Setting up and maintaining items are crucial steps for the success of Walmart Marketplace sellers, and we’re always looking for ways to make these processes easier. That’s why we’re excited to introduce Item Spec 4.0: an initiative that not only streamlines item setup and maintenance for all Marketplace sellers, but that also allows for better discoverability and conversion on Walmart.com.
Item Spec 4.0 simplifies efforts for sellers and enables multiple functions from a single spec sheet, like allowing WFS sellers to set up items as WFS items directly. All sellers who participated in the pilot stage of the Item Spec 4.0 launch reported improved efficiency. The maintenance process has greatly improved: sellers no longer need to fill out a full spec sheet just to make a few updates. Plus, the automated product tax code assignment has significantly streamlined the item setup process.
“The new Item Spec 4.0 has really benefited our Walmart business. It’s now easier than ever to update our listings using the new system alongside Walmart’s new Listing Quality Dashboard. In the past few weeks, we’ve been able to increase our average content score by almost 10%.”
Michelle Thompson, Marketplace Manager at Pattern
Our former spec iteration, or 3.2, has gotten a total overhaul with 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 of attributes. All sellers are advised to revisit their item setup to optimize their products for better visibility on Walmart.com in time for the holiday sales season.
Why does that matter?
Your mission as a Marketplace seller is to upload your items to Walmart.com so that they can be discovered and ultimately purchased by shoppers. With so many sellers and items across the high-traffic site, it’s important to stand out. That’s where attribution comes in—specific tags and categories you select that determine when and where your products appear during a customer’s search. Attributes manifest on Walmart.com in a few different ways that all contribute to discoverability and conversion; let’s break those down.
1 How category pages and shelves are organized
The shelving experience on Walmart.com allows your products to be discovered by people in the beginning stages of their search. Certain product types are grouped into categories and organized visually to allow for a better shopping experience. When you add all relevant attributes to your product, you’ll be grouped into the appropriate category and increase your chances of being seen by lots of customers. In Item Spec 4.0, we revised and added new attributes to improve the item setup experience and increase product discoverability on Walmart.com.
For example, when someone is shopping for a guitar, it’s important to see which guitars are for beginners, kids, or advanced and expert players. Now guitar sellers can specify with the new attribute ‘skill level,’ which will ensure their products show on the correct product shelf. Without adding the correct attributes in Item Spec 4.0, a guitar seller misses out on the chance to be featured in these categories on Walmart.com and will be less discoverable. The same goes for lots of other products. So if you listed your products on Walmart.com a while back, now may be a good time to revisit your setup and add newly available attributes to improve search results.
2 Why left-hand navigation is important
Another way that adding attributes to Item Spec 4.0 affects your products is through filters and navigation on Walmart.com. We’ve all been there: when shopping for items on most websites, it’s helpful to select filters from dropdown menus and sort by price, color, size, and more. No matter the category you sell in, this navigation plays a part in how easily your products can be found.
As an example, think about two categories with lots of variation: hair care and skin care. Filter options define the overall shopping experience as customers tend to narrow their searches by skin type or concern and hair care benefits. Before Item Spec 4.0, Marketplace sellers did not have an option to specify these attributes and as a result missed out on an opportunity to show their products in filtered results. Now, attributes include skin type: dry, sensitive, oily, combination, and normal; skin concern: breakouts & acne, dark spots, dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles; and hair care benefits: color protection, curl enhancing, frizz control, moisturizing, and more. Item Spec 4.0 has updated closed list values and more specific attributes for each category, helping both the seller and the customer.
3 How attributes provide essential information up front
Attributes don’t only appear through merchandising categories and left-hand navigation. Many items populate the attribute information directly on the product page when a customer lands on a specific item. This is when upfront information makes all the difference and can help increase conversion.
Take footwear as an example. Shopping for shoes online without trying them on can be tough, so the more nitty-gritty details you can provide as the seller, the better. Not only is it important that the customer sees the size options, but also small details like heel height, shoe width, material, and whether or not the footbed is padded. Capture the customer’s eye by providing any and all relevant details that pertain to your product type.
Anything with a list of ingredients, such as skincare products and food & beverage items, should include all information on the product page. Another exciting update with Item Spec 4.0 is some attributes have been consolidated. ‘Label image’ now includes nutrition facts, supplement facts, drug facts, and other relevant information, meaning sellers only need to populate one field in order for all information to be uploaded.
Key features in Item Spec 4.0
- Participating sellers can set up Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) items in a single step
- All required columns have been moved to the beginning of the bulk Excel specs
- Macros and instructions tab have been removed to simplify the Excel file
- Attribute definitions have been improved and can be found in each individual column
- Recommended attributes and attribute names have been updated
- Tax codes are now auto-assigned
- Errors are highlighted in yellow for easy troubleshooting and can be fixed within the file
- The new maintenance spec means sellers no longer have to fill out the full item spec. Instead, it requires just 2 product identifier fields (SKU and product ID) in addition to whatever values you want to update
“The new maintenance sheet is a great addition to spec 4.0 as well as we no longer need to perform a full update. We only upload the valid values on the attributes needing an update, upload, and it is done. The spec 4.0 sheet saves us a significant amount of time.”
Angelo Lustana, Catalog Specialist at Netrush
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