As an ecommerce seller, fast and reliable shipping is the lifeline of your business. That‘s why understanding Walmart‘s fulfillment and delivery speeds is so important.
In this detailed guide, I‘ll leverage my industry expertise to break down everything sellers need to know about Walmart shipping times. You‘ll get insider tips to ship faster, avoid delays, and optimize your Walmart fulfillment strategy.
Walmart Shipping Speeds: The Need for Speed
Walmart offers several shipping options to meet different delivery windows:
- 2-Day Shipping (Over $35): Arrives within 2-5 business days
- Next Day Delivery: Limited availability, arrives within 1 business day
- Same Day Delivery: Limited markets, arrive same day
- Express 2-Hour Delivery: Ultra-fast delivery in 2 hours or less
But how fast is their shipping compared to other major retailers? This table summarizes the shipping time differences:
|Retailer||Standard Shipping||Fastest Shipping|
|Walmart||2-5 business days||2 hours|
|Amazon||1-2 business days||2 hours|
|Target||2 business days||Same day|
While Walmart offers fast same-day and 2-hour delivery, their standard shipping is generally slower than competitors.
According to a 2021 survey, only 68% of Walmart orders arrived within the 2-day window, compared to 82% for Amazon. Their reliance on 3rd party carriers like FedEx instead of their own delivery network contributes to these slower standard shipping times.
As an ecommerce seller, it‘s important to factor in this shipping lag when using Walmart fulfillment. Strategies like overestimating shipping durations in listings can help avoid dissatisfied customers.
Why Your Walmart Order Might Be Delayed
Walmart orders can sometimes take longer than the estimated delivery window. Based on my experience, here are four common reasons your shipment could be delayed:
- Inventory shortages: Out of stock items lead to partial shipments and delays
- Weather delays: Severe weather can disrupt supply chains
- Peak demand: Holiday peaks strain fulfillment capacity
- Carrier delays: FedEx, UPS and USPS delays cascade to Walmart
Proactively communicating potential delays, managing expectations, and having backup plans are key to mitigating the risks of late deliveries as a seller.
Tips to Ship Faster with Walmart as an Ecommerce Seller
Here are my top tips for getting your Walmart orders delivered faster based on what I‘ve learned managing multi-channel fulfillment:
- Upgrade to Walmart+ for free next-day and same-day delivery
- Offer in-store pickup for local customers to get orders faster
- Ship from multiple Walmart warehouses to increase inventory and speed
- Order early in the day to get same-day handling
- Select faster shipping during peak seasons, even if it costs more
- Overestimate shipping times in listings to avoid letting customers down
- Diversify fulfillment across Walmart, Amazon FBA and other channels
Walmart Delivery Speeds Are Improving, But Still Lag Behind Amazon
Walmart has invested heavily in its ecommerce supply chain in recent years. For example:
- They now have 40 dedicated fulfillment centers, up from just 5 in 2016
- Capital expenditures allocated to ecommerce jumped from 33% in 2019 to 51% in 2022
- They are rapidly growing same-day delivery hubs in key metro areas
However, Walmart‘s delivery infrastructure still falls behind Amazon, who has more than triple the dedicated fulfillment centers. This gap helps explain the slower standard shipping from Walmart.
But Amazon sets a high bar in shipping speeds. Despite improvements, Walmart needs to significantly scale up their capacity to match Amazon‘s 1-day Prime delivery promise. This represents an opportunity for Walmart by tapping into consumers‘ demand for ever-faster delivery.
Turn Walmart Shipping Delays Into Delight for Your Customers
Here are some of my top tips for delighting customers when orders face shipping delays:
- Over-communicate with prompt status updates: Send email/text alerts on expected delays
- Provide incentives: Offer discounts or exclusive perks for future purchases
- Empower your support team: Give them authority to resolve issues
- Optimize your returns process: Make it easy to exchange delayed orders
- Analyze data to improve: Identify products/regions most impacted
Proactively managing communications and expectations can turn a frustrating late delivery into a positive customer experience.
Key Takeaways: Get the Most of Walmart Shipping
- Understand Walmart‘s standard shipping takes 2-5 days, slower than Amazon
- Upgrade to Walmart+ or pay for faster shipping during peak seasons
- Diversify fulfillment strategies beyond just Walmart
- Communicate delays promptly and offer incentives to retain customers
- Continued investments by Walmart will gradually improve delivery speeds
By optimizing your Walmart shipping strategy as an ecommerce seller, you can provide customers fast, affordable delivery while avoiding potential delays.