Selling on Amazon vs. Walmart

In the world of online retail, two giants stand tall: Amazon and Walmart. Each offers unique advantages and challenges for sellers aiming to capitalize on their platforms.

Whether you're a seasoned seller or new to the game, understanding the nuances of selling on Walmart versus Amazon is crucial in today's rapidly evolving marketplace. Join us as we unravel the differences, strategies, and insights needed to succeed on these platforms.

Posted by Panda Boom Amazon FBA Expert

Selling on Amazon vs. Walmart

In the world of online retail, two giants stand tall: Amazon and Walmart. Each offers unique advantages and challenges for sellers aiming to capitalize on their platforms.

Whether you're a seasoned seller or new to the game, understanding the nuances of selling on Walmart versus Amazon is crucial in today's rapidly evolving marketplace. Join us as we unravel the differences, strategies, and insights needed to succeed on these platforms.

Posted by Panda Boom Amazon FBA Expert

For a long time, retailers and marketplaces alike have been trying to beat Amazon at its own game. A famous showdown is the one between Walmart and Amazon.

Some folks think Amazon is on track to become the top dog, overtaking Walmart, while others are rooting for Walmart, especially with its recent wins in the online world. Because of the pandemic, sellers are starting to look more at Walmart’s online marketplace, realizing it’s risky to put all their eggs in Amazon’s basket. But, it’s important to note that selling on Walmart is a whole different ball game from Amazon.

In this blog, we’re diving into what sets these two giants apart. We’ll talk about how Walmart has been stepping up its game, and what sellers need to know about each platform. Can you use the same strategies on both? What does it take to make it big on Amazon or Walmart? Keep reading to find out.

Share of consumer Retail spend
U.S Brick-and-Mortar stores
Online Retailer Rank
Share of Ecommerce
Unique Monthly Visitors
US Marketplace Sellers

$20 billion


(Includes Whole Foods)


Approx. 40%

206 million

*Active US sellers

$270 billion




Approx. 5%

110 million


Amazon is pretty much the king of online shopping, grabbing almost 40% of all online sales. Even when COVID-19 messed with its deliveries and made Prime orders late back in early 2020, Amazon still managed to pull off its biggest sales growth in over a year and a half.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Their operating profit in North America took a hit, dropping from $2.3 billion to $1.3 billion.

They spent a hefty $600 million just dealing with coronavirus stuff.
People raised their eyebrows when Amazon said it was going to drop a whopping $4 billion on things like better pay, safety gear, and other pandemic-related costs in the next few months.
Plus, most of the stuff people were buying were things with small profits, like snacks and disinfectants.
In the big picture, though, Amazon isn’t sweating it. While regular stores are taking a serious hit and some might never recover, Amazon is likely to keep its edge in the game for the foreseeable future.

Walmart hit a major milestone in 2020.
It looked like it was about to zoom past eBay and take the silver medal for online shopping in the U.S., right behind Amazon.

Its online sales shot up 74% at the start of 2020, with online grocery shopping being the star of the show.

It’s like grocery shopping online jumped ahead three or four years in just a few months. While Amazon Prime was struggling to deliver on time, Walmart’s online orders were through the roof, hitting a wild 300% growth in early April.

This boom shows just how big of a deal Walmart is in the real world of shopping.
With over 5,000 stores in the U.S. that can send out orders or let people pick them up (Amazon’s only got about 200 places), Walmart’s got a pretty sweet setup.

Harvard Business School’s own James Heskett gave a shout-out to Walmart for using its tech and stores to give Amazon a run for its money during the pandemic.

Walmart’s in a good spot to avoid the stock problems that Amazon’s still tangled up with.
While all this was happening, Walmart said it was time to say goodbye to

They bought Jet back in 2016 for a hefty $3 billion to help them step up their online game. After a bunch of trials and a lot of learning, they decided to focus on instead. This could be awesome for sellers aiming to jump onto Walmart’s online platform, which is finally picking up speed.
Ever since Walmart bought, their online sales have almost tripled.

Selling Fees Comparisson

So, if you wanna sell stuff on Amazon, you gotta shell out $39.99 every month for their Professional selling plan.
You don’t have to pay to list each item, but they take a cut when you sell something—this “referral fee” is usually between 8% to 15%, but watch out because some things can go up to 20%. And they’ve got this minimum fee they’ll charge you no matter what.

On top of that, if you’re selling things like books or movies, you might get hit with extra fees. Most sellers on Amazon (like 73% of them) use Amazon’s FBA to handle shipping and stuff, which costs based on size or weight, and they charge you for storage space separately.

And that’s not all—there are a bunch of other costs for things like labeling, returns, and getting rid of old stock. These fees can add up fast if you’re not on top of things.

Over at Walmart Marketplace, they’re pretty chill—no fees to set up shop or any monthly fees. Just like Amazon, they take a referral fee when you make a sale, also between 8% to 15%.

Walmart has its own shipping service called Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), and they charge you for storage and shipping per item. Their fees are more straightforward than Amazon’s FBA.

But the catch is, it’s tougher to get into WFS—only sellers who are already doing well on Walmart’s Marketplace get to use it, and they’re not really looking for newbies right now.

Another thing to keep in mind with Walmart is that you need UPCs for everything you list. Getting these can be pricey—thousands of dollars for a big batch, plus the official place that hands these out, GS1, will also charge you a yearly fee starting at 50 bucks.

Selling on Walmart means less competition…

Selling on Walmart means less competition and strict seller approval, offering a chance to stand out. Amazon, on the other hand, has a massive audience but intense competition. Think of Walmart as a boutique marketplace versus Amazon’s bustling city market. Where you sell depends on your crowd and how you handle competition.
Consider your product and resources, then choose. Amazon for reach, Walmart for a niche audience.

Posted by: Jacob Carter, 7-figure seller

Getting Started and Listing Your Products on Amazon vs Walmart

Getting your stuff up for sale on Amazon is pretty straightforward.
After you’ve picked a selling plan and got your Seller Central account ready, you’ve got a few ways to list your products:

  • Punch in each product one by one on Seller Central.
  • Use Amazon’s templates to upload a bunch of products all at once.
  • Work with a partner company like Zentail to sort out and list your products for you.

Most of the time, Amazon wants your products to have a standard ID, like a UPC, EAN, or ISBN.
But if what you’re selling is already on Amazon, you might be able to skip that. And for some stuff, you can even ask Amazon to let you sell without those IDs.

Now, here’s the tricky part:

Amazon likes to change the rules a lot. Take 2019, for instance, when they decided to change how sellers list shoe sizes without giving much heads up. Sellers had to hustle to update their listings with all these new details or risk getting their products yanked off the site.

Even the pros make mistakes when listing items on Amazon.

So, it’s smart to have a system that helps you spot, understand, and fix those weird error messages quickly.

If you don’t, not only could your listing be out of action, but you could also end up with products stuck in Amazon’s warehouses, and that’ll cost you.

Jumping into Walmart Marketplace takes a bit more elbow grease.
You’ve got to apply and pass their “trust and safety” check.
They want to see you’ve got some experience selling online, that you’re all about that professional life, and that you meet their standards.

This can take a good few weeks, but hooking up with a partner like Zentail can speed it up to just a couple of days.

Once you’re in, you’ll get a to-do list to help you set up shop.
You can list your products the old-fashioned way, pop them into an Excel sheet, use their API, or get some help from a tech partner.

Heads up,

though – Walmart’s tech can be a bit of a handful if you’re not up on how to format your product info or stay on top of their updates. It’s probably a good idea to work with some helpful software or check out if Shopify’s got your back with their Walmart thing.

And yep, you’ll need a UPC for every single product.
If you don’t have one, you’ll need to ask Walmart nicely to let you off the hook.
They’ll quiz you on why you need the pass, what kind of stuff you’re selling, a bit about your business, how much you think you’ll sell, and what products are involved.

This whole UPC thing can be a bit of a pain.
Sellers have grumbled about mix-ups like seeing their stuff listed twice or not being able to pick the listing they want to sell under.

And if someone’s snagged a dodgy UPC that’s not from GS1, it might get linked to your product by mistake.
If that happens, you need to hunt down the correct UPC and have a chat with Walmart Seller Support to sort it out.

Navigating Prices and Winning the Buy Box

Amazon wants to sell it all, so it’s got a huge marketplace that’s open to pretty much any seller who wants in.


active sellers in the U.S


newbies jumped on board

There’s a whopping 493,000 active sellers in the U.S., and in 2020, over 86,000 newbies jumped on board.

A lot of these sellers aren’t even from the U.S.-turns out, about half of the top sellers are from China.
With so many players from all over, the prices can go wild. To not get left in the dust, you’ve gotta have some smart software that can change your prices on the fly. The fancy ones use algorithms to make sure you’re getting the most bucks for your stuff without scaring off customers.

But hey, it’s not all about being the cheapest to win the buy box—that spot on the product page where customers click to add to their cart.
If you’re using Amazon’s FBA or you’re a Seller-Fulfilled Prime, you’ve got a better shot at the buy box, even if your price is a tad higher. Amazon trusts these guys to deliver on time and without messing up more than the average seller who ships stuff themselves.

Also, on the organic side (that’s where you don’t pay to be noticed), your sales track record is huge. The more you sell, the more likely you’ll show up in Amazon’s search results.
But that’s not all.
The words you use in your listings, how much stock you’ve got, your reviews, and the variety of products you offer are super important too.
Some folks think that Amazon’s A9 search algorithm also plays favorites with listings that make more money for Amazon, like through FBA or if you’re paying for ads.

Walmart keeps a tight ship when it comes to pricing, and not playing ball can quickly get your products booted off their platform.

A study comparing prices across 50 products found Walmart to be about 10.4% cheaper than Amazon on average.
They were especially more affordable in groceries, tech, and home goods, though not so much in kitchen and appliance stuff.

Here’s the lowdown on how Walmart manages its pricing:

Price Parity

If your product’s cheaper on another site (shipping included), Walmart might remove it from their listings.

Price Leadership

If your product’s significantly cheaper elsewhere (yep, shipping included), it’s bye-bye from Walmart.

Walmart’s marketplace is less crowded than Amazon’s, boasting just over 50,000 sellers who are all from the U.S.

This means:

  • Sellers on Walmart can attract a lot more visitors each month compared to Amazon, thanks to the marketplace being less packed.
  • However, the number of sellers on Walmart has doubled since July 2019, showing it’s on a fast track to becoming more crowded.

Fighting for the buy box on Walmart isn’t as cutthroat either, but keep in mind:

  • Walmart limits how often you can change your prices (about once a day), so forget about using fast-paced repricing tools like on Amazon.
  • You need to think carefully about when and how to adjust your prices, staying sharp to keep up with market changes.

Amazon beats Walmart for sellers mainly due to its massive…

Amazon beats Walmart for sellers mainly due to its massive, global customer base, which means more eyeballs on your products. Plus, Amazon’s advanced tools and analytics help optimize your listings for better sales. While Walmart is catching up, Amazon’s established platform and Prime loyalty make it a powerhouse for sellers seeking broad exposure.

Posted by: David Perkins, Amazon FBA expert

Shipping and Fulfillment

Amazon has truly changed the expectations around shipping, pushing the envelope with their super-fast delivery options. Here’s the lowdown on how they’re doing it and what it means for sellers:

Prime Perks

Prime members now expect—and get—free shipping that’s incredibly fast, like next-day or two-day delivery. This has become the new normal.

FBA Popularity

A huge chunk of Amazon sellers, about 73%, use Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. It’s pretty much essential if you want to compete, since it gives buyers that coveted Prime badge.

Risks of Relying Solely on FBA

The downside? It can be risky to depend entirely on FBA. This was crystal clear in March 2020 when Amazon stopped FBA for non-essential goods without warning, leaving loads of sellers in a tough spot.

Hybrid Approach

To dodge such issues, many sellers are now keeping at least some of their inventory elsewhere, like with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or their own warehouse.

No Newbies for SFP

For sellers handling shipping themselves but still wanting in on Prime, Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) was an option. But it’s currently closed to new applicants, though there’s a waitlist.

Amazon isn’t just sitting around; they’re seriously
upping their logistics game:

Expanding Their Fleet

They’re adding 12 more cargo planes, bringing their fleet total to 81. This is a big deal for cutting down delivery times and costs.

Going Electric

Amazon’s also ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans, emphasizing their commitment to eco-friendly and efficient delivery.

These moves are part of Amazon’s long-term strategy of heavy investment in logistics, clearly aiming to keep setting the pace for shipping expectations and capabilities.

Walmart’s stepping up its game with Walmart+, a loyalty program aimed to go head-to-head with Amazon Prime, putting a big focus on speedy delivery.

Here’s the scoop on what Walmart’s offering:

Walmart+ Perks

Subscribers get free, unlimited same-day shipping on groceries, along with other goodies like a scan-and-go feature for a smoother in-store experience.

No-Membership Fast Shipping

Even without Walmart+, you can snag free two-day shipping on orders over $35.

Boosting Seller Visibility

For sellers, joining the TwoDay Delivery Program can make your listings more visible and up your chances of winning the buy box, thanks to two-day shipping tags.

To get those coveted two-day shipping tags, you’ve got three paths:

Do It Yourself

If you’ve been selling on Walmart’s marketplace for 90 days and hit their performance marks, you can apply to self-fulfill orders.

Partner with Deliverr

Walmart’s official fulfillment buddy, Deliverr, gets you automatic approval for fast shipping tags.

Try Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS)

Currently for the seasoned sellers, but newcomers can show interest, hinting at a future wider rollout.

A heads-up if you’re fulfilling orders yourself: Walmart’s strict about packaging. No branded boxes or promo stuff inside, and absolutely no using Amazon’s fulfillment services—doing so can get you suspended.

Walmart’s not stopping at two-day shipping. They’re exploring even faster options:

Express Delivery

Launched in a flash in April 2020, this service promised two-hour delivery on a variety of items, kicking off in 100 stores and quickly expanding.

Currently, NextDay and Express Delivery aren’t options for marketplace sellers, but it’s probably just a matter of time before they are.
Walmart’s keen on growing its marketplace and finding efficient ways to let sellers offer the fastest shipping possible, without breaking the bank.

Walmart’s online game is leveling up, becoming a hot spot..

Walmart’s online game is leveling up, becoming a hot spot for sellers eyeing a less crowded, quality-focused marketplace. With lower fees, less competition, and a growing customer base valuing trusted retail names, it’s inching close to Amazon’s throne. For those looking for a fresh start, Walmart’s almost beating Amazon at its own game.

Posted by: David Perkins, Amazon FBA expert

Navigating Seller Performance Metrics on Amazon and Walmart

Amazon’s Key Metrics:

Order Defect Rate (ODR):

Keep it under 1% across 60 days. This includes negative feedback, A-to-z Guarantee claims, and credit card chargebacks.

Cancellation Rate:

Don’t go over 2.5% for seller-canceled orders over a week.

Late Shipment Rate:

For those shipping themselves, keep late shipments under 4% over 10 and 30 days.

If you’re using FBA, relax—Amazon covers these for you. Slip up with self-fulfillment, and you’ll get a warning first, then you’ll need to explain how you’ll fix things.
Messing up can lead to a suspension nightmare, and getting back on track might need professional help, especially for tricky issues like counterfeit claims.

Walmart’s Performance Expectations:

  • 90-day Order Defect Rate (ODR): Stay below 2%, counting seller cancellations, returns, late deliveries, and complaints.
  • On-Time Shipment: Keep it above 99% by confirming shipments and providing tracking info before the deadline.
  • Valid Tracking Rate: Also needs to be above 99%, ensuring you give valid tracking details when shipping.

Walmart is a bit more forgiving and will work with you if you’re actively fixing your performance dips.

But, let your ODR slide too much, and you might face suspension.

Return Policies Differ

: Amazon might hold back some fees on returns, but Walmart goes for full refunds, even if the return is on the customer. You can challenge this, but you’ll need to talk directly to Walmart Seller Support.

Navigating these metrics can feel like a tightrope walk, but staying vigilant and proactive is key to keeping your seller status solid.

Brand Visibility and Advertising: The Amazon vs Walmart Showdown

Did you know a huge 78% of searches on Amazon are for just the type of product, not for a specific brand?
That’s a big deal because it means getting your brand noticed through ads is super important if you want to make those sales. Amazon’s ad game has been booming, too.
In 2019, their ad revenue shot up by 40%, hitting over $4 billion.

And now, when you’re scrolling through search results or looking at product pages, you’ll see a ton of ads everywhere, especially at the top.

If you’re part of Amazon’s Brand Registry, you get some cool perks.

One biggie is protection against anyone messing with your product listings or ripping off your brand. You also get to jazz up your listings with Enhanced Brand Content, making them stand out more.

Even though you can dig into Brand Analytics to get a better read on your customers if you’re registered, remember Amazon keeps all that precious customer data to itself.

There’s been talk, like in the Wall Street Journal, about Amazon peeking at sales data to maybe launch their own products that could compete with yours.

So, think about other creative ways to keep customers coming back to your site directly, like making helpful YouTube tutorials, to spread the word about your brand across different channels.

Walmart, sticking to its roots as a classic retailer, usually sees shoppers hunting for specific brands a bit more than Amazon does.
But, like anywhere else, lots of folks are still typing in those broad, no-brand searches when they’re looking to buy.

When it comes to ads, Walmart’s a lot quieter than Amazon.
Only about 1.6% of sellers on Walmart are putting their money into ads, based on what Teikametrics says, which means the cost to get your ad out there (CPC) is generally lower.

But, getting your ads right on Walmart has its own set of challenges.
They use a first-price auction for ad spots, meaning if you bid high to win, you’re paying that high bid, even if it was way more than anyone else offered.

Amazon plays it differently, with a second-bid auction where you only need to pay a tiny bit more than the second-highest bid to get your ad shown.

Walmart introduced something called the Brand Portal in 2021, a simpler version of Amazon’s Brand Registry.
It’s mainly a place where brand owners can report if someone’s stepping on their intellectual property rights, which is definitely a step forward.

Plus, Walmart tries to keep things clean from the get-go with an application process for sellers that checks you’re legit by asking for proof of brand ownership, experience, and other credentials.

What’s Similar When You Sell on Amazon and Walmart

Fulfillment Options:

  • Both offer a choice to handle shipping yourself or use their fulfillment services.
  • Amazon’s FBA has been around since 2006, and Walmart’s WFS kicked off in February 2020.
  • WFS offers clear-cut fees and benefits like increased visibility and Walmart TwoDay tags, much like Amazon’s Prime badge.
  • Big difference though: Amazon lets you send stuff to FBA from abroad, but with Walmart, it’s U.S. only.

2-Day Shipping Promise:

  • Sellers on both platforms can offer customers 2-day shipping.
  • Walmart’s caught up with Amazon, providing 2-day shipping even without a Walmart+ subscription, as long as it’s over $35.
  • While Prime has more members, Walmart’s free and fast shipping could pull more people to

Enhanced Product Descriptions:

  • Amazon sellers with Brand Registry get to spruce up listings with A+ Content.
  • Walmart’s equivalent, “Item Page Content,” is available to WFS users without a brand registry requirement.

Optimizing Your Listings:

  • Just as critical on Walmart as on Amazon for improving search visibility and sales.
  • Use tools like Jungle Scout for insights, although they’re Amazon-specific.
  • Walmart’s own Listing Quality Dashboard gives sellers feedback to boost traffic and conversions, and “Growth Opportunities” suggest hot new products to sell.

Popular Shopping Categories:

  • Shoppers on both Amazon and Walmart are into the same stuff, like clothes, groceries, and beauty products.
  • With both platforms now offering grocery deliveries, and a spike in online grocery shopping since COVID-19, this category’s really taking off.

Final thoughts:

The battle between Amazon and Walmart is still heating up. Amazon’s got a huge lead in the online world, but Walmart’s not too far behind, thanks to its strong presence in physical retail.
For folks selling stuff, both Amazon and Walmart have their perks.

Walmart’s proving it’s not just here for a quick sprint but for the marathon, and a lot of sellers are getting pretty excited about what’s to come.

The road to winning as a seller is different for each.
If you’re used to Amazon, don’t expect Walmart to be the same gig.
But here’s the scoop: both are going to keep changing and shaking things up.
For those who jump on the Walmart wagon early, they could ride the wave of growth right alongside Walmart as its online game gets stronger.

Learn From Our Experts

Subscribe to our newsletter for latest updates.