FBA or WFS: What’s Best for Your Online Business?
Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) changed the game for online retailers back in 2006, enabling merchants to easily access a stable, existing logistics infrastructure. Now since its launch in 2020, Walmart’s own Walmart Fulfillment Service (WFS) has taken on Amazon’s monopoly on fulfillment services and grown steadily to challenge the competition. WFS has proven to be a smart solution for sellers, deploying continuous marketplace improvements, while posting massive growth figures.
However, FBA continues to be a far more accessible solution than WFS, allowing sellers consistent access to high-quality fulfillment services. Before you get started on WFS, you must undergo a thorough evaluation, which can make for a lengthy, complicated process. Furthermore, FBA offers more flexibility in terms of shipment weight, product dimensions, and restrictions than WFS offers.
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Both FBA and WFS services have numerous similarities and come with a host of features that offer businesses a specific e-commerce marketplace experience. This post will help you, as an online retailer, to see if you can benefit from using both.
What is a Fulfillment Service?
A fulfillment service, in the context of e-commerce, refers to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that handles order processing and delivery. The services may also include inventory storage, packing, and shipping. Such a service is extremely important for sellers who do not have the infrastructure for storage or packaging.
Similarities Between WFS and FBA
Both Walmart and Amazon offer exceptional order fulfillment that is fast and equipped with a vast network. All a seller needs to do is store their products at fulfillment locations and let Amazon and Walmart take care of the rest. This arrangement greatly improves turnaround times and enables same-day delivery consistently. Additionally, both services have reliable customer support which can deal with the majority of complaints and issues that customers may encounter. This can help sellers save time and dedicate focus to critical matters that accompany running a business and the daily issues presented. FBA and WFS also make dealing with returns a breeze by handling everything from requests to labels.
Differences Between WFS and FBA
The benefits that WFS and FBA provide are quite distinct. With FBA, it is much easier to get started while WFS has strict policies on marketplace applications and product requirements. For example, WFS requires products to be shipped from within the US while FBA accepts international shipments if the correct label is applied. Some other notable differences include:
– Country of origin is mandatory for WFS
– WFS does not offer labeling options
– FBA will accept cases up to 50 lbs, along with single products that weigh over 150lbs
– WFS enforces a maximum product dimension of 25″x20″x14″ while it is 25″ on any side for FBA
– FBA also accepts large items that are over 108″ on the longest side and 165″ in length + girth
Which Option is Beginner-friendly?
WFS can appear overwhelming to those new to the world of e-commerce. A significant amount of paperwork is required to register a new account, such as a US business tax ID and an EIN verification letter. Amazon, meanwhile, allows sole proprietors or LLCs without a unique business tax ID to sell on the platform. You also need an established SKU catalog for Walmart.
FBA, by comparison, is much easier to use and sellers can take advantage of Amazon’s recurring shipment programs and sell globally.
Selling on Walmart.com used to be difficult and limited prior to WFS, which claims to be a competitive and cost-effective solution for users. Although Amazon offers a few more critical services and options than WFS, there’s no reason not to take advantage of WFS as well, that is if you have a registered US business. If you have the resources present to support multiple sales channels, then WFS and FBA can work well together and help your business numbers skyrocket!