Walmart Marketplace Fulfillment: A Shipping Guide for Online Merchants
June 24, 2019
Walmart wasn’t always known for its online marketplace, but in the past few years, Walmart.com has become a top destination for both sellers and shoppers alike.
Between acquiring companies like Bonobos and Modcloth, and expanding its online shipping capabilities, Walmart has really stepped up its ecommerce game.
Walmart Marketplace offers products that are sold in brick-and-mortar Walmart stores as well as a variety of items from third-party marketplace sellers that Walmart has vetted and approved.
What are Walmart Fulfillment Services?
Walmart marketplace fulfillment refers to the process of fulfilling online orders from purchases made on the Walmart Marketplace. Walmart fulfillment services are provided in-house by Walmart, as well as by third-party logistics service providers.
Note: ShipBob is an official 3PL partner of Walmart and is listed as a shipping and fulfillment solution for Walmart’s marketplace sellers. ShipBob is part of Walmart’s TwoDay delivery program, as ShipBob integrates with Walmart Marketplace to display Free 2-day delivery badging and fulfill 2-day orders for approved Walmart Marketplace sellers. (ShipBob also supports fulfillment for Walmart Marketplace orders outside of the TwoDay delivery program.)
How do Walmart Marketplace services work?
Walmart Marketplace allows online brands to reach more of their customers. Third-party sellers can list their products on Walmart.com similar to how selling on Amazon works. The one major difference is Walmart’s steep entry barrier, but because of this, there is less competition.
As long as third-party sellers meet the requirements, it’s easy to get started on Walmart.com and boost your audience. When customers search on Walmart.com, they are shown the most relevant products from various brands.
Walmart Marketplace fulfillment requirements
To qualify to sell on Walmart.com, you must “request to sell” by filling out an application and provide digital copies of a few documents. Once submitted, the process of getting approved can take anywhere between 14-30 days. When you’re ready to fill out an application, be sure to have the following information ready:
- US Business Tax ID
- W9 or W8
- EIN Verification Letter
- Business Address
- Planned integration methods for your product catalog
- Primary product categories, catalog size, and SKU count
Become a verified marketplace seller
As soon as Walmart approves you as a seller, you will have to sign the Retailer Agreement. Once signed, you will receive an email with information on how complete the registration process with clear steps.
From here, you will be prompted to register on the Seller Center, create an account, add your products, and set up fulfillment and shipping details. Once your products are pushed live, buyers searching on Walmart.com will see your listings.
If you meet Walmart.com’s requirement, then you’re on your way to expanding your multichannel retail strategy. Walmart Marketplace provides several advantages for online retailers and it’s a great way to expand customer reach affordably.
Selling on Walmart Marketplace: 6 advantages for third-party sellers
As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart.com can provide value to third-party sellers. Any approved Walmart Marketplace Seller can take advantage of the following benefits.
1. Huge marketplace
There is a wide variety of products sold on the Walmart Marketplace and a breadth of eligible items, as long as they aren’t in the prohibited products list. Walmart has no SKU minimums or maximums, so you can potentially list your entire product catalog.
2. Great exposure
With millions of Walmart customers and more than 100 million site visitors every month, you can increase the visibility of your products by listing on Walmart.com and boost your growth.
3. Easy transactions
Walmart doesn’t charge a per-order transaction fee to sellers, and all orders are securely processed by Walmart. You get paid every other week, and referral fees are automatically deducted.
4. Provide your own customer support
As an e-commerce Walmart Marketplace seller, you control, specify and manage your return policy and customer service information, which includes a masked email address, phone number, and hours of operation. You can communicate directly with your customers to answer their questions and resolve any issues, though Walmart requires sellers to respond to customer emails within one business day of receiving the message.
5. Freedom to ship on your own
Walmart Marketplace sellers who go down the self-fulfillment route can choose the carriers, shipping price, and Walmart shipping method they offer (it must be at least one of the five shipping methods available). Sellers control the transit times and order cutoff times that show up on their product listings.
6. Lower costs
Unlike selling on Amazon, which is known for charging third-party sellers a wide variety of FBA fees and line items, Walmart doesn’t have a setup fee, monthly fee, or subscription fee — they only deduct a referral fee for each sale placed on Walmart.com, which vary by product category.
Walmart fulfillment services (WFS) overview
Walmart Marketplace offers fulfillment services for customers that meet certain requirements, known as Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS).
If you qualify, you can choose to store inventory in a Walmart fulfillment center and have orders fulfilled and shipped on your behalf. Walmart is known for offering 2-day deliver services, inventory management and reporting solutions, and customer support.
If you choose to use Walmart for fulfillment, be aware of some limitations. In order to be a qualified candidate for WFS your products must meet the following requirements:
- Products must ship to Walmart fulfillment centers from within the US
- No perishable or regulated products
- Maximum product weight of 30 lbs
- Maximum product dimensions: 25″ x 20″ x 14″
Walmart fulfillment service (WFS) fees
Walmart Fulfillment service fees are based on a fixed monthly storage fee and a fulfillment fee based on the weight of the package alone. Exceptions to this are for apparel and hazmat items.
Walmart Fulfillment centers are is able to charge by weight alone for their fulfillment fee by limiting the maximum size of accepted products to 25″ x 20″ x 14″. This pricing structure can be advantageous for some sellers but limiting for others.
|Shipping weight||Cost per package|
|1 lb or less||$3.45|
|2 lbs or less||$4.95|
|3 lbs or less||$5.45|
|4 lbs or less (max 20 lbs)||$5.75 + $0.40/additional lb|
|More than 20 lbs (30 lbs max)||Add $3.00 to the above fee|
Importance of shipping fast on Walmart Marketplace
To compete with the likes of Amazon, there is now a Walmart free 2-day shipping program for orders over $35 of qualifying items — without a membership fee like Amazon requires for Prime customers. Walmart has also announced speeding that up to 1-day delivery to keep up. While this program isn’t mandatory for marketplace sellers, providing customers with fast Walmart shipping is important.
Free shipping and fast delivery are known to increase conversions and reduce cart abandonment rate. Providing the experience shoppers want and meeting customer expectations help drive success for any ecommerce brand. Walmart recommends offering both standard and express shipping options that boost customer experience so they can select the ecommerce shipping time that best suits their needs.
You can increase Walmart.com conversions with 2-day delivery badges in search results and listings, which is proven to catch shoppers’ attention. Shoppers filter products with 2-day delivery and see “2-day delivery” badging in search results under the product price. A ‘free 2-day delivery’ badge will automatically appear above the “Add to cart’ button for your products, and you can mention 2-day delivery in your product descriptions.
Third-party fulfillment for Walmart Marketplace
Sellers that don’t want to deal with handle Walmart fulfillment themselves can outsource fulfillment entirely. A third-party logistics or 3PL provider is a company that offers inventory management, picking, packing, and shipping of orders on behalf of a seller. Here’s how a 3PL handles the entire fulfillment process.
For customers, 2-day delivery has never been more important. Working with a 3PL that has several fulfillment centers enables you to distribute your inventory across locations to eliminate the need to ship to high shipping zones and in turn reduce shipping costs and transit times with fast shipping options. This makes delivery speeds like 2-day shipping much more affordable by utilizing ground shipping rather than air shipping.
ShipBob is an official 3PL partner of Walmart and part of their TwoDay delivery program. Free 2-day delivery badging is displayed, and ShipBob fulfills 2-day orders for approved Walmart Marketplace sellers (and also fulfills Walmart Marketplace orders outside of the TwoDay delivery program).
When you work with a 3PL, you send your inventory to their fulfillment center so you don’t have to store products, lease a warehouse, or hire staff to oversee warehouse management and build out the infrastructure. If you aren’t an operations expert or have experience with warehousing and fulfillment logistics, then working with a third-party can be a great option.
Many 3PLs support ecommerce fulfillment for all of the places you sell online. In addition to a Walmart.com integration, they can also connect with ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Square, and WooCommerce to automate shipping for all of your stores while keeping all of your inventory in one place.
Inventory management and tracking
A 3PL not only stores your inventory but should also provide full inventory management capabilities for everything from inventory forecasting and helping you project when to reorder for optimal stock levels, to providing analytics on how to split your inventory geographically with transparent inventory tracking in their warehouses.
Fulfillment by ShipBob can drive more revenue
ShipBob and Walmart are integrated to streamline order fulfillment. You can link your Walmart store to ShipBob, sync your inventory, and import your orders.
Once set up, orders are automatically sent to ShipBob and fulfilled at the fulfillment center closest to the end customer with two-day delivery and easy returns programs for buyers.
ShipBob has a network of fulfillment centers across the United States, allowing ecommerce businesses to store their inventory across regions.
In addition to Walmart 2-day shipping, ShipBob can help fulfill orders placed on your ecommerce website.
ShipBob has helped thousands of direct-to-consumer brands of all sizes drive revenue by providing 2-day shipping. Through ShipBob, brands have:
- Increased AOV by 97%
- Reduced cart abandonment rate by 18%
- Saved 120 hours per week
- Grew 291% over 3 years
To learn more about ShipBob, request a pricing quote by using the button below.
Walmart Marketplace fulfillment FAQs
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions related to selling on Walmart.com
Does Walmart do fulfillment?
Yes, if you are a certified third-party seller on Walmart.com, you have the option to store products in a Walmart fulfillment center. However, the seller must meet the requirements: products must ship to Walmart fulfillment centers from within the US, no perishable or regulated products, maximum product weight of 30 lbs, and a maximum product dimensions: 25″ x 20″ x 14″.
How does Walmart Marketplace work?
Walmart Marketplace allows online brands to reach more of their customers. Third-party sellers can list their products on Walmart.com similar to how selling on Amazon works. The one major difference is Walmart’s steep entry barrier, but because of this, there is less competition. As long as third-party sellers meet the requirements, it’s easy to get started on Walmart.com and boost your audience. When customers search on Walmart.com, they are shown the most relevant products from various brands.
Is selling on Walmart Marketplace worth it?
Many online brands have found success selling on Walmart.com. The marketplace reaches over 111 million unique visitors every month. Selling on Walmart can help businesses boost audience reach fast and there is less competition than on Amazon due to Walmart’s step barrier to entry. Walmart Marketplace offers a clear pricing structure and no inventory minimums. However, there are requirements to becoming a third-party seller and you must fill out an application to be approved.
Does Walmart Marketplace offer fast delivery options?
Yes! Walmart Marketplace offers a 2-day delivery option for third-party retailers. ShipBob is an official 3PL partner of Walmart and is listed as a shipping and fulfillment solution for Walmart’s marketplace sellers. ShipBob is part of Walmart’s TwoDay delivery program, as ShipBob integrates with Walmart Marketplace to display Free 2-day delivery badging and fulfill 2-day orders for approved Walmart Marketplace sellers.