Key Takeaways

  • WMS software, or a Warehouse Management System, is used by warehouse workers to handle activities such as barcode scanning, inventory tracking, order processing, receiving, put away, picking, and packing. 
  • WMS software comes in two main pricing models: cloud-based (averaging $100-$500 per user, per month) and on-premises (ranging from $2,500-200,000 per facility for a perpetual license).  
  • Factors influencing WMS pricing include implementation, the number of users, and the features and capabilities offered. 
  • Free WMS software options are available; they often come with limitations and are meant to entice users to upgrade to paid versions with more advanced features and capabilities. 

What is WMS Software?

Short for Warehouse Management System, a WMS is used by warehouse managers and their employees to better handle operations and the logistical side of business like: 

  • Barcode Scanning 
  • Inventory Tracking 
  • Order Processing 
  • Receiving and Put Away 
  • Picking and Packing 
  • Operational Performance Tracking 

Different WMS software will offer different capabilities and features for their users. Let’s review the WMS options and their costs. 

The Two Types of WMS Software Platforms 

The more common WMS software models come in two forms: 

Integrated ERP – Built as an app that extends an enterprise resource planning system’s (i.e., NetSuite’s) functions into the warehouse, this type of WMS provides barcode scanning capabilities and other warehouse functionality while exchanging order and inventory information with the ERP. 

Standalone WMS – This best-of-breed warehouse management system offers a carefully curated feature set to maximize warehouse accuracy and efficiency. A standalone WMS usually integrates with various other programs, such as ecommerce sales channels, ERP, inventory management system (IMS), order management system (OMS), and shipping software. 

WMS Pricing and Cost 

WMS software can range significantly in cost and often comes in two different pricing models: cloud-based and on-premises. We are using US dollars for pricing information in this article.

Cloud-Based Pricing 

Generally, cloud-based warehouse management software will be based on an annual/monthly license fee or subscription. The monthly cost of a cloud-based WMS can range from $100-500 per user per month, depending on organizational size and complexity. 

On an annual/monthly subscription pricing model, teams will pay fees based on the number of warehouses, the number of users, and any add-on features or modules. You’ll find some additional costs for implementation, ongoing support, and transactional fees may be charged. 

Who best fits this WMS and pricing model?

This benefits those looking for a more scalable and flexible solution, helping them save on the expensive pricing of the more traditional on-premises WMS models. It’s also better for those who wish to access their WMS from anywhere without worrying about being responsible for the security and overhead of maintaining servers. 

On-Premises Pricing

On-premises or licensed WMS models will be a one-time fixed rate that organizations pay up front, plus an annual maintenance charge that ranges from 10-20% of the license costs. 

You can find prices ranging from $2,500-$200,000 per facility for a perpetual license for on-premises WMS software. The pricing is based on each WMS category, customer/company needs, features, capabilities, integrations, and more. 

Who best fits this WMS and pricing model? 

This benefits large enterprise organizations with little business volatility. These businesses have on-site operations and want total control and responsibility over the servers, custom enhancements, and cybersecurity. An on-premises WMS is best for businesses that can manage a large up-front payment and want to pay lower ongoing costs over time. 

Other Pricing Factors: Implementation, Users, and Support

WMS Implementation Cost 

WMS software requires professional implementation/installation, which can cost $3,500-$40,000, depending on the number of integrations and the level of customization needed. On-premises software requires installation, and cloud-based software requires implementation. 

WMS integrations add increased capabilities and extensions to WMS solutions. Integrations make working with different organizational units and companies in complex logistics networks easy via web and mobile technologies. This ensures that customers, suppliers, partners, and other service providers are integrated into your processes, aiding in valuable business operations. 

While some integrations come included and are free, others you’ll have to pay for - something to consider when you and your team are shopping for a WMS. 

WMS Add Users Cost 

It’s also noted that each user/team member you add to a WMS platform will affect pricing. Therefore, many models limit the number of users on a plan and require an upgrade if warehouses wish to add more users. 

WMS Support Cost 

Some software companies only offer live customer support (i.e., phone support) at higher subscription tiers. If you wish to avoid frustration and wasted time troubleshooting problems yourself, make sure your license includes ongoing live customer support. 

WMS At Zero Cost? Free WMS Software Options

Everyone likes free…why not save a few bucks when you can? Just a quick Google search for ‘free wms software’ or ‘free warehouse management software’ will give you dozens of results. 

Here’s a list of reputable free WMS software platforms you can check out: 

  • Sortly 
  • Zoho Inventory 
  • Odoo Inventory 
  • Boxstorm 
  • SKUsavvy 

This may cause business leaders to ask, “Why should anyone pay for a warehouse management system when you can utilize one for free?” 

The Reality

The reality is that free WMS software is far from as proficient as the paid version. On free plans, warehouse teams will have restricted capabilities, no premium features, and a limited number of users who can utilize the WMS. 

A free WMS platform’s primary goal is to get users hooked. When teams quickly outgrow the free version’s capabilities, they will have to upgrade to get the actual benefits of a warehouse management system. 

Simply put, ‘free WMS’ models/brands mainly advertise their paid versions.  However, they can be an ideal first step for small businesses new to inventory management software. 

How Does Descartes WMS Pricing Work?

 At Descartes, we offer three robust and secure cloud-based warehouse management systems:  

Each includes a thoughtfully curated set of features and capabilities for a specific ecommerce market segment. The yearly licensing model is based on core platform fees plus per-user charges. 

Descartes WMS pricing starts at $600 monthly for 1-2 users.

WMS pricing can vary based on implementation, number of users, and customization. Contact us get a custom price quote or schedule a demo.


Great for
NetSuite users

Descartes Mobile Warehouse for Netsuite

Integrated ERP WMS 

WMS built for NetSuite (SuiteApp) 

Easily implement barcode scanning 

Quickest implementation 

For distribution/wholesale companies with 3+ warehouse workers 

Great for
D2C brands

Descartes Peoplevox

Standalone WMS 

Highly scalable for peaks/growth 

Android mobile-first app 

Popular with fast-growing D2C fashion brands 

Employee performance tracking 

Great for
B2C and 3PL

Descartes pixi

Standalone WMS 

Highly scalable for peaks/growth 

German, English & French UI 

Best for lot/batch/serialization 

OMS add-on features available 

Extensive API Webservices 

Who best fits the Descartes WMS and pricing model?

The business that benefits from choosing a Descartes cloud-based WMS and pricing model is looking for a flexible and easily scalable solution that can grow with its business. Leaders want the value of an enterprise-level WMS without the overhead or security concerns of an on-premise/licensed WMS, and they want more robust warehouse functionality than a free WMS can offer. 


 What we’ve learned from this article: 

  1. Cloud-based WMS Software generally costs $100-500 per user monthly. 
  1. On-premise WMS software costs around $2,500-200,000 and often comes with annual/monthly maintenance and support fees. 
  1. Implementation fees, add-ons, and the number of users will significantly affect pricing. 
  1. Many software companies will offer different paid WMS models to fit various-sized organizations. 
  1. There are free WMS software options, but they are usually limited versions of a paid WMS, with the end goal for ecommerce businesses to sign up for the paid version. 

Do you have more questions? Click the button below, and a Descartes warehouse management system expert will contact you.