• Share

Walmart’s Inventory Management: How Does It Differ ?

With the increasing pressure of e-commerce competition, it is getting harder for merchants to profit. Walmart and Amazon are fighting for market share with eBay.

Amazon and eBay are two eCommerce platforms that have taken the spotlight recently. They’re both digitally native marketplaces with appealing fulfillment processes, like Amazon’s FBA program.

Walmart is a traditional retailer that has been making strides to compete with the digital giant Amazon.

Walmart reported an increase in online sales of 37% for the second fiscal quarter and plans on investing heavily into new services like grocery deliveries so they can keep up. Click To Tweet

Walmart is different from its competitors in inventory management and e-commerce, which will inevitably change the way other multichannel retailers do business.

This article looks at the different inventory management practices of Walmart, eBay, and Amazon. The focus is on Walmart’s process.

 

Why is Walmart’s Inventory Management System Different from Amazon and eBay?

If you want to sell on Walmart, eBay, and Amazon all simultaneously, it is essential that you understand how they differ. For example, while trading on both sites may be similar in many ways, there are also crucial differences.

Walmart has a system that is excellent for fulfilling and managing their orders. If you consider becoming one of Walmart’s retailers, it would be wise to take advantage of this opportunity.

We will now compare getting started as a seller on eBay, Amazon, and Walmart. We are not comparing inventory management or other things like that.

  • Becoming a seller
  • Ranking and exposure
  • Product fulfillment
  • Supply chain and logistics
  • Delivery speed and collections: Some companies offer free two-day shipping while others charge a fee when it comes to delivery. Others allow you to pick up your purchase at the store or have them delivered right to your door.

walmart's inventory management

 

Ways to Be A Walmart Seller & How to Get Your Products Listed

When we discuss inventory management services, one of the first things that come to mind is registering as a seller. It’s just as important when talking about general sales and marketing for an eCommerce platform.

Referral Fees

Amazon charges a $39.99 monthly fee for all sellers, not including additional referral fees incurred if you’re an individual and only liable to pay per-product costs.

eBay charges a flat listing fee and prices on each sale up to 10%, with the maximum cost of $750.

When selling products on Walmart, you do not have to pay monthly or annual fees. However, a referral fee varies depending on the category of product being sold.

It is essential to calculate the exact cost of being a Walmart pro seller as Amazon has an additional referral fee on top. It’s also worth calculating all charges before deciding which sales channel will be best for your business.

Listings

Setting up a seller account is an easy process that all three platforms have in common. You need to register for the service and then log into your account.

With Amazon and eBay, you can list your items as soon as approved. With Walmart, there is a waiting period before you can sell anything.

Amazon SEO is a complex process that has many factors. We analyzed 3,000 of the top-ranked products on Amazon and found exciting trends in their product listings. We discovered what makes a compelling title for a book or product listing and effectively used keywords throughout your tags to rank higher than competitors.

Registration Process

Walmart is more rigorous than its competitors in becoming a seller. They screen potential sellers and only allow legitimate brands to sell on their platforms.

Several factors, including the following, can impact a person’s motivation:

  • Brand reputation
  • To have a successful company, you need employees who share the same values and practices.
  • Sales projections

Walmart has a reputation for being careful with what they sell. They have high standards and only stock brands known to be of good quality, which improves the customer’s trust in your brand when you sell on Walmart.

Walmart has a low-cost seller pricing structure, and they also have their way of vetting sellers by assigning them with different degrees.

walmart's inventory management

Ready to register for Walmart? Sign up through our portal to get priority review of your account

Product Ranking and Exposure

Walmart and Amazon are great for visibility because they have very similar practices, but eBay is the black sheep.

 

eBay’s Cassini Search Engine

eBay’s listing algorithm has been a popular target for “hacking and cracking,” with many retailers finding ways to get their items on the top of search pages to move inventory quickly.

eBay will rank your products higher based on feedback, keywords in the title and subtitle, pricing options (e.g., free shipping), and other factors such as new sale metrics.

The Cassini search engine on eBay has led sellers to practice a price-drop tactic. The strategy involves dropping the product’s prices, often at no profit margins, until it reaches high enough sales numbers that will allow them to rank in their category pages.

These tactics may seem like a good idea, but they will not work for an eCommerce company in the long run.

If you have a lot of SKUs, it can be challenging to keep track of which products are on sale. This strategy makes sure that your listings don’t slip through the cracks and go unnoticed by shoppers.

The price-dropping strategy is more of an issue for a newly established brand. They have to make sure they can afford it and plan for any potential loss from dropping prices too low.

 

Amazon and Walmart SEO

Amazon and Walmart’s algorithms are more detailed than Google’s. They both value in-depth descriptions, filled out, readable summaries with bullet points.

Walmart and Amazon offer features that make it easier for customers to find products. They also have a competitive pricing system with their sellers’ box feature.

There is a list of other sellers that offer the same item on each product page. The listing order goes from cheapest to most expensive and shows who has been verified by Amazon.

walmart's inventory management walmart's inventory management

 

Amazon and Walmart both incentivize lower prices with their seller boxes, but the customer reviews are not completely clear on how they work.

Both Amazon and Walmart offer the option to order products from their sites, as well as shipping costs. They also provide information about sellers and when an item will be shipped out.

Walmart allows shoppers to choose the number of products they want, while Amazon sells used items categorized by condition.

 

Product Fulfillment

Amazon has success with its “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) service. This system allows sellers to take advantage of the fulfillment centers part of Amazon’s Merchant Fulfillment Network(MFN).

Walmart is working to provide vendors with access to its distribution centers, 4500 stores, and its transportation fleet for them to ship online orders. The article mentions that Walmart encourages these companies but eventually grants vendors access.

Walmart is looking to take over the 3 out of 4 Amazon sellers who use a fulfillment model, which means targeting active vendors on the marketplace.

Unlike Amazon and Walmart, eBay is not using its warehouse network to deliver packages. Instead, it will work with new logistics partners vetted in rigorous trials before they can service customers. This change should be coming soon because the trial phase has been completed.

There are many third-party software integrations for brands that want to manage their inventory. Walmart has one of the most popular options, Skubana, which automatically updates your inventory and routes orders to warehouses.

One of the most critical aspects of e-commerce is ensuring that inventory levels are not low. Skubana helps solve this problem by linking your channels together and automating tasks.

 

What Inventory System does Walmart Use?

Walmart is also trying to improve the supply chain by investing in automation. This has created a more efficient system that can better meet customer demands.

Walmart has recently invested in a startup company called Flipkart, providing better payment solutions for Walmart. The omnichannel directive also aligns with Walmart’s vendor-managed inventory model and helps the retailer minimize operating costs.

walmart's inventory management

Walmart employs over 8,000 drivers and has 60,000 trailers that deliver products to 4,700 stores in the U.S. With their upcoming omnichannel upgrade; they will likely continue making improvements.

Amazon’s fulfillment model is much more efficient than other companies. Amazon has warehouses in densely populated areas and uses a variety of ways to get products delivered, such as using branded trucks or drones that fly outside your window.

eBay has partnered with a logistics company in Shanghai to help them manage their supply chain overseas.

Walmart is already the largest retailer in America, and with its supply chain restructured to match Amazon’s, it will be interesting to see how things change over time.

 

Fast Shipping

One of the most competitive aspects of online commerce is inventory management and delivery of an order. There are also many other options for collections such as next-day delivery, click & collect or collect from a store.

Walmart offers free two-day shipping on eligible orders over $35. This is an attractive offer for new customers who spend in the lower to mid-ranges, and brands can also have their listings enabled with a “two-day shipping” tag that increases conversions.

Walmart is now offering next-day delivery on orders of $35 or more, available in selected postal codes. The company also provides two-day shipping for no membership fee.

walmart's inventory management

When sellers can offer two-day shipping on all of their products, they have a distinct advantage over other brands.

Amazon’s free two-day shipping is available only to Prime members, which may not be an option for many customers. Third-party sellers can also get Seller Fulfilled Prime tags on their listings, but this does not guarantee the same quick turnaround.

If you are not familiar with eBay, it has a program called Fast’ N Free that brands can sign up for if their listings meet the requirements. The tags indicate when they will receive their product and how long it is likely to take.

 

Collection-In-Person

Online retail is rising, but many customers still prefer to collect their items in person. It’s an easy way for them to save money and prevent theft.

Walmart offers pick-up towers in more than 2,200 of its retail locations. The customer can use the building to pick up their package at a Walmart store instead of ordering online and waiting for it to be delivered.

Walmart’s new towers are a direct competitor to Amazon lockers. They both provide the same service of picking up and returning products, but Walmart has it in more than 4,000 retail locations across America.

Both Walmart and Amazon have opened in-store locations where shoppers can return online purchases, eliminating one of the major pain points for online retail.

walmart's inventory management

 

How Will the Store’s Ongoing Shipping War with Amazon Impact Other Brands?

All online retailers are scrambling to get brands on their platforms by offering increasingly significant incentives. The most important issue that divides the companies is handling shipping.

Amazon and Walmart are investing in third-party fulfillment services to provide faster delivery for brands. Amazon’s distribution network is more extensive than Walmart’s, so they hope this will convince more companies to use their service.

With the rise of e-commerce, multichannel brands will need to be aware that their products rank higher on Amazon and other sites when they offer faster shipping. Click To Tweet

If a customer is willing to pay more for two-day or same-day delivery, merchants should make sure this option is available.

Amazon and Walmart are both offering fast shipping options for free, which has resulted in consumers expecting same-day delivery. This is because the online retailers are trying to one-up each other with faster deliveries.

If you’re a retailer and want to save money, don’t use their fulfillment networks.

Optimizing Your Supply Chain

To have same-day delivery, you need your supply chain optimized for that.

  • When considering the future, make sure to examine your current staffing and delivery channels. Demand forecasting can help you determine if there is enough demand for what you’re offering or if it’s worth investing in a supply chain that will meet customer expectations.
  • A company that wants to offer same-day delivery will need a centralized DOM system. DOM systems prioritize automation and integrations with other software, which is why Skubana operates on these principles.
  • This data will be used to determine which items should frequently ship via same-day shipping. This information is necessary for creating a strategy that ensures we can get those products out faster.
  • Streamline your communication with staff, couriers, and fulfillment partners. Ensure that you have an established process for all aspects of the business, so everyone knows what is expected.

 

Resources For Walmart’s Inventory Management Systems

When Amazon first started dominating the retail industry, Walmart was slow to adapt and change. They are thriving with innovative approaches like omnichannel retail and re-organizing their stores worldwide.

Walmart is a severe contender for market dominance. With their resources, Walmart could have an impact on the current marketplace.

To learn more about Walmart’s inventory management and appeal for sellers, take a look at these resources:

  • Walmart’s free 2-day shipping guarantee, which many of their competitors also offer, has been studied to show how it affects conversions.
  • Walmart has been trying to stay ahead of Amazon by acquiring companies, shipping goods faster, and changing its product mix.
  • Amazon is not the only e-commerce giant to worry about. Walmart has also emerged as a significant competitor, and sellers should know what makes them different.
  • This guide is to help you understand the fulfillment strategies that Walmart uses.