To really grow on Walmart Marketplace and stand out from the competition, you need to understand, monitor and optimize your seller metrics. This guide will help you do just that.
Measuring Walmart Marketplace performance with metrics that matter to both sellers and customers
Your guide to Walmart Marketplace seller metrics
Walmart Marketplace—the world’s most-trusted marketplace—is selective by design. We’ve curated a community of respected, professional sellers who offer only top-quality, authentic products and best-in-class customer service. By holding high standards for our applicants and sellers, we foster a level playing-field that is trusted by our customers and partners alike. This month, CedCommerce is in the Provider Spotlight with a review of the metrics used to track seller performance and tips for successfully meeting our high standards.
Why seller metrics matter
Walmart is dedicated to offering an innovative, world-class customer experience, and this applies to its online shoppers as well as in-store customers. As the number of Walmart Marketplace sellers has increased, so has the need for formal standards to ensure a consistent experience for all customers on Walmart.com. Thus, in 2017, Walmart released updated Seller Performance Standards, which outline the key seller metrics and expected targets that they’ve found are important measures of good service.
Meeting these targets does more than keep you in good standing with Walmart. These metrics measure the services that customers find important. Having a better score means you’re doing the things that help you build customer trust and loyalty, helping you grow sales on Walmart Marketplace and empowering you to stay ahead of your competitors. Plus, the more you sell, the better your products rank. That’s why successful Walmart sellers obsessively monitor their seller scorecard and work to optimize their operations.
Now that it’s clear that Seller Performance Standards benefit both customers and sellers, let’s take a look at the targets you’re required to meet as a Walmart Marketplace seller.
Seller Performance Standards for Walmart Marketplace
Understanding how your performance is measured is important. In addition to checking out the overview below, we recommend reviewing the full article on Seller Help.
Walmart’s key measures of quality service include:
- 90-Day Order Defect Rate <2%
- On-Time Shipment Rate >99%
- Valid Tracking Rate >99%
Read on for more details on how these metrics are calculated and what you can do to make sure your scorecard is top-notch.
The Order Defect Rate
Of the three standards you’re required to meet, the Order Defect Rate (ODR) is the most complex. You know you must maintain an ODR of 2% or lower to meet the minimum seller performance standards, but how is it calculated?
ODR is determined by dividing the number of orders that include any one of the defined “defects” by your total number of orders during the same time period. Note that the rate is calculated per order, so if a single order includes multiple defects, it still only counts as one defective order.
Number of orders with at least one defect/Total number of orders during the same period = Order Defect Rate
What is an order defect?
Order defects refer to these problems that may indicate an issue with your products or service quality:
- Order cancellations
- Product returns
- Late deliveries
- Customer complaints
An order that was canceled by the seller after received from Walmart is considered defective. You can minimize these defects by avoiding a few common scenarios.
Accurate product listings are imperative, but item setup can be tedious. If listing errors become a recurring problem for you, check your setup procedures and templates. Using CedCommerce to manage your bulk uploads can help you avoid costly errors.
The prices of your listings must be updated on all your selling channels. However, manual syncing takes time and introduces the risk of human error. Minor differences may be absorbed, but if you accidentally enter $5 for a $500 item, you can be sure customers will jump on the bargain, and you’ll be forced to cancel the order(s).
You could implement additional reviews to check for these types of errors, but with CedCommerce’s Price Sync feature for your Walmart integration, you can easily synchronize the price of your products on all channels at once.
Inventory out of stock
No one likes to find out the item they purchased isn’t available after all. Avoiding overselling by maintaining accurate inventory in your Walmart Marketplace account is critical.
If you sell across multiple channels, maintaining up-to-date inventory on each platform is an important and complex task. Fortunately, inventory management software can help. You can avoid overselling by automating inventory sync across your channels using the CedCommerce Walmart integration.
Purchasing products online will likely always lead to some number of returns. However, it is possible and prudent to do what you can to minimize returns of your items. To reduce the likelihood of product returns you should provide detailed product descriptions, include multiple images and monitor product quality regularly.
Walmart calculates the Expected Delivery Date (EDD) for each item based on your settings and the selected shipping option. The EDD is published on the listing page and order confirmation email, so it’s an important promise to keep.
Although some issues may be caused by problems with your shipping provider, Walmart holds you accountable for this metric in most cases*. Therefore, you should make sure you understand how EDD is calculated, monitor your lagtimes and settings, and assess the performance of your shipping providers to meet this important standard.
*In the case of a natural disaster or inclement weather, impacted orders can be de-scored to avoid negative ODR performance by creating a ticket for Partner Support: Partner Account/Profile > Seller Scorecard > My Order Defect Rate & Performance > Adjustment Request
When a customer contacts Walmart or you to express their dissatisfaction about their order, your ODR is impacted. Even if a customer complaint is resolved to their satisfaction, the experience is not incident-free, so the defect remains. To see your orders with complaints, download the report from your Seller Scorecard.
Advice for avoiding customer complaints includes the tips already mentioned for returns and late deliveries. Ensuring thorough, quality product listings and fulfillment operations should take care of most common reasons customers are unhappy.
On-Time Shipment Rate and Valid Tracking Rate
Customers expect on-time delivery of items, and obviously, failing to fulfill as promised negatively impacts your overall score. But simply mailing off your items is not enough to meet Walmart’s standards. It’s also important for customers to know their orders have been processed promptly and to track them in transit. Moreover, without tracking numbers to monitor, Walmart has no way to confirm a customer received their order from you. This is why providing valid tracking numbers along with your order confirmations is included as a performance measure.
On-Time Shipment Rate
If your On-Time Shipment Rate is a problem, it may help to review how it’s calculated. When you receive an order from Walmart, it includes the Expected Ship Date (ESD). This date is the deadline for you to confirm shipment and enter tracking information. The ESD calculation includes a combination of the Order Cutoff Time and Fulfillment Lag Time, so it’s possible you may not even realize you’ve calculated it incorrectly and missed your target.
Learn more about Walmart’s expectations for fulfilling orders in the Seller Help article Shipping Methods and Timing.
Valid Tracking Rate
As mentioned, providing tracking numbers is important for customer satisfaction. But did you know that not providing them can cost you more than just a hit to your Seller Scorecard? The Walmart.com platform uses your order confirmation and tracking data to automate customer care. If you ship a customer order but fail to update the system accordingly, Walmart may proactively refund the customer for the order after a number of days have passed. Although the customer may have received their item, Walmart would have no way to know, so you’ll end up without your item or payment plus take a hit to your seller metrics.
To help you automate fulfillment, the Walmart integration by CedCommerce lets you submit your shipment details and automatically provide tracking information to your customers.
Monitoring your performance in Seller Center
Walmart Seller Center offers analytic tools to help you track your seller metrics and monitor your overall performance.
To view insights into your performance:
- Sign in to Seller Center and navigate to Analytics > Performance.
- Choose the tab that offers the details you’re looking for
- Seller Scorecard
See your ODR and download reports for each type of order defects to help identify and resolve recurring issues. Your On-Time Shipment Rate and customer reviews are also found here.
See your shipping-related metrics and download a variety of reports that offer insights into orders that failed to meet expected fulfillment standards.
- Seller Scorecard
Walmart conducts regular performance reviews and may sanction underperforming sellers, but they will not suspend your account without advance warning and enough time to let you make improvements as described above. However, if you have been suspended due to failing to meet performance standards, you may submit an appeal to Walmart Partner Support explaining your situation as well as what you’ve done to improve performance.
Take your business to the next level with CedCommerce
Improve your seller scorecard using the tips and tricks shared above to delight customers and grow your business at the same time. We’ve helped thousands of sellers manage and expand their eCommerce operations. But don’t take our word for it, see how Crossroads Home Decor improved its selling rate on Walmart in almost no time.
We offer many tools to help you easily list, sync, and automate your sales effortlessly through the automated features of our Walmart Marketplace integration extension.
Partner with CedCommerce to:
- Access centralized order management
- Preview product options
- Enable/Disable products
- Enjoy real-time synchronization
- Create advanced product listings
- Offer promotional pricing
- Set threshold inventory
- Retire & re-inject products
- Connect with 3P shipping apps
- And more!
Our aim is to make the internet a better place to sell on. Don’t miss your chance to grow your sales on Walmart Marketplace with our award-winning solutions. Contact us today to learn more.
This is a guest post by Abhishek Jaiswal, Co-Founder at CedCommerce. With their aim to make the internet a better place to sell, CedCommerce streamlines and simplifies retailers’ efforts with tailored solutions to list products and manage sales. That said, it caters to 5000+ retailers globally till date.