Walmart Marketplace API updates to help you launch a successful start to the new year

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After the rush of the holidays and the arrival of a new year, there’s no better time to take a breather and plan for the months ahead. We’re here to help! Let’s kick off 2021 by reviewing all the latest Walmart Marketplace API releases you can use to your advantage and to update your annual business strategy as needed.

If you read our last API update in the Sell Better Blog, you caught up on exciting features including the Item Performance Report, Walmart ThreeDay delivery, and the Item Taxonomy API (catch up here if you’d like).

This time around, we’ll cover even more improvements, such as webhook notifications, catalog tools, and customizable Shipping Templates. Keep reading to discover all the ways to get the most out of Marketplace Seller APIs while you prep for another e-commerce-heavy year.

1 Enable push notifications to get important alerts about your business

There’s a chance you’re already inundated with push notifications, but you’ll surely want to add just one more set to your roster and receive timely updates about your Marketplace business. Our recently introduced webhooks trigger notifications that alert you about a few different events so you’re always up to speed. Get notified about:

If your published items win or lose the Buy Box, or if there’s a change in the Buy Box winner or winning price, you’ll automatically receive a notification. You’ll always know the latest price to beat.

If one of your offers gets unpublished for any reason, you’ll be notified as well. You can then get more information using the Insights API to inform any updates you need to make to remedy the unpublished offer. For example, if there’s a pricing issue that causes an offer to get unpublished, you’ll be notified ASAP and won’t have to manually check.

Tip: By the way, you can then leverage the Unpublished Items API to get a bigger picture and find a solution. Items can get unpublished from Walmart.com for a variety of reasons (the five most popular being an end date issue, a start date issue, reasonable price not satisfied, if there’s no primary image, or no price at all). When this occurs, you can get item-level information for each unpublished item with specific reason codes.

The highly recommended Order Status notifications help you improve your order management process and make sure you fulfill orders on time. These notifications appear whenever a new Purchase Order is created so that you never miss a beat. If you also subscribe to the Auto-Cancelled notifications, you’ll know when Walmart has auto-cancelled a Purchase Order, which also gives a refund to the customer.

This only occurs if the status of an order line is not updated to “Shipped” with a valid tracking number by the Estimated Ship Date (ESD) plus 8 calendar days. (For tips on how to handle and avoid auto-cancelled orders, read more in Seller Help.)

We’re always looking for ways to keep communication as effective and efficient as possible for all sellers, and these notifications are great options for API users. Details on how to get started with webhook notifications can be found here.

2 Revisit your catalog strategy and get a behind-the-scenes look at what’s trending

With the Trending Items API, you have the power to polish your sales strategy. You can see which items are best sellers on Walmart.com at any given time and dig deeper by using the Utilities APIs to locate the specific department and category IDs.

This system is based on rankings: The Trending Items API reveals items with rank values 1 through 5, 5 indicating a best seller. By taking the time to discover what shoppers are looking for, especially during seasonal peaks like the holidays, you can make changes to your catalog accordingly. Capitalize on trending categories and know when you may need to pivot your merchandising strategy and source new products for your catalog.

Additionally, use the Item Search API to make a specific search for any item in the Walmart.com global product catalog. By reviewing the information provided, you can decide whether or not you want to sell the item or similar items. You can search by item keyword, UPC, or GTIN.

3 Boost your discoverability with Item Spec 4.0

You may have had your items listed on Walmart.com for a long time, but it’s not a bad idea to update your attributes for an even better performance this year. That just became even easier with the launch of Item Spec 4.0, a recent release that streamlines item setup and maintenance.

Item Spec 4.0 is a total overhaul of the former spec iteration, 3.2, and modernizes the Walmart Global Data Model with lots of new and optimized attributes. Updates to existing attributes include enhanced data definitions, new and more specific closed list values, modernized attribute names, and greatly improved organization. Correct and up-to-date attribution means your items are more discoverable in the shelving experience on Walmart.com, which includes left-hand navigation and filters based on categories, from clothing to electronics and exercise equipment (and much more, of course).

While you kick off the new year, check on your catalog health by looking for opportunities to boost your discoverability and increase your success.

4 Optimize your shipping settings with Shipping Templates and Reports

You’ve likely already heard about (or started using!) one of the most exciting Walmart Marketplace launches of the year: Shipping Templates. If you haven’t yet migrated to this new shipping settings setup, now’s the time to do so—the deadline is April 30, 2021.

Switching over to Shipping Templates allows you to revisit your shipping configurations and find ways to optimize your operations this year. This tool offers 15+ easy-to-use templates that allow for custom configurations, flexible transit times, granular delivery regions across the US, and helpful reports.

You can categorize these templates in a large number of ways depending on your business needs and warehouse operations. For example, it’d be wise to create a TwoDay template for bestselling items that can reliably ship quickly, because two-day delivery is a known conversion driver on Walmart.com. Can’t swing TwoDay for most of your catalog? No problem. A close second is the ThreeDay program, which still gives your items a Buy Box boost on Walmart.com and drives conversion. It’s in your best interest to customize your Shipping Templates using TwoDay and ThreeDay delivery as much as possible, meaning you can offer those delivery options regionally or nationwide for any portion of your catalog—whatever works for you.

For all remaining items, you can create different templates based on their locations and realistic transit times. Additionally, you’re able to access reports with the details for all of your templates and programs and can quickly view which SKUs are mapped to each template.

Please note: If you do not migrate before the deadline, your global shipping settings will be reflected in the Default Shipping Template. Learn more about Shipping Templates here.

Bonus: Explore the new dev portal for how-to guides and new launches

In case you missed it, the developer portal is better than ever. Version 2.0 launched in October as a completely new platform with how-to guides for each API. We’ve rebuilt the API Keys management system to make it more secure and to feature a more robust user interface, so you’ll always have a clear destination to explore all the latest launches. Check it out here and find more useful resources below.

The Walmart Developer Center Handy Resources:

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