Speedy order fulfillment is a main ingredient of customer satisfaction in the ecommerce world. And yet, shipping policies and resources vary from channel to channel.
Even then, WFS is invitation-only. So, many sellers are still left to understand the rules of engagement on the platform and find alternative tools and partners to help them stay competitive.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how order fulfillment works on Walmart Marketplace. From shipping programs to Walmart’s official channel partners, learn how to meet the expectations of Walmart.com buyers and improve your performance across the board.
Walmart Seller Performance Standards
First and foremost, you need to understand how your performance is being measured. Walmart maintains strict standards for delivery, similar to Amazon, eBay and other channels:
- 90-day ODR of <2% - Your order defect rate is the number of orders with at least one defect divided by the total number of orders during the same period. Defects include seller-initiated cancellations, returns, delivery defects and customer complaints. It is important to note that one order may have more than one issue, but is only counted as one defect for ODR calculation.
- 14-day on-time delivery rate (OTD) of >99% - This is the percentage of orders delivered on or before the expected delivery date (EDD). Orders with multiple shipments are expected to be delivered in its entirety by the EDD.
- 14-day valid tracking rate (VTR) of >99% - This is the percentage of orders with valid tracking information and delivery scan on or before the EDD. Note that Amazon logistics codes associated with FBA MCF orders are not valid.
You can track your performance directly in Seller Center from the Seller Scorecard and the Fulfillment tabs under “Performance.” Or, if you use Zentail, you can view this from your Success Dashboard under “Account.”
If you fail to meet one or more seller standards, you will receive up to two email alerts and up to 21 days to get performance back up to acceptable levels before facing account suspension. New sellers who have been active for less than 120 days will receive up to three email alerts and 28 days to improve performance. If infractions are severe enough, Walmart retains the right to immediately cancel or suspend your account per the Marketplace Retailer Agreement.
Exceptions and Special Circumstances
Walmart makes exceptions for circumstances that are outside of your control. This includes natural disasters, fraud, severe weather and global events such as COVID-19. If you feel that your seller performance record has been negatively impacted by a situation out of your control, you can submit a ticket to partner support. The support team will review your ticket and if they verify your claim, no negative action will be taken against your account and your Seller Scorecard data will be corrected. However, if your claim cannot be verified, your account still faces potential suspension pending improvements.
Additional Guidelines to Keep in Mind
Aside from the above criteria, there are other shipping-related policies that you must adhere to. These are outlined in your Marketplace Retailer Agreement and may lead to suspension if violated.
- All orders must be shipped in non-branded packaging
- It is prohibited to include marketing materials from any company other than Walmart in the packaging
- Your customer service information must be valid and should be clearly displayed on each product listing
- You must offer both value and standard shipping options to customers—expedited, 2-day and next-day shipping are optional
Walmart's Expedited Shipping Ecosystem
By now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, there are a lot of rules. I get it.” Fortunately, Walmart also provides tools to help you meet these requirements and enjoy additional rewards for providing extra-fast delivery.
Referred to as Walmart's “expedited shipping ecosystem,” Walmart’s various initiatives towards promoting fast shipping benefit both you and your buyer. Not only do these programs help to lower your costs and increase your margins, but they help to drive more sales for participating sellers.
Seller-fulfilled Free TwoDay Delivery
It’s estimated that nearly 40% of Walmart Marketplace orders are already being delivered within two days. In other words, competition is stiffening, and a high organic ranking, especially in the most popular categories, is often associated with two-day delivery.
Walmart’s Free TwoDay Delivery program is open to virtually any marketplace seller (though you must apply and get approval) who can meet the below requirements:
- Sold on Walmart Marketplace seller for at least 90 days or fulfilled 100+ orders
- On-time shipping >95%
- On-time delivery >95%
- Accurate products shipped > 99.5%
- Valid Tracking > 95%
- Cancel rate <1.5%
- Generous return policy
Request approval by logging into Seller Center > Settings > Shipping Request Access. The Walmart will review and respond to your request within 48 hours. Don't sweat it if you're not accepted the first time—you can request access every two weeks.
Once approved, you can choose the states and regions where you support two-day shipping. You can additionally set decide which products to include in the program. Any qualifying listings will automatically receive the “free TwoDay delivery” tag and thereby gain more visibility on search result pages, be included in any pages filtered by two-day and/or have a greater chance at winning the buy box.
If you’re not able to fulfill within two days on your own, you can alternatively apply for WFS or ship through Deliverr, Walmart’s official fulfillment partner. All Deliverr sellers are pre-approved for Walmart’s TwoDay program and have access to nationwide two-day delivery.
According to Walmart, sellers have seen up to 50% more conversions after enabling TwoDay.
Seller-fulfilled Free ThreeDay Delivery
By contrast, sellers enrolled in Walmart’s ThreeDay Delivery program have reportedly seen up to 30% more conversions. Similar to TwoDay, ThreeDay offers better buy box win rates and organic rankings.
Unlike TwoDay though, you do not need to request access to the program nor have to maintain certain performance metrics to remain enrolled. This option is automatically available to all sellers—you simply need to enable the ThreeDay delivery configuration in Seller Center. Or, if you’ve already set Expedited shipping settings, you do not have to do anything; this will automatically convert to ThreeDay delivery.
You can also choose to still charge customer for three-day shipping. However, buy box prominence will only be given for SKUs that offer free three-day shipping.
FedEx Advantage Program
This is another program by Walmart that is intended to make fast shipping more accessible to sellers.
“With discounts on FedEx Express for fast nationwide shipping and FedEx Home Delivery for regional shipment, you can meet the TwoDay delivery promise without costing an arm and a leg,” says Walmart.
FedEx Advantage is available to all Walmart sellers regardless of the number of orders they receive at any given time (there is no order minimum). While discounts vary depending on the type of shipping method used, sellers can receive up to 50% off on shipping costs through Walmart's partnership, as well as other advantages like automated return labels.
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS)
WFS is one of Walmart’s latest additions to its shipping ecosystem. Launched February 2020, WFS offers FBA-like services to its marketplace sellers and access to Walmart's world-class supply chain capabilities. Its services include:
- Returns and customer service
While you’re responsible for shipping your products to the WFS fulfillment center, WFS will handle all of the fulfillment and post-sale processes. All WFS items are automatically eligible for TwoDay delivery nationwide and enjoy the same perks as TwoDay sellers: higher organic rankings and buy box win rates.
Walmart's official fulfillment partner, Deliverr, guarantees national two-day delivery through its 45+ warehouses. The company has about 45% of the country covered for next-day delivery as well and isn’t limited to Walmart.
Sellers often choose Deliverr for this reason: they can streamline shipping and unlock fast-shipping badges across multiple marketplaces (including Amazon, eBay and Wish) while enjoying simple, transparent pricing. Deliverr sellers just pay two fees (fulfillment and storage) and can get set up in two minutes—no setup fee, minimums or contracts required.
Note: Deliverr is also an official integration partner of Zentail. Learn more about our integration with Deliverr.
Any products that meet the below criteria are eligible for Deliverr:
- Item weighs less than 75 pounds
- Longest side is less than 40”
- Median side is less than 30”
- Shortest side is less than 15”
- See more Deliverr product restrictions
What’s the difference between Walmart’s Free TwoDay and ThreeDay Delivery programs (besides the obvious)?
TwoDay requires an application, whereas ThreeDay is available for free in your Seller Center account. TwoDay sellers must meet certain requirements to remain enrolled: sellers must deliver before or after the Estimated Delivery Date on at least 95% of TwoDay orders, plus maintain a cancellation rate less than 1.5%. TwoDay also issues fast-shipping tags that are prominently displayed on search result pages, helping to boost the visibility and conversion rate of your listings.
Are you allowed to add any marketing materials or special branding on packages?
No, Walmart prohibits sellers from branding packages sold through Walmart Marketplace. It is against the seller agreement to drive traffic away from Walmart.com to other sites or retailers. This will lead to suspension of your seller account. Walmart does not encourage sellers to include any type of post cards or promo materials with their orders.
How are orders with multiple packages handled when they only have one tracking number?
When an order is fulfilled, sellers have the option of entering the number of tracking numbers desired, depending on the number of packages in the order.
How can you reduce shipping costs?
Taking advantage of the shipping programs above, including WFS and the FedEx Advantage Program, can help. Taking steps to reduce returns can further lower the total shipping costs of an order.
Learn the Ins and Outs of Walmart
For more tips on how to succeed on Walmart Marketplace, check out the below guides. Or, if you'd like to learn more about Zentail's automation tools for listing, pricing and inventory management, schedule a free, no-strings-attached demo today.