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Speed Commerce

Walmart 3PL & Fulfillment Services – Marketplace Integrations

Walmart 3PL & Fulfillment Services - Marketplace Integrations

In recent years Walmart has diversified from its classic brick & mortar stores and has embraced the growth in eCommerce. Walmart Marketplace has seen significant growth in recent years. In May 2022, Walmart’s marketplace surpassed 150,000 sellers, a 66 percent increase compared to the number registered a year earlier. Additionally, the U.S. retailer’s marketplace also saw its gross merchandise volume triple in 2020 compared to the previous year. Walmart added over 20,000 new sellers to the U.S. marketplace platform and plans to add nearly 40,000 more in the next year. Walmart offers a service called Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) for Walmart Marketplace sellers. This service provides end-to-end fulfillment services, including storage, picking, packing, and shipping of orders. WFS also offers low-cost 2-day shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. (during the non-peak season), higher search rankings and Buy Box wins, reduced inbound shipping rates through their Preferred Carrier Program, fast inventory receiving at WFS fulfillment centers, and exceptional customer service and seller support. Walmart Marketplace partners with leading solution providers to offer top-notch support and a wide range of eCommerce services, including item setup, inventory, order fulfillment, pricing, and more. Some solution providers offer full-service integration, while others only provide specific functions. Each integration is tailored to the seller’s specific needs, so it is recommended to reach out to the solution provider directly to gather information on costs, features, and capabilities.

Walmart

Why Work With Speed Commerce for Your Online Fulfillment Needs

At Speed Commerce, we create winning customer experiences to help your eCommerce business grow and thrive. By removing our clients’ headaches and delivering customer-focused solutions, our clients can address what matters most, growing their businesses.

 

Speed Commerce is a single-source provider of omnichannel customer experience solutions and technology for eCommerce retailers and manufacturers. Designed around the customer’s needs, our solutions help brands streamline operations, leverage technology, and find greater efficiencies.

 

Speed Commerce is an end-to-end provider of scalable customer experience solutions. We grow our clients' businesses by providing solutions such as 24/7/365 eCommerce customer service, order fulfillment, and warehousing.

 

Our Mission is to fulfill the brand promise our clients make to their customers every day. What sets us apart from competitors is our people. Our team has decades of experience in eCommerce, fulfillment, and customer service. We know eCommerce!

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We Know Walmart

Speed Commerce has been acing fulfillment for Walmart orders since day one. We power up retailers and shop owners’ customer experience with flawless order fulfillment. Choose Speed Commerce to drive growth and excel in customer satisfaction!

No labor or capital expenditures

Strategically positioned warehouses across the U.S. for fast shipping and delivery

Scalable capacity to handle seasonal peaks and growth

Available for many popular eCommerce store integrations

Flexible warehouse footprint that grows with your brand

How Do Walmart Fulfillment Services Work?

Walmart Fulfillment Services are designed to help third-party sellers on the Walmart Marketplace streamline their order fulfillment processes. These services leverage Walmart's logistics and distribution network to enhance the customer experience by ensuring faster shipping and reliable service.

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How Do Walmart Fulfillment Services Work?

Enrollment

Sellers who are approved to sell on the Walmart Marketplace can opt to use Walmart Fulfillment Services. They need to enroll in the program and agree to the terms and conditions.

Inventory Storage

Sellers ship their products to designated Walmart fulfillment centers, where their inventory is stored. These fulfillment centers are strategically located to ensure efficient order processing and shipping.

Product Listings

Sellers list their products on the Walmart Marketplace and indicate that they are using Walmart Fulfillment Services. The product listings should provide accurate information about the products, including images, descriptions, prices, and any other relevant details.

Order Placement

When a customer places an order for a product that is fulfilled by Walmart, the order is sent to Walmart's system for processing.

Order Processing

Walmart's system identifies the nearest fulfillment center that has the ordered product in stock. The fulfillment center staff picks the product from the inventory, packs it appropriately, and generates shipping labels.

Shipping and Tracking

The packed product is then shipped to the customer using Walmart's chosen shipping carriers and methods. Walmart aims to provide fast and reliable shipping options to maintain a positive customer experience. Customers receive tracking information so they can monitor the progress of their orders. They can expect to receive their products within the specified delivery window.

Customer Service

Walmart handles customer service inquiries, such as tracking updates, order status inquiries, and returns, related to orders fulfilled through Walmart Fulfillment Services.

Returns

If a customer wants to return an item, they can follow Walmart's return process. The returned items are managed and processed by Walmart's fulfillment centers.

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What is a 3PL and What Do They Do for Online Businesses​

A 3PL, or Third-Party Logistics provider, is a company that offers logistics and supply chain services to businesses. These providers specialize in handling various aspects of the supply chain process, including warehousing, order fulfillment, shipping, and distribution. For online businesses, 3PLs play a key role in streamlining operations and ensuring efficient delivery of products to customers.

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Differences between Walmart Fulfillment Services and 3PL Services

Walmart Fulfillment Services

Navigating the complexities of eCommerce demands a robust logistics framework, particularly on platforms with the magnitude of Walmart. Walmart Fulfillment Services offers a distinct avenue for sellers striving for reliability and scalability on this expansive marketplace. Delve into our comprehensive breakdown to discern how this offering measures up against 3PL services, enabling informed decisions for optimized operational efficacy and customer engagement.

Platform-centric Solution

Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) is an integrated solution, tailored specifically for Walmart sellers. This service oversees the end-to-end fulfillment process, from product storage to delivery, within the Walmart ecosystem.

Walmart Assurance

Products fulfilled through WFS benefit from Walmart's trusted branding. Items are dispatched with Walmart-branded packaging, fostering confidence and recognition among buyers and ensuring consistency in the unboxing experience.

Optimized Costs

Capitalizing on Walmart's vast logistical network, WFS often provides sellers with competitive shipping rates. This streamlined system can translate to savings for sellers and potentially more attractive prices for end consumers.

Swift Customer Support

Recognizing the significance of post-purchase interactions, WFS provides dedicated customer support for orders placed through the platform. This ensures timely resolution of queries and concerns, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Services

Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach, 3PL providers offer tailored logistics and warehousing solutions that cater to specific business needs. This flexibility allows businesses to optimize their supply chain operations based on individual requirements.

Customized Solutions

3PL services are designed to support multiple sales channels, from eCommerce platforms to brick-and-mortar stores. This omnichannel approach ensures a consistent and efficient distribution process, irrespective of where a sale originates.

Multiple Sales Channels Support

With extensive networks and warehousing facilities, 3PL providers can facilitate both domestic and international shipping. This enables businesses to scale their operations and reach global markets without significant infrastructural investments.

Scalability and Global Reach

One of the distinct advantages of partnering with a 3PL provider is dedicated account management. Businesses benefit from personalized attention, regular updates, and expert insights to optimize their logistics processes.

Dedicated Account Management

Having a clear understanding of the differences between Walmart Fulfillment Services and 3PL solutions can be instrumental in steering your business towards sustained growth and customer satisfaction.

In summary, the choice between Walmart Fulfillment Services and 3PL hinges on a seller's specific needs and long-term vision. With each offering distinct advantages, it's imperative to assess the scalability, flexibility, and integration capabilities best suited to your business model.

How to Select a Fulfillment Partner For Your Walmart Orders

Selecting the right fulfillment partner for your Walmart orders is a crucial decision that can impact your business's success and customer satisfaction. Here are the steps you can follow to choose the best fulfillment partner for your Walmart orders:

Assess Your Needs

Determine your order volume, peak seasons, and growth projections. Identify the types of products you sell, including their size, weight, and any special handling requirements. Understand your geographic reach and where your customers are located.

Research Potential Partners

Look for fulfillment providers with experience working with Walmart Marketplace sellers. Research providers that have a strong reputation for reliability, accuracy, and efficient order processing. Read reviews and testimonials from other clients to gauge their satisfaction with the provider's services.

Consider Services Offered

Ensure that the fulfillment partner offers the specific services you need, such as order processing, pick and pack, shipping, returns management, and customer support. Verify if the provider can handle any specialized packaging, labeling, or compliance requirements for your products.

Technology Integration

Check if the fulfillment partner's systems can integrate seamlessly with Walmart's platform to manage orders, inventory, and tracking information. Automation and real-time data exchange are crucial for efficient operations and accurate order processing.

Shipping Speed and Options

Evaluate the fulfillment partner's shipping capabilities and whether they can meet Walmart's fulfillment requirements for fast and reliable shipping. Confirm the shipping carriers and methods they use and if they offer expedited options if needed.

Fulfillment Network

Consider the geographic locations of the fulfillment centers in the provider's network. Having centers strategically located can help reduce shipping times and costs.

Technology and Reporting

Look for a fulfillment partner that provides you with access to real-time data and reporting on inventory levels, order status, and shipping tracking.

Remember that choosing a fulfillment partner is a significant decision, so take your time to thoroughly evaluate your options. Request proposals from multiple providers, compare their offerings, and choose the partner that aligns best with your business needs, growth goals, and customer expectations.

Walmart-Specific Challenges That Speed Commerce Can Solve

When it comes to selling on the Walmart Marketplace, there are specific challenges that third-party sellers might encounter. A reputable Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider can help address these challenges and provide solutions that enhance your overall performance on the platform. Here are some Walmart-specific challenges that a 3PL provider can help solve:

Inventory Management

Walmart requires accurate and up-to-date inventory levels. A 3PL can provide real-time inventory tracking and management, reducing the risk of overselling or running out of stock.

Fulfillment Requirements

Walmart has strict fulfillment requirements, including fast shipping times and reliable order processing. A 3PL provider with experience working with Walmart can ensure that your orders meet these requirements, helping you maintain a strong performance record.

Scalability

As your business grows, a 3PL can scale its services to accommodate higher order volumes, allowing you to focus on expanding your product offerings and customer base.

Geographic Reach

Walmart's nationwide presence requires efficient shipping to various regions. A 3PL with multiple fulfillment centers can help you reach customers across the country more quickly.

Shipping Speed and Buy Box Eligibility

Faster shipping times are essential for winning the Buy Box on Walmart. A 3PL can help you fulfill orders quickly, improving your chances of winning the Buy Box and attracting more customers.

Seasonal and Peak Demand

During peak seasons and holidays, order volumes can surge. A 3PL can handle increased order volumes efficiently, ensuring that your customers receive their orders on time.

Returns Management

Managing returns can be complex and time-consuming. A 3PL can handle the returns process, including inspection, restocking, and reshipping, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Technology Integration

Integrating your systems with Walmart's platform can be complex. A 3PL can offer technology solutions that streamline order processing, inventory management, and tracking, ensuring accurate and timely updates.

Expertise in Marketplace Fulfillment

A 3PL provider experienced in working with Walmart sellers understands the unique requirements and challenges of the platform, providing tailored solutions for your business.

Customer Service

Walmart emphasizes excellent customer service. A 3PL can handle customer inquiries, order tracking, and returns-related communication, ensuring that customers have a positive experience.

Compliance and Labeling

Walmart has specific labeling and packaging requirements. A 3PL can ensure that your products are labeled correctly and packaged according to Walmart's guidelines.

Reduced Fulfillment Costs

In summary, outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL can potentially result in cost savings by eliminating the need for investing in warehouse space, staffing, and logistics technology.

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Is it Worth it To Work with a 3PL for Walmart-based Stores?

Deciding whether to work with a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider for a Walmart-based store depends on various factors specific to your business, including your size, resources, growth goals, and operational needs. Here are some considerations to help you determine if working with a 3PL for your Walmart-based store is worth it:

Scale of Operations

If you're a smaller business with limited storage and logistics resources, partnering with a 3PL can help you access professional warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping services without the need to invest in your own infrastructure.

Efficiency

3PL providers specialize in logistics and supply chain management, which means they have the expertise and systems to optimize these processes. This can lead to more efficient order processing, reduced shipping times, and better inventory management.

Focus on Core Competencies

Outsourcing logistics allows you to focus on your core business activities, such as product development, marketing, and customer service, while leaving the complexities of logistics to the experts.

Scalability

As your business grows, a 3PL can often scale its services to accommodate increased order volumes and changing requirements. This scalability can be particularly valuable during peak seasons or periods of rapid growth.

Reduced Costs

While there are fees associated with using a 3PL, these costs may be offset by savings in warehousing expenses, labor costs, and shipping rates. Additionally, outsourcing can eliminate the need to invest in and maintain your own fulfillment infrastructure.

Marketplace Requirements

If you're selling on the Walmart Marketplace, using a 3PL might align with Walmart's fulfillment requirements and improve your chances of winning the Buy Box and gaining customer trust due to faster and more reliable shipping.

Geographic Reach

If you're looking to expand your customer base and reach customers in different regions, a 3PL's network of fulfillment centers can help you achieve nationwide or even international coverage.

Complex Products

If your products require specialized handling, packaging, or compliance with specific regulations, a 3PL with experience in your industry can ensure proper care and handling of your inventory.

Customer Experience

A 3PL can contribute to a positive customer experience by ensuring accurate and timely deliveries, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and potentially repeat business.

Financial Considerations

Compare the costs of using a 3PL to your potential cost savings, increased sales, and the time and effort you would spend managing logistics in-house.

Customization and Flexibility

Working with a 3PL provides the opportunity to tailor logistics solutions to your unique business needs, allowing for a more adaptable approach compared to standardized offerings from larger marketplaces.

Returns Management

Handling returns can be a logistical challenge for many businesses. A 3PL can streamline this process, ensuring that returns are processed efficiently, refunds are managed correctly, and products are quickly returned to inventory or disposed of according to your directives.

Technology Integration

3PLs often employ state-of-the-art technology platforms that can seamlessly integrate with your sales channels. This ensures real-time inventory updates, order tracking, and data analytics to help you make informed business decisions.

Risk Management

By diversifying your fulfillment operations with a 3PL, you're mitigating risks associated with in-house challenges such as labor shortages, equipment failures, or unforeseen disruptions. 3PLs often have contingency plans and multiple facilities to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Sustainability Initiatives

Many modern 3PLs incorporate sustainable practices in their operations, from eco-friendly packaging to energy-efficient warehousing. Partnering with such a 3PL can enhance your brand's image and commitment to sustainability, resonating with environmentally conscious customers.

It's important to carefully evaluate your business needs, research different 3PL providers, and consider the specific services they offer, their track record, and their pricing structure.

What If Your Walmart Business is very small, very large, or has some other specific requirements?

The choice of a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider for your Walmart business should align with your specific business size, requirements, and circumstances. Here's how to adapt your selection criteria based on the size and specific needs of your Etsy business:

Very Small Walmart Businesses

Cost-Effective Solutions

Small Walmart businesses often have limited budgets. Look for 3PL providers that offer competitive pricing, particularly for smaller order volumes. Some 3PLs cater specifically to small and emerging Walmart businesses.

Scalability

Even if your Walmart business is small now, consider a 3PL that can accommodate future growth. You don't want to outgrow your provider too quickly.

Flexible Contracts

Opt for 3PLs that offer flexibility in contract terms. Month-to-month agreements or low-commitment contracts can be suitable for small businesses that may need to adjust their arrangements frequently.

Minimal Volume Requirements

Ensure that the 3PL doesn't impose high minimum order or storage volume requirements, as this can be burdensome for small businesses.

Very Large Walmart Businesses

Scalability

Prioritize 3PLs that can seamlessly scale to meet the demands of a large and growing business. They should have the capacity and infrastructure to handle high order volumes.

Specialized Services

Large Walmart businesses often have complex supply chain needs. Look for 3PLs with specialized services, such as customized packaging, kitting, or value-added services.

Global Reach

If your Walmart business operates internationally, select a 3PL with a global network of distribution centers and expertise in international shipping and customs regulations.

Advanced Technology

Large Walmart businesses may require advanced technology solutions, such as sophisticated inventory management systems and robust reporting and analytics capabilities.

Specific Requirements

Niche Expertise

If your Walmart business operates in a niche industry (e.g., perishable goods, hazardous materials, or high-value items), choose a 3PL with expertise in handling your specific product type.

Regulatory Compliance

If your industry is heavily regulated, ensure that the 3PL has experience in compliance with relevant regulations and can provide documentation and reporting to meet these requirements.

Sustainability Initiatives

If sustainability is a priority, look for 3PLs that offer eco-friendly packaging options, carbon footprint reduction strategies, and other sustainability initiatives.

Geographic Reach

If your Walmart business requires distribution in specific regions or markets, choose a 3PL with strategically located distribution centers to optimize shipping and reduce transit times.

Short-Term Projects

For Walmart businesses with short-term or project-specific needs (e.g., a seasonal spike in demand), consider 3PLs that offer on-demand or short-term warehousing and fulfillment services.

Returns Handling

If your products have a high return rate, choose a 3PL with a streamlined returns process to minimize costs and impact on inventory management.

Walmart Integration for Businesses

Remember that choosing a fulfillment partner is a significant decision, so take your time to thoroughly evaluate your options. Request proposals from multiple providers, compare their offerings, and choose the partner that aligns best with your business needs, growth goals, and customer expectations.

Walmart

Frequently Asked Questions About 3PL for Walmart Orders

Q: How do 3PLs integrate and fulfill Walmart orders?

A: 3PLs use specialized software solutions and API integrations to effortlessly connect with Walmart's seller platform. Once this integration is established, orders made on Walmart are automatically forwarded to the 3PL, initiating the fulfillment process, from item retrieval to shipping.

Q: How do 3PLs manage product inventory for Walmart orders?

A: 3PLs employ cutting-edge inventory management systems to store and oversee products earmarked for Walmart orders. These platforms facilitate real-time inventory oversight, help in averting stockouts, and ensure timely restocking, guaranteeing products are consistently ready for dispatch when a Walmart order is placed.

Q: How do 3PLs pick, pack, and ship Walmart orders?

A: On receiving an order notification from Walmart, 3PLs adopt efficient picking protocols to locate and retrieve the specified item from their warehouse. The product is subsequently packed in alignment with Walmart's packaging criteria and dispatched using strategic shipping routes to ensure swift delivery to the end customer.

Q: How do 3PLs help save brands on freight costs for Walmart orders?

A: Leveraging their volume-based agreements with various carriers, 3PLs can procure and extend discounted shipping tariffs to brands. By meticulously calibrating package dimensions, weight, and selecting the optimal shipping pathways, 3PLs further minimize shipping and transportation expenses for Walmart orders.

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