Walmart vs Amazon: A Comprehensive Guide for E-commerce Sellers

In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, two retail giants stand out: Walmart and Amazon. While Amazon has been the undisputed leader in online retail, Walmart has made significant strides in the digital space, leveraging its physical presence to gain online real estate. As an e-commerce seller, understanding the nuances of selling on Walmart vs Amazon is crucial for maximizing your reach and sales.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the similarities and differences between Walmart and Amazon from an e-commerce seller’s perspective. We will delve into various aspects such as market share, selling fees, onboarding and listing processes, fulfillment services, competition, profitability, and more. By the end of this guide, you will have a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with selling on both platforms.

E-commerce and Retail Market Share

When it comes to market share, Amazon is the undisputed leader in the e-commerce space, accounting for nearly 40% of all e-commerce sales in the US. On the other hand, Walmart holds a little over 5% of the market share, with eBay closely behind. Despite the significant gap between the two, Walmart’s online presence has been steadily growing, especially with the launch of Walmart Marketplace in 2009. With over 120 million unique monthly visitors, Walmart Marketplace provides sellers with a valuable platform to reach a vast customer base that may not be exposed to their products on Amazon.

Selling Fees

When it comes to selling fees, there are notable differences between Walmart and Amazon. Amazon charges a flat monthly fee of $39.99 for a professional seller account, which includes access to more categories and services. Additionally, Amazon imposes referral fees based on the type of item sold, ranging from 6% to 45% of the final sale price. In contrast, Walmart does not charge any recurring fees for sellers. Instead, Walmart imposes referral fees ranging from 6% to 20% depending on the item type. This fee structure, coupled with Walmart’s lack of monthly subscription fees, can be advantageous for sellers looking to minimize upfront costs.

Platform Account Fees Charge per Item Sold Referral Fee Range
Amazon $39.99 per month $0.99 (individual) 6% to 45%
Walmart Marketplace No monthly fee No charge 6% to 20%

Onboarding and Listing

Getting started as a seller on Amazon is relatively straightforward. Sellers can apply by filling out forms, verifying their identity, and providing billing information. In contrast, Walmart Marketplace is more selective in its onboarding process. Walmart favors established sellers with a track record of sales, reputation, and high seller ratings. Approval as a seller on Walmart is usually easier for those who are already running a business and have experience in the e-commerce industry. Being established on Amazon and eBay with good ratings can boost your chances of being approved by Walmart.

When it comes to listing products, both Amazon and Walmart have their own processes. Amazon offers a touchless launch process, allowing sellers to create individual listings manually through Seller Central or upload product listings in bulk using Amazon’s inventory file templates. Walmart Marketplace, on the other hand, requires sellers to send in an application and undergo a “trust and safety” review. During this process, sellers need to demonstrate previous marketplace experience, professionalism, and other qualifications. Walmart’s application process may take several weeks, but working with an official channel partner like Zentail can expedite the process.

Fulfillment Services

Fulfillment options play a crucial role in the success of e-commerce sellers. Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a well-established service that allows sellers to send their inventory to Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon takes care of storing, picking, packing, shipping, and handling returns for sellers’ products. This service is known for its efficiency and customer satisfaction. Walmart, on the other hand, launched Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) in 2020 to compete with Amazon’s FBA. WFS provides similar inventory management services, including storing, picking, packing, shipping, and handling returns. However, one key difference is that Walmart currently only accepts shipments from within the United States, while Amazon allows sellers to import products from outside the US.


Competition is a crucial factor to consider when choosing between Walmart and Amazon as an e-commerce seller. Amazon’s vast marketplace hosts over 2.4 million active sellers worldwide. While this provides sellers with a massive customer base, it also means that competition can be fierce. Standing out among established sellers and managing to rank organically can be challenging. In contrast, Walmart Marketplace currently has a little over 70,000 sellers, making it a less competitive environment. With fewer sellers to compete against, e-commerce sellers have a greater opportunity to gain exposure and reach a wide range of customers on Walmart.


Profitability is a crucial aspect for any e-commerce seller. Amazon offers a wide range of selling opportunities, with millions more in traffic per month compared to Walmart. This higher traffic potential can lead to increased sales for sellers. However, Amazon’s highly competitive marketplace and strict pricing policies can limit profit margins. Walmart, with its focus on low prices and great service, has pricing rules in place to ensure the best prices for customers. While this can limit profit margins, Walmart’s less competitive environment and growing customer base provide opportunities for sellers to generate profits.

Pros and Cons of Selling on Walmart and Amazon

While both Walmart and Amazon offer significant opportunities for e-commerce sellers, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each platform before deciding where to sell your products.

Walmart Pros:

  • Less competition compared to Amazon, providing more opportunities for exposure and sales.
  • Access to Walmart’s growing customer base of over 120 million unique monthly visitors.
  • No monthly subscription fees, reducing upfront costs for sellers.
  • Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) provides inventory management services similar to Amazon’s FBA.

Walmart Cons:

  • Stricter application process, favoring established sellers and those with previous marketplace experience.
  • Limited international reach compared to Amazon’s global presence.
  • Stricter pricing policies may limit profit margins.

Amazon Pros:

  • Massive customer base with over 2.4 million active sellers worldwide.
  • Established Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, offering efficient inventory management and customer satisfaction.
  • Global reach, allowing sellers to target customers in various countries.
  • Access to a wide range of categories and services.

Amazon Cons:

  • Highly competitive marketplace, making it challenging for new sellers to stand out.
  • Monthly subscription fees for a professional seller account.
  • Strict pricing policies and potential profit margin limitations.


In the battle between Walmart and Amazon, both platforms offer unique opportunities and challenges for e-commerce sellers. Amazon’s dominance in the online retail space, massive customer base, and established fulfillment services make it an attractive choice. On the other hand, Walmart’s less competitive environment, growing customer base, and lower fees provide advantages for sellers looking to expand their reach.

Ultimately, the decision of where to sell your products depends on your business model, target audience, and goals as an e-commerce seller. Some sellers may choose to sell on both platforms, leveraging the strengths of each to maximize their sales potential. Whichever platform you choose, it is essential to carefully consider the fees, competition, fulfillment services, and profitability to make an informed decision that aligns with your business objectives.

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