, called Walmart+. Walmart+ is a $98 membership that includes same-day delivery on groceries and other general merchandise, fuel discount, early access to deals, and other perks.
Buyers who do not have Walmart+ will need to spend at least $35 to get free 2-day shipping.
How to sell using Walmart Fulfillment Services
The benefits of using WFS are pretty clear, but how do you get your account set up?
If you are currently selling on Walmart’s marketplace, you will need to log in to your Seller Center account and check to see your eligibility. If you are not a current seller, you can apply and fill out the Walmart Fulfillment Services Interest Form.
Now, signing up for WFS is not as simple as signing up for an Amazon selling account.
With Amazon, you can just simply register as an individual or a business. However, to sell on Walmart.com, your business must be registered and have a US Business Tax ID (SSN will not be accepted).
Walmart is looking for trustworthy partners that are selling high-quality, authentic goods to help expand their product offerings. They will not just let anyone sell on their marketplace, whether you are using WFS or not.
Requirements to use Walmart Fulfillment Services
***Update: April 7th, 2021*** Walmart Marketplace is now open to sellers operating outside the U.S.
Businesses will still need to go through Walmart’s verification process and fulfill other requirements to be approved. For instance, in order for a business in China to sell on Walmart Marketplace, they must have a valid Chinese business license, more than a year of operating experience selling on North American marketplaces, and good store ratings.
Here’s what you’ll need to use Walmart Fulfillment Services:
- US Business Tax ID or valid business license
- Primary product categories, catalog size and related information (e.g. total SKUs you initially plan to fulfill with WFS)
- Planned integration method for your product catalog (i.e. bulk upload, API, solution provider)
Product requirements for items shipped to Walmart’s warehouses
- Capable of shipping to Walmart fulfillment centers within the contiguous U.S.
- No perishable or regulated products
- Maximum product weight is 150 pounds
- Maximum product length of 108″
- Maximum product length plus girth of 165″
If your selling application is approved, you will receive an invitation from Walmart to set up your Marketplace Seller Account.
The next steps include signing the Retailer Agreement with a Walmart representative, completing the profile registration, onboarding, and requesting to launch your store after a final review.
Update as of April 7th, 2021: Walmart has removed its U.S. address and/or business tax identification requirement to sell on the marketplace. The marketplace is now open to sellers across the globe.
Businesses will still need to go through Walmart’s verification process and fulfill other requirements to be approved. For instance, for a business in China to sell on Walmart Marketplace, they must have a valid Chinese business license, more than a year of operating experience selling on North American marketplaces, and good store ratings.
If you are an international business interested in selling on Walmart Marketplace, please fill out Walmart’s international seller form.
How to optimize your listings on Walmart
Once you are approved to sell, it’s time to get your products listed!
And just like selling on Amazon, your keyword research, product research, and listing optimization are very important factors for your success on Walmart.
Use the same principles for selling on Walmart as you would on Amazon.
The keywords used within your Walmart listings are going to be similar (if not the same) as those on Amazon. Customers aren’t going to be changing up how they search for items from one marketplace to another.
Since that is the case, you can use Keyword Scout to conduct your keyword research for products on Walmart. Another great (free) tool to use for keyword research is Google Keyword Planner.
Create a list of relevant keywords you can use within your Walmart listings. Make sure you include as many keywords as possible within your title, description, and key product features — without keyword stuffing.
You want to make sure your listing makes sense and is easy to read.
Your item listings have the power to convert casual browsers into buyers, so make sure you take your time with keyword research!
Even though Jungle Scout is specific to Amazon product research, you can still use our tools to give you an idea of what products may be selling well on Walmart.com.
Use our Product Database or Opportunity Finder to discover products that are selling well on Amazon and conduct a search for the same product on Walmart. If you see other sellers offering those items with high review counts (50+), this could be a good indication that they’re also selling well on Walmart.
Walmart also has a tool within their Seller Center called ‘Growth Opportunities.’ It allows sellers to search the best selling items on Walmart to discover new, in-demand products that you can add to your catalog.
We suggest searching for products with a small number of sellers so you have less competition.
Just because you are offering an in-demand product, does not automatically mean it will sell. If your listing is not properly optimized, your potential customers will not be able to find it in the search results.
So don’t rush this step!
Take your time in crafting your product title, key features, and description to make your products stand out and improve discoverability. To help you fully optimize your listings, Walmart provides an excellent product listing guide.
What makes a quality listing on Walmart.com?
- Selecting the correct categorization for your product
- Applying the best keywords to improve search performance
- A concise and easy to read title that highlights specific attributes
- Highly detailed product descriptions and key features
- Multiple high-resolution professional pictures as well as product videos
- Customer feedback
- Fast shipping options
Similar to Amazon, Walmart will soon offer a ‘Listing Quality Dashboard’ that will show you insights on where your listings need improvement and the tools to make those changes.
The benefits of expanding your business on Walmart WFS
While there are a few differences between WFS and FBA, the functions and benefits to sellers are basically the same. So, how can selling on Walmart — and using their fulfillment services — be beneficial to you as a seller? Have you heard of the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? This is especially true for e-commerce!
While Amazon FBA is an incredible way to get your business up and running, you should look to expand into other marketplaces as your sales and business grow.
Walmart Fulfillment Services is an excellent option for that expansion. It allows your established business to run practically the same way you would run it on Amazon — with some added incentives.
WFS feature and benefit overview:
- Simple fulfillment fees and no monthly subscription fee (unlike amazon) (Walmart doesn’t share fee structure)
- Straightforward referral fees by category
- Easy to read dashboard so sellers can simply track their orders, sales, inventory, and shipments
- By using WFS, your products will gain increased site visibility, higher search rankings, and Buy Box prominence with Walmart TwoDay tags
- Free and easy returns program that will give your customers peace of mind when ordering
- Personalized support and Account Management to help their sellers grow and thrive on the marketplace
- Using Walmart’s massive fulfillment network, they’re able to guarantee 2-day delivery for items stored in their warehouses
- Walmart will store, pick, pack, and ship for you
Should you sell on Amazon.com and Walmart.com?
The short answer: Yes. If your business has enough inventory to cover multiple sales channels, you should be selling everywhere you can. Not to mention, Walmart’s e-commerce business is growing year over year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Now is the time to expand your business onto Walmart.com.
And while Walmart.com has fewer monthly visitors than Amazon.com, Walmart has fewer sellers and a less aggressive first-party retail than Amazon. This is a great thing for its sellers, and just another reason to expand your business to their platform.
Plus, by utilizing both Amazon’s and Walmart’s fulfillment centers and expertise, you’ll be able to scale your e-commerce business faster than you could have imagined.
Here’s what Amazon sellers are saying about WFS:
“Walmart is definitely emerging and has proven itself to have an online industry and is actively growing each year.” -a 24-year-old seller from Canada
“Their brick-and-mortar presence gives an edge – if they execute correctly. The interface is terrible but can improve. It’s time Amazon has competition.” -a 41-year-old seller from Maine, USA
“They have improved their listings and entire dashboard and have less selling fees than Amazon. If they can continue that pattern I believe they will overtake Amazon.” -a 32-year-old seller from California, USA
Learn more, join the discussion, and watch our webinar: Amazon vs. Walmart? How E-commerce Has Changed.
Are you thinking about selling on Walmart or have any other questions about Walmart Fulfillment? Let us know in the comments!
When doing wfs, how do I pay for my products? Because don’t I need to have multiple products sitting in multiple warehouses? I’m just starting a business and don’t have enough capital to do that
I don’t want this to prevent me from going forward
Not sure what you mean by this question.
Thank you for the article. I have a Suite subscription and love all of the tools for Amazon. I’ve been trying to find an answer to a question about selling on Walmart.com. Is there a “Sales Estimator” or “Keepa” type tool that can be used on Walmart.com? An answer to a comment below suggests we can find that information within Sales Analytics within JS, but I must have read that wrong because I don’t see anything that helps glean insight into Walmart. Thank you!
Thanks for reading! As of now, we do not have insights for Walmart but that is something that would be available in the future!
Hi Brain Azee here, from Pakistan, provides PPC services for Amazone, but I don’t have my own store on Amazone
but I am highly interested to start at Walmart, is difficult to get approved from Walmart if I didn’t have previously my own business?
Walmart requires sellers to have a registered business to sell on the platform.
Hi, highly informative content ,
my question is WFS has a private label like Amazone or not?
and can we flip our store in upcoming future ?
You can sell private label products on the Walmart marketplace.
Does Jungle scout provide a service like it does for Amazon where you can calculate monthly sales?
Yes, we do! One of the tools included with Jungle Scout is Sales Analytics. You can see the profit and loss, track fees, and monthly sales.
Hi Brian – great article. I’m a Canadian trying to sell on Walmart.com – the link in your updated article didn’t work
Not sure if Walmart shut it down or what.
Any feedback is appreciated.
Thanks for pointing this out. I will look into it!
Very informative blog
I am trying to register on Walmart Market Place and I do not have a company website. I couldn’t proceed to the next step due to this. I do not see a way around. Any suggestion/
Then you will need to create a company website. Use a service such as Wix or Weebly to create a simple, one-page website for your company.
Hi, I am a 49 year old mom who is looking at starting my own e-commerce business. My oldest son past away, his name was Zachary, and he was a gamer (of course). So I have been looking at popular gaming accessories that I would like to sell, maybe, and calling my business “Zachs Game Room”. I’m still a little unsure of what products I want to involve myself with, so I am currently doing some research on the matter. I do know that after reading the above information, I would feel more comfortable selling on Walmart than Amazon. It just seems less complicated.
Anyway, any advice or further information would be appreciated.
Thanks…. Zach’s mom
I think that sounds like a great idea! To sell on Walmart, you must have a registered US business in order to apply. To sell on Amazon, it is actually easier to open a selling account. Though, Walmart does have less competition compared to Amazon.
If you want to sell video game products, do some research within that category and try to see what popular products consumers are buying or what may be missing from that category. Check out our blog and Youtube for free resources on how to research products. I’m sure you will find them helpful!
Good luck on your selling journey!
Can someone tell me how often Walmart pays its sellers? I heard it was daily and has since gone to twice a week. Can someone confirm? If it has gone to weekly…was it ever a daily pay? If so when did it change?
From the information found on Walmart Marketplace’s FAQ page, sellers are paid every two weeks.
I am new to this but have a product I want to launch. Does customer service help me Get started putting my product out there? Am I able to have my Product in the store and Online?
No, customer service will not help get your product listed on Walmart. They can help answer questions you may have, though. Adding products to the platform is fairly simple once you learn how the system works.
Having your product sold in-store is not something you can do through the marketplace. That process I’d gather is much more complicated and would have to go through the Walmart sales team.
i was reading about it and its so demanding
Have you created a Walmart Marketplace account?
It seems Walmart has stopped accepting applications to sell on Walmart as they are re organizing their shipping and business platform? Is this true?
I just checked and it seems you can still apply to become a seller on Walmart.
I am selling on Amazon currently and starting on Walmart as well. I am trying to send inventory to WFS, but I am having a hard time understanding their label system, or lack of it. I was told by Walmart seller support that you don’t need to make your own labels for the items you send to Walmart and you just use the original manufacturer’s UPC codes. If this is true, I don’t understand how Walmart keeps track of MY blue widget sales from someone else’s blue widget sales? I do hear of Walmart sellers, however, making item labels and covering the original UPC code. How do you do this? Do I need to? If not, how does Walmart keep track of it all?
Thanks so much
Check out this resource from Walmart. This should help answer your questions!
I’m also looking to start new business so just reading all details the way all information is proved on web is very good for anyone who wants start business with
It appears Walmart requires you to be in business? Amazon does not, they do have an Individual or Professional Plan which does not require an entity.
Walmart: Please have this required information available when completing the application:
US Business Tax ID (SSN not accepted)
W9 or W8 and EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury that verifies your US business address or place of physical operations
Address or place of physical operations
US Business address
Planned integration method for your product catalog (bulk upload, API, solution provider)
Primary product categories, catalog size and related information (e.g. total SKUs you will be selling on Walmart.com initially with verified UPC information, and used vs. refurbished etc.)
Yes, that is correct.
The clarity of the writing and the depth of insight with Brian Connolly is helpful and inspiring. I want to read more by this brilliant man. As a Walmart Seller I appreciate any and all insights that can help us succeed. Thank you Brian.
Thanks for the kind words, Jim! Glad you got value out of this article.
I bought an item on Walmart Marketplace. I discovered that a third party seller bought this item on Amazon at half the price and then resold it to me on the Walmart site. I received this item from Amazon as a gift. I paid $32 to Walmart Marketplace for something that Amazon was selling for $15.99. How is Walmart Marketplace protecting the consumer?
I suggest you contact Walmart support and explain the situation to them and that you received an item from Amazon.
I just started my walmart seller account however I am i’m trying to do dropshipping/FBM on Walmart Marketplace. Is jungle scout a good resource to research products for Walmart Seller Marketplace?
While Jungle Scout currently only pulls Amazon sales data, the sales volume for certain categories or products will be pretty similar on Walmart.
Right now two baskets Amazon and Walmart very right They both are Awesome services .
Yes, I am very interested in selling on Walmart Marketplace. I have a fair amount of inventory on textbooks that I have self-published. The class is still being taught at a community college and the book is a course requirement. The book is also very useful for students who are not taking the class. My class was developed by me twenty-five years ago and has been very successful for college students who are searching for scholarships.
Two editions are available on Amazon, the most recent edition (2020) is available at the college bookstore , and a third book (#150ScholarshipsTips) can be purchased from me.
2007 Edition – The Search for Scholarships
2014 Edition – Let Scholarships Pay the Way
2021 2nd Edition of The Search for Scholarships
Eve-Marie Andrews M.S. (College and Career Counseling)
Are you sure Walmart does not accept shipments from outside the US, even if you are a US based company? Will I need to send my product to me or a 3PL first?
Yes, that is how Walmart is doing things as of now.
That is up to you. If you can receive the items, send them to yourself, then to Walmart.
Thank you for the info Brian!
Question–right now I do not have UPC barcodes on my private label products; do you know if Walmart requires them?
Yes, Walmart will require UPC codes for your product. GS1 now offers a single use UPC code for just $30.
Do I have to pay any fees to Walmart after sales?
What happens to returned items?
Yes, there are selling fees on Walmart. And returned items will go back to your location.
I’m currently selling on Amazon and E-Bay and would love the opportunity to add Walmart to the mix. It seems like a great opportunity.
Is an international seller (e.g from Canada) able to sell products on Walmart.com? They need a US address so without it, how we can proceed?
They only, right now, is to have a business and address in the US.
Hi. How to apply for the US Tax ID if I am not US resident? Any agency you could recommended for me to apply for the said Tax ID.?
Visit the IRS website to find out more information on how to apply for a Tax ID. (irs.gov)
Hi thanks for this post! Yes I am thinking to expand using Walmart but I am from UK, is that possible?
– How can we be sure that walmart will accept our application?
-I did not really understand regarding the requirements of walmart fulfilment service, if you could clarify that for us please?
In order to create an account with Walmart Seller, you will need to have a business registered within the US.
thanks Brian, great article!
one question…..if i’m a canadian resident wanting to sell WFS in the US, will wal-mart automatically reject me as an applicant?
Thanks for reading! As long as you have a registered business within the US, you should be fine. If not, then I am not sure.
I suggest just going through the application process to see if you will be approved.
will you give more details about the WFS interest form and what info should we prepare to fill in the form?
Check out this link to WFS: https://marketplace.walmart.com/wfsinterest/
They’ll tell you everything they require and you will be able to go through the steps.
This was a very informative article. I heard Walmart will only accept UPC’s purchased directly from GS1. Is this true?
Yes, that is true.
I would like to apply to Walmart as a seller, but I am concerned my catalog is not varied enough, I don’t have enough SKUS, or wholesale accounts and that my concentration is Online Arbitrage. Can I still qualify for WFS? What are some of the parameters for qualifying?
I suggest you go through the application process and see if you get approved. That is the only way to know for sure!
Walmate accept seller are not US resident?
You will need a registered business and physical location within the US to sell on Walmart.
A sweeter version of energy bar with four months shelf life, will it be treated as perishable?? Once this is answered my business can be on walmart.
I don’t think it would be but I am not sure. You will need to do some more research on this topic.
I suggest applying to sell on Walmart and see if your product is allowed.
I went and submitted my application per your link “Walmart Fulfillment Services Interest Form”. This is much different than the https://marketplace.walmart.com/ that I submitted previously but never gotten a reply.
Hi Brian. I have tried many times to apply at Walmart.com but never received an answer back for an approval. I have my own FEIN, DUNS#, and US address that I submitted on the application. I’ve heard it’s hard to get approved by Walmart but my issue is that I never heard back from Walmart staff. I do well selling on Amazon.com but I have gotten frustrated with the Walmart approval process. Help? Thank you Henry
I am not sure how long it usually takes to hear back from Walmart. Did you get any confirmation that they received your application?
What if your outside of Canada? I have to register a business in the US? How would I go about doing that? We can still ship products from Alibaba from China to the Walmart warehouses?
You will need to have a registered business within the US. In order to ship products into Walmart’s warehouse, they must be shipped from within the US. You cannot ship from China to Walmart.
Yes I’m interested in selling on the Walmart platform
I agree, the Walmart platform is ideal for selling online.