Fulfillment by Amazon vs. Walmart Fulfilled Services: FBA and WFS Compared
Take a look at the similarities and differences between Amazon FBA and Walmart WFS storage and fulfillment services in the breakdown below.
As the retail industry shifts towards e-commerce, Walmart and Amazon have become two of the biggest players in the online marketplace. Both companies offer fulfillment services that help merchants sell their products online. Here are some similarities and differences between Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Storage and Fulfillment
Walmart and Amazon both offer storage and fulfillment solutions for online merchants. With Walmart's program, merchants can ship their products to one of Walmart's fulfillment centers, where Walmart will store and ship the products to customers when they are ordered. Similarly, Amazon FBA allows merchants to ship their products to Amazon's warehouses, which will then handle the packaging and shipping of the products to customers.
Walmart and Amazon provide a range of shipping options, including two-day shipping, next-day shipping, and same-day shipping. This means that merchants who use either service can offer fast shipping to their customers, which can improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
The reliable and consistent shipping services provided by Amazon FBA and Walmart WFS can help sellers establish a reputation for trustworthiness, leading to more sales and a greater likelihood of winning the Buy Box. Weighing this increase in volume against the impact that FBA and WFS fees have on profit margins is an important part of the equation. Each seller must decide what is ultimately the best move for their unique business.
Walmart and Amazon have streamlined their returns processes, making it easy for customers to return products. With Walmart's fulfillment service, merchants can have returns sent back to a Walmart fulfillment center, where Walmart will handle the processing of the return. Similarly, Amazon FBA handles the return process for merchants, making it easy for customers to initiate returns and receive refunds.
Straightforward return logistics can save you headaches and keep customers coming back, but again, those benefits should be compared to the fees that WFS and FBA charge for the service.
Which leads us to our next breakdown...
Walmart and Amazon charge fees for their fulfillment services, based on product size and weight, shipping speed, and other factors. Walmart's fees are generally lower than Amazon's, making it a more affordable option for smaller merchants. Merchants can estimate the fees for using Walmart fulfillment services by using Walmart's fee estimator tool.
Amazon FBA also provides a fee estimator which you can access by:
Logging into your Seller Central account
Loading the "Inventory" tab and selecting "Manage Inventory"
Finding the product you want to estimate the fees for and clicking the "Edit" button
Clicking "Fulfillment by Amazon" in the "Offer" section
Clicking "View Fees" under the FBA Fee Preview section
Entering the product dimensions and weight
Alternatively, you can use the FBA revenue calculator, which allows you to estimate your revenue after deducting fees. The FBA revenue calculator can be found under the "Reports" tab in your Amazon seller account.
Access to Marketplace
Walmart and Amazon offer merchants access to their online marketplaces, where they can sell their products directly to customers. Merchants who use either service can take advantage of the large customer base that Walmart and Amazon have built, which can help increase sales and revenue. Because they can control the customer experience more carefully, Walmart and Amazon generally give preference to FBA and WFS products when it comes to things like winning the Buy Box (all else being equal).
One significant difference between the two is that Walmart WFS does not differentiate between SKUs, while Amazon FBA does. This can be confusing for sellers who are using both fulfillment methods for the same item. However, Amazon allows sellers to sell both fulfillment methods in the same listing with separate SKUs, making it easier for sellers to manage their inventory.
It's essential that sellers using both Amazon FBA and Walmart WFS ensure that their repricer and inventory tools can differentiate between when a Walmart product is live with inventory in WFS versus FBM in real-time. If the repricer and inventory tools cannot differentiate, it can lead to sellers losing money on their sales or making less than they think they are. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure that the repricer is aware of the fulfillment method of the product in real-time to maximize profits and avoid any potential issues.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Walmart WFS and Amazon FBA have a lot in common. Both services provide storage and fulfillment solutions for online merchants, offer fast shipping options, streamline the returns process, charge fees based on product size and weight, and provide access to their online marketplaces. As e-commerce continues to grow, Walmart and Amazon are likely to remain major players in the online marketplace, and their fulfillment services will continue to be important tools for merchants who want to sell their products online.
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