Amazon Prime vs. Walmart 2-day
Amazon has long reigned king of eCommerce, offering a strong marketplace to reach customers and a Prime program with more than 100 million subscribers.
Walmart has historically dominated the retail industry, and is investing time and money into capturing more eCommerce spend with their new Free 2-Day Shipping program. Their fast shipping program rivals Amazon Prime with fast, free shipping and no membership fees. It opened up to marketplace sellers this past October 2018.
As a seller, participating in either program can have massive benefits. Chances are that if you qualify for one, you’ll also qualify for the other, but it may be a good idea to start with one and then move into the other. Both have pros and cons, and both will have slightly different results in terms of sales boost, audience, and requirements. However, both programs come with advantages your business cannot afford to pass on.
Amazon Prime is the largest program designed to offer customers perks in exchange for a monthly subscription. Consumers benefit from over 40 different perks, including free audiobooks and access to exclusive items, but many sign up to take advantage of fast and free shipping.
Walmart 2-Day Free Shipping
Walmart.com averaged 350 million visitors per month for 2018, giving sellers significant incentive to capture as much consumer spend as possible with fast shipping tags. With Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping, you promise free delivery by a guaranteed date (2 days after purchase). Like Amazon Prime, sellers can choose to ship themselves or utilize Walmart’s outsourced fulfillment partner.
Unlike Amazon Prime, customers don’t have to be members and don’t have to pay a subscription fee. Free shipping encourages customers to purchase and helps to reduce cart abandonment.
Why should sellers get on Amazon Prime or Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping?
Sellers need to put themselves in the best position to succeed no matter what marketplace you sell on. The best way to do this is having fast shipping tags differentiate your listings. Since consumers can filter for delivery time on both Amazon and Walmart, it also boosts visibility and can reduce competition.
Comparing the two, both fast shipping programs offer different benefits. Amazon has the potential for more volume with a giant user base and a wide international reach, whereas Walmart sellers benefit from lower ad spend needed and less competition. Ultimately, you should aim to get on both of these programs to give your business the best advantage.
Below we’ll share 2 ways to get on Amazon Prime, and 2 ways to get on Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping.
How to get on Amazon Prime
As a seller, you can choose to opt into Prime by either using Fulfilled by Amazon or Seller Fulfilled Prime.
Selling products through FBA simply requires moving your inventory into an Amazon warehouse, paying Amazon to store products, and allowing Amazon to handle fulfillment for you.
Fulfillment costs are flat rate and are based on product volume, weight, and duration of time in warehouse, with additional flat rate fees for fulfillment. However, FBA can be expensive when it comes to storage fees, which increase during the holiday season.
Amazon handles every aspect of fulfillment, including order processing, pick and pack, shipping from the warehouse nearest to the customer, and customer support and returns. This can save you considerably in that you won’t need to set up the infrastructure to handle the sort of high demand that owning the Buy Box can produce.
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
Seller Fulfilled Prime launched in 2015 and supports sellers who want to fulfill their own Prime orders. Here, you must commit to same-day and two-day delivery on all products and must complete a lengthy trial period.
To be eligible for SFP, you need a professional seller account and must meet specific account metrics. These include having fulfilled 30+ Premium Shipping orders over the past 30 days, with a >96% on-time delivery rate, <1% cancellation rate, and >94% ID on all orders.
The trial process typically involves a 30-day period, in which you must have a >99% on-time delivery rate, must utilize Buy Shipping Services on >95% of orders, and have a cancellation rate of <1%. You’ll also need a 4.5+ rating on all orders shipped over the preceding 30 calendar days.
While significantly more difficult to set up, and costlier to begin, SFP leaves you in control of your inventory and may eventually reduce costs over FBA if your order volume is high enough.
How to get on Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping
Similarly to Amazon, Walmart marketplace sellers can opt to fulfill themselves or go through Walmart’s fulfillment partner, Deliverr.
Walmart allows seller-fulfilled 2-day shipping, which you can request access to from your Seller Central. Walmart will let you know whether you’ve been approved or rejected in 48 hours, and you’ll have to meet certain account metrics.
For example, you must have fulfilled >100 orders over the past 30 days, with on-time shipping at >95%, on-time delivery at >95%, valid tracking >95%, a cancel rate of <1.5%, and a generous returns policy.
Sellers can set the regions and states where they can support 2-day shipping, so only shoppers in certain areas see the fast shipping tag.
Walmart has partnered with Deliverr, an FBA-like fulfillment service that is able to fulfill orders in 2 days. Here, you pay Deliverr’s flat-rate fees plus a storage fee, and they provide discounted rates for sellers fulfilling on Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping program. You can calculate your fulfillment costs on their cost calculator.
Deliverr sellers are pre-approved for Walmart’s fast shipping program and can activate it from their Deliverr dashboard. Simply ship inventory to Deliverr, and they will handle the entire fulfillment process from order to doorstep. Another benefit of using Walmart’s official fulfillment partner is they support nationwide 2-day delivery, which means more shoppers will see the Free 2-Day Shipping tag on your listings.
Deliverr also partners with other eCommerce marketplaces, so this may be advantageous if you’d like to get on multiple fast shipping programs across marketplaces.
In the end, offering fast, free shipping is a wise business idea regardless of which marketplace you sell on. Not only is it convenient for your shoppers, outsourcing to the right fulfillment partner makes things easier for you as a seller.
And as the holidays are approaching, keep in mind that although many sellers use fast, free shipping as seasonal tactics, they are increasingly important throughout the year, and it will help you to boost sales.
About the Author
This is a guest post from Michael Krakaris. Michael is one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and the co-founder of Deliverr. Deliverr provides fast and affordable fulfillment for your eBay, Walmart and Shopify stores, helping to boost sales through programs like Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping and eBay Guaranteed Delivery.
Deliverr’s FBA-like multi-channel fulfillment comes with clear pricing, easy on-boarding and a hassle free experience so you can focus on growing your eCommerce business.