When Walmart launched their Marketplace more than a decade ago, they gave third-party sellers a rare opportunity to own their lot of ‘real estate’ in one of the most desirable locations on the internet—Walmart.com itself. The number of third-party sellers—and the impressive array of inventory they bring with them—has grown exponentially over time, as the desirability of living in Walmart’s virtual neighborhood is as attractive as ever. In fact, the number of Marketplace sellers climbed to more than 50,000 as of July 2020.
Table of Contents
- Items & Inventory
- Order Management
- Analytics & Reports
Let’s walk through each of these sections to get a better understanding of how to make the most of each, and have your listings active and earning shoppers’ interest in no time!
The Items & Inventory section of Seller Center is where sellers can add new items to their Marketplace catalog, make bulk inventory or pricing updates, check on their feed status, and more. You’ll find this oft-visited category at the top of the left navigation once you’ve logged into Seller Center.
The Manage Items page provides sellers with a comprehensive, at-a-glance overview of critical information about the items in their catalog.
The Insights section at the top of the page presents five boxes with a numeric value inside each. These values reflect how many items in your catalog fall into the below categories…
- Draft Items
- Published Items
- Unpublished Items
- Items Processing
- Items with Errors
For each category box that has at least one item listed, you’ll find a clickable link below it to retrieve additional information. If errors are shown, when you click the View Items With Errors link you’ll be provided with more details about what those errors are, as well as how to fix them.
Between Insights and the Item Information Table at the bottom of the page are three rectangular update buttons, which are activated when you select an item in the table below them. These update buttons allow you to make quick and easy changes to…
- Update Price
- Update Inventory
- Retire Item
The Item Information Table beneath the buttons provides a full list of all the items in your catalog, including information about each respective item’s…
- If it’s winning the Buy Box
- Unit Count
- Item ID
- …and more!
- If an item’s Status is unexpectedly showing as Unpublished, you can hover over the circular info button for more information
- Want to customize the list? Click the convenient Filter or Options buttons directly above the table to the right
- You can easily download or export information using the Download button. Download and export options include:
- Export the page
- Download the Buy Box Report
- Download your Catalog
- Download Return Rules overrides
Item Setup & Maintenance
Ready to add more items to your Marketplace catalog? You’re in the right spot! In this section, sellers can add Seller Fulfilled or Walmart Fulfilled items to their inventory. We’ll explore adding Seller Fulfilled Items in one of three ways:
- Add Single Item – Only adding one or a handful of SKUs? This option is a popular choice that allows you to add items one at a time right from the dashboard
- Add Items in Bulk – Seller Center’s bulk upload option allows sellers to add multiple items using an Excel template, either by using Marketplace’s Setup by Match or Full Item Spec methods
- Add Items through API – This upload option allows sellers to add items using code directly through the API. Please note that if you make manual changes in Seller Center, an automated feed will override those changes
You’ll also see a Maintain Items option, which allows sellers to make bulk edits and maintain the items in their catalog.
Let’s explore the required steps for adding single items, and adding items in bulk…
When you click the button to add a single item to your catalog, an empty Item Create template will populate. Here, you will input the following information:
- Item Identifier
- Item Name
- Item Category (select from dropdown)
Next, fill out all required attributes, and as many recommended attributes as you’d like. The more information you include, the more discoverable your items will be.
Attribute options include (required are marked with an asterisk):
- Site Description*
- Fulfillment Lag Time
- Price Per Unit
- Whether your item contains an electronic component
- Whether your item contains a battery (and which type)
- Whether your item contains a chemical, aerosol, or pesticide
- If your item is a multipack quantity
Ensure that you have added the necessary information to all three sections of the Item Create page—Item Content, Imagery & Media, and Offer.
Have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of items to add to your catalog? Click Add Items in Bulk to download your items and get them properly set up in the spreadsheet.
Beneath Full Item Spec, you’ll notice a dropdown menu alongside a Download button. Choose the appropriate option from the menu to download your Excel item spec.
Some sellers may notice they have an option for Spec version 4.0 and Spec version 3.1. Sellers who haven’t yet migrated to Custom Shipping Templates will see the option for Spec version 3.1. While you can continue with that version, Walmart recommends that you migrate to custom shipping templates and the 4.0 Spec sheet, which you can then use on the existing items in your catalog.
Bulk Item Setup Spreadsheet
If you aren’t accustomed to working within robust Excel spreadsheets, the item setup spreadsheet may seem overwhelming at first glance. But fear not—Walmart has designed the spreadsheet to be quite intuitive and user-friendly, helping sellers to ensure they’ve provided all required attributes for their products, and easily identify any gaps.
At the top of the bulk item setup spreadsheet, Walmart has broken out attribute groups into color-coded categories:
The first grouping is for Required attributes. Every row that falls under this first colored category must be filled in for your items to be eligible for sale on Walmart.com. These attributes might include:
- Product ID Type
- Product ID
- Product Name
- Selling Price
- Shipping Weight
The next grouping is for attributes that are required for your item to be visible on Walmart.com. These attributes might include a Site Description and Main Image URL.
As you scroll further to the right, you will find additional groupings, with each clearly identified as Required, Recommended, or Optional. While it can take a bit more time up front to make your listings as attribute-packed as possible, you will see greater visibility while providing a better user experience if you invest the time now to help shoppers discover and better understand your items.
In Row 6 of the bulk item setup spreadsheet, Walmart has provided definitions, data types, data lengths, and sample values to help sellers better understand the information they’ll be entering, starting with their first item on Row 7.
Please note that there may be hidden items in the spreadsheet when you download it, and it is imperative that you don’t edit any of these items for it to function properly.
Walmart recommends using closed lists where applicable, looking for a plus sign (+) to multi-select attributes. If you need to add any additional rows for a multi-select attribute, you can easily insert an additional column or columns, copying and pasting rows 3-7 in your spreadsheet. For example, let’s assume you wanted to include five key features for an item you’ll be adding to your catalog. Your spreadsheet should include a column header for Key Features (+). Because you’ll only want to add one key feature in the respective item’s cell for that column, you’ll want to add four additional columns for Key Features. Be sure to add the features in the order in which you’d like them to display on-site.
Once you’ve added everything to your spec sheet and submitted it, you can track the status of your items in Feed Status.
One of the most recent Seller Center updates is the Maintain Items section. This was designed to allow for quick edits to one attribute at a time without necessitating a full spreadsheet upload.
- To see all the spec files available for a category, click the dropdown beneath Download a category spec
- You’ll notice that the maintenance spreadsheet has grouped attributes by themes, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, from images to compliance
- The spreadsheet allows you to only edit the attributes that you wish to change
- Unwanted attribute columns can be deleted entirely, or you can simply leave the cells blank
- It is important to remember that if your item wins content ranking, the changes you’ve made in your upload will override and replace the existing item values
Whenever you add new items, promotions, inventory, prices, or lag times, your Feed Status page will provide you with information on the status of those uploads. Let’s explore what each of those potential statuses means:
- Processed Status: If you’re seeing a processed status, it means your feed went through without any issues, and there are no changes that need to be made at this time
- Processing Status: A processing status indicates that Walmart’s systems are still at work and will need more time to finish processing your request
- Error Status: An error status indicates that there was at least one upload error. If you’re seeing this status, click Download Errors beneath Error File for details on how to remedy the issue or issues
Seller Center offers several bulk update pages for the following common update types:
- Bulk Inventory Updates
- Bulk Price Updates
- Bulk Lag Time Updates
- Bulk Return Rules Updates
On each respective page, sellers can easily make updates in large batches instead of manual, “one at a time” modifications. Within each page you will see a Download Spec button; be mindful that you are downloading the appropriate spec file when making updates. Also keep in mind that whenever you update a spec, you can track the status of your update on the Feed Status page.
Ideally, the Order Management section of Seller Center is somewhere you’ll be spending a good bit of time. Let’s explore each of the pages within…
The Orders page is where sellers navigate to acknowledge, ship, or cancel orders that have been placed. Quick Filters at the top left of the page allow you to sort between Seller Fulfilled Orders and Partner Fulfilled Orders (Delivery). For this walkthrough, we have selected Seller Fulfilled Orders.
Immediately below the Quick Filters, you’ll see a collapsible Insights section, which organizes orders by the stage they’re in. Boxes will display how many of your orders fall into each of the below stages, with a clickable View Orders link beneath each:
- Past Due Orders – These orders were not shipped by their expected ship date, and are now considered late. Be sure to ship these orders ASAP to ensure a solid account standing and a positive customer experience.
- Orders Due Today – These orders will need to be shipped the same day or run the risk of arriving late
- New Orders – These orders will be due to ship soon. Click View Orders in this box for their expected ship dates
- Past Orders – This is the total number of all your shipped or canceled orders over the past 180 days
Beneath the Insights section, your late, due today, and new orders will be represented within the table. You can click on the PO number for any order in the table to acknowledge, ship, or cancel the order.
Tip: Walmart recommends that sellers acknowledge all new orders within four hours on regular business days. This will help ensure that your inventory balance is accurate, your account is kept in good standing, and customers are updated within an expected timeframe.
How to Acknowledge & Ship an Order
Seller Center offers three distinct ways of acknowledging and shipping customer orders:
- Using the Seller Center UI – This is your best option when you’re only shipping a few orders at a time
- Using Excel Spreadsheet – This is a better option for those shipping a batch of many orders
- Using API Automated Feeds – This allows you to mark orders as acknowledged, fulfilled, returned, or adjusted; API can automate all order actions at scale
Using the Seller Center UI
- Click Orders to go to your Order Management page
- Orders Due Today reflects orders that are ready to be acknowledged and shipped to your customers
- Click the PO number to acknowledge the first order in your list. This will take you to the Order Details page, which provides all the necessary information about the order, including the shipping details
- Navigate to the Status dropdown, which should currently be reflecting an Ordered status. Update this to the Acknowledge status to let Walmart know you’ve seen the order
- Click the blue Update at the bottom of the page
Once you’ve acknowledged the order, your next step will be to ship or cancel the order. In the same Status dropdown where you previously selected Acknowledge, choose Ship or the Cancel option with the appropriate reasoning.
Once you’ve selected Ship, be sure to select or enter the remaining required information, including the quantity, carrier, and tracking number, and optionally, the Seller Order Number. You’ll notice that the Tracking URL field is blank; this will automatically update once you’ve clicked the Update button at the bottom of the page. Upon clicking the Update button, Walmart will notify the customer that their order has shipped, and move this order into your Past Orders page.
Using an Excel Spreadsheet
- Click Orders to be taken to your Order Management page
- Navigate to the Download option at the far right, immediately beneath the Insights section. Select Export all items to download your Excel file
- The first column you’ll have to update in the spreadsheet is in Column Z – Update Status
- Additional fields you’ll need to fill in will continue to the right of column Z (AA, AB, and so forth)
- Once you’ve finished entering all the required information, save the file and return to the Orders page
- In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you’ll see an option to Drop files here or to click select files to upload your spreadsheet. Choose whichever option you prefer
- A response spreadsheet will download confirming your upload was successful, letting Walmart know to contact the customer with an update that their order has been shipped
How to Acknowledge & Cancel an Order
There may be times you need to cancel a customer’s order for several potential reasons. These might include an item being out of stock, a pricing error, or that the customer has simply decided they no longer want or need the item they’ve ordered, and have sent a notification of such before the item has shipped.
It is important to remember that all orders need to be acknowledged before they can be canceled, so that is step one in the cancellation process. Let’s walk through what comes next…
- Click the PO number of the order you’d like to cancel. This will take you to the Order Details page
- Choose the appropriate cancellation reason from the Status dropdown
- Click the Update button at the bottom of the page to cancel the order. Once this is complete, the customer will be notified of the cancellation via email
- This order will now be accessible from the Past Orders page for reference
- In the collapsible Insights section toward the top of the page, sellers will find three return stages boxes
- These boxes will display the total number of Initiated, Received, and Completed returns for each
- Each box will also include a clickable View Returns link, which will provide you with all the information that pertains to the orders in that stage
Let’s dive into what each return stage indicates…
- Initiated – The customer has started a return and is shipping the item back
- Received – The item your customer sent back has arrived at your return center
- Completed – The return and refund have finished processing. In this stage, you’ll have the option to dispute a return
Sellers will have the option to refund the customer once an item is in the Initiated or Received stage. It is important to remember that after your return has been received, if you have not yet taken action, Walmart will refund the customer automatically after 48 hours.
How to Refund an Order
- Click the View Returns link under Initiated returns for further information about the returns in that stage
- On the Returns page, you will see the item name, purchase order number, a reason for the return, customer information, and the item price
- At the far right of this information, you will see a right-facing arrow. Click this arrow for additional details about the return, including its tracking number and status
- You will be able to refund the customer right from this page by clicking the Refund $x.xx Now button
- Once you’ve clicked this button, a pop-up message window will confirm that your refund is being processed and that its status will be updated appropriately when complete
- Navigating back to the Returns screen, the previous Initiated status should now reflect that the customer has been Refunded
- Refresh the page to move the return into the Completed status, and you’re done
Order adjustments aren’t very common, but allow sellers to provide customers with full or partial refunds for several reasons. Typical reasons for adjustments include an order being delivered late, an order not being received at all, or an order arriving damaged or defective.
- Click Adjustments in the left navigation to be taken to the Issue Adjustments page
- Input a PO or Customer Order Number in the box, and click the Get Order button
- This will populate information related to the order, with a clickable Issue Adjustment link beneath Actions
- Click the Issue Adjustment link to be taken to the Refund item page
- Select the appropriate option in the dropdown box beneath Select the type of refund, inputting information in the additional boxes as required. For a partial refund, this is where you’ll enter the dollar amount of the refund
- Next, choose the appropriate option from the Select a refund reason dropdown, and add additional details in the comments box if you’d like
- Click the Refund button at the bottom of the page, and your adjustment is complete
If you need to dispute a return, two things must happen before you can proceed. Firstly, a return can only be disputed once it has reached the completed stage. Secondly, it is required that at least 48 hours have passed since you’ve issued the refund.
Please note that there is a time limit for disputes—Returns are eligible to be disputed for up to 45 days.
Navigating to the Disputes page in the left navigation, you will find 4 boxes at the top of the page. These will showcase how many of your disputes are within each of the following stages:
- Pending Review – This stage indicates that Walmart has received your case, and they will review your dispute within 24-48 hours
- In Review – In this stage, Walmart’s team is actively reviewing your case. During this stage, your dispute will be assigned a status, which might include:
- Need more information – You’ll have to provide more details before a decision can be made
- Approved – If your dispute is approved, you will be automatically reimbursed, with the funds showing on your payment report within 1-2 payment cycles
- Denied – Your dispute was not approved by Walmart
- Action Needed – Click the View Dispute link for more information
- Closed – Disputes move here once they are completed
Walmart offers sellers an impressive array of data to help understand what’s working well, and where there is room for improvement and growth. Let’s take a closer look.
The Overview page offers a valuable, at-a-glance view of your Marketplace performance, and is among the pages sellers will be likely to visit most often. The overview provides insights into:
- Financials: Want to see how your gross merchandise value (GMV) for a specified timeframe stacks up against the same timeframe in a previous year? The Financials page makes it easy to do just that, and more
- Order Defect Rate (ODR) and Fulfillment KPIs: This section provides percentage-based data regarding how many of your orders within your selected timeframe were defective, as well as the percentage that had on-time shipping, and on-time delivery
- Payments: This section includes the last three payments you received
- Orders: This section tells you the number of orders that are currently late, due today, and new. This same information is also available under Order Management on the Orders page
Your Performance page is data-packed, with ample charts and other visuals to help sellers get a clear picture of how they’re trending. Let’s look at what each of the five tabs on this page provides…
In the dropdowns at the upper right, you can customize your charts below based on the shipping programs you’ve enrolled in, department, category, specific brands, or time range. Beneath the chart to the right, you’ll find two clickable links—View Daily Performance Report and View Item Level Performance Report. Clicking each will download the respective report. Want to see financial information about specific items? Moving further down the page, you’ll find a dropdown search box that allows you to Search By Item ID or Search By Title. This page can also be easily exported as an Excel file by clicking the Export button at the far right.
This shows data related to your Order Defect Rate (ODR), to include:
- Cancellation Defects
- Return Defects
- Delivery Defects
- Customer Complaints
For more information about any of the above, click to Download the individual reports to the right of each. Also, be sure to review the 90-day ODR Trend Chart shown immediately below for a quick visual of how you’re trending over time.
Here, you’ll see three clickable buttons to hone in on Shipping Performance, Carrier Performance, and Regional Performance:
Trust and Safety
If you find that you don’t have any trust and safety violations, that’s great! Not all sellers will find violations that need remedying. For those that do, this section will break down any violations you’ve had within three different types, showing the total for each separately. These include Regulatory Compliance, Offensive Product, and Intellectual Property. Downloadable reports with further details will be available in this section if you have any violations.
Ratings & Reviews
This shows your average customer rating on a five-star scale, and also includes individual comments left with their corresponding star ratings. Your ratings are also listed within your Seller Scorecard.
One of the most exciting areas of Seller Center is Growth Opportunities. Here, Walmart provides sellers with the necessary tools and actionable insights to make informed choices aimed at growing their catalog and improving their sales on Marketplace.
Once you’ve navigated to the Growth Opportunities page in the left nav, you’ll find it is broken out into four tabs, highlighted below…
One of the newest additions to Seller Center is the Listing Quality Dashboard, designed to give sellers a better understanding of how shoppers view the items in their catalog and make improvements where possible.
Filters at the top of the page allow you to narrow your focus to Trending Items or Walmart Fulfilled Items (for enrolled sellers). Turning on the filter for Trending Items — items in your published catalog with heightened demand — we are shown three boxes highlighting…
Here you’ll see a percentage highlighting the overall quality score of the items in your catalog. A clickable View breakdown link will provide a more detailed list about that score.
This shows sellers the number of sold items with post-purchase issues, as well as a percentage determined by what percentage of their total catalog that number represents. To take a closer look at what those items were, click View items.
Pro Seller Badge
This box shows sellers if they are currently meeting Pro Seller badging criteria. If your box is showing that you are Not Eligible, click Learn more for detailed information about your standings, explaining what you’ll have to do to earn eligibility.
Below, you will find a search box with a dropdown option to search by Title, SKU, or Item ID on the left side of the screen. You’ll also have the option to filter by score ranges by clicking the filter button on the right side of the screen.
Click Details on one of the items in the list to go to that listing’s Item Details page, which is packed with information, including the Item Sales Rank, GMV, Page Views, Units Sold, Conversion Rate, and more.
Three tabs at the bottom of this page hone in on improvement opportunities related to your Content & Discoverability, Offer, and Post-Purchase issues. Please note that in some instances, you will see a lock icon beneath Action. The lock indicates that a given attribute cannot be edited because of its content ranking.
For a quick view of how impactful your unpublished items in total are to your sales potential, Walmart includes three boxes highlighting each of the below toward the top of the page…
- Number of Unpublished Items
- Unpublished Inventory
- Value of Unpublished Items
Below the boxes, the specific reasons are highlighted under Issue, with an explanation for each, how many of your items are affected by that issue, and the unpublished value of all items affected by a particular issue.
At the far right of each issue type, you will see a clickable View Items button. Clicking into here we find more detailed information, and the opportunity to resolve the issues.
In the Item Details table at the bottom, you’ll notice a column for Actions. Here, updates can be made on an individual item level right within the table. Have several issues and prefer to update in bulk? Click the Bulk Actions button directly above the table to download the proper Excel template.
Tip: If you have resolved a listed issue and your item still hasn’t republished, verify that was the only issue with that item. Some items may have unpublished for more than one reason, and will not republish until all issues have been resolved.
This section highlights growth opportunities specifically related to pricing, giving you the necessary tools and information to be more competitive.
At the top right of the page, you will see your Buy Box Win Rate – the percentage of your catalog that is currently winning the buy box—with a clickable link to dive into those Winning Items. Similar to unpublished opportunities, pricing adjustments can be made individually within the table in that item’s New Price box, or via a bulk update.
Prices can also be adjusted in bulk using the box directly beneath Pricing Opportunities. This allows you to set a dollar amount by which you want to beat the current buy box winning item’s price across all items in the table. Enter your dollar amount, and click Fill Table.
Click the View button to visit the Walmart Best Sellers tool, which will help you uncover the items that are currently earning ample sales on Walmart.com. This tool is designed to give sellers inspiration about high-performing items they might want to consider adding to their catalog, allowing them to hone in on specific departments and sub-departments to find those that best match the type of items they offer.
This section is broken out into two tabs…
- Reports: This is where sellers will navigate to download settlement reports for each payment period, selected from the dropdown.
- Search Transactions: Click the dropdown to choose whether you’ll search by Purchase Order # or Sales Order #. You will be able to search for any order that was created within the past 90 days. At the far right, click the arrow to expand the order details, which include the order’s payment transactions, settlement status, settlement date, and net payable amount. A clickable Download Report link is found beneath the Settlement Date.
Additional Seller Center Resources
Walmart has packed tons of helpful information right within Seller Center, making it easily accessible via their QuickHelp feature. As you navigate from page to page, you’ll see a small QuickHelp icon in the bottom right-hand corner of all Seller Center screens.
When you click this button, a How Can I Help? search box will appear. Enter keywords related to the action you are trying to take or questions you have, in the search box, being as broad or specific as necessary to generate relevant results. Questions about adding new items to your catalog? Search ‘items’, and as you type, suggested resources will begin to pop up. These resources might include…
- Videos – These can be viewed without leaving Seller Center directly from the box they’ll pop up in
- QuickStart Guides – These can be viewed within their pop-up box, opened in a new tab, and downloaded or printed for future reference
- BizQuizzes – These are designed to provide sellers with information-packed mini courses
To exit QuickHelp, move your mouse anywhere outside the pop-up window and click the screen.
Seller Center email notifications help ensure you can stay on top of new orders in your account, even when you’re not actively monitoring your dashboard. To set-up notifications, log in to Seller Center and navigate to the Settings tab at the top of your screen. Click Notification Settings beneath Administrator Options.
Notifications will alert you when a new order has been placed that requires your acknowledgment and can be turned on by toggling the box next to Email: Open Orders. Immediately below, you can also confirm that your correct email address is tied to your notifications, and select the frequency with which you’d like to receive notifications. Need to edit the email? Click Manage Contacts under Partner Profile in General Settings to add or update. While you can have more than one email address in your contacts, only one email can be selected to receive notifications. Be sure to click Save to confirm your settings.
Reach out today to learn more about how our team can magnify your Marketplace presence with our proprietary Walmart Advertising technology— the industry’s most comprehensive Walmart marketing program.