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Seller Performance Standards

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TitleSeller Performance Standards
URL NameWhat-are-Partner-Performance-Expectations
Article Record TypeArticle - Text + Media
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Relevant to:  
 

In this article:

  • The New Seller Performance Standards
  • Measuring Standards Compliance with the Seller Scorecard
  • The Order Defect Rate (ODR)
  • On-Time Shipment Rate
  • Valid Tracking Rate
  • Reviews and Sanctions
  • Suspended Accounts
  • The Appeals Process
  • Tips to Improve Your Performance
  • FAQs

 

The New Seller Performance Standards

In our ongoing effort to improve customer experience, we’ve implemented new Seller performance standards to help you improve customer satisfaction while making the selling process easier for the general public. These new standards took effect on Sept. 1, 2017.

Here are ways the new performance metrics differ from the old:

 
SLA before Sept. 1, 2017Current SLA
Walmart Marketplace Sellers are required to maintain:
  • Cancellation Rate <2.5%
  • On-Time Shipment >99%
  • Refund rate <5%
Starting on Sept. 1, 2017, Sellers are evaluated on three metrics:
  • 90-Day Order Defect Rate <2%
  • On-Time Shipment Rate >99%
  • Valid Tracking Rate >99%


Also, we no longer consider Item Ratings to be a part of performance metrics, so we removed them from the types of order defects (see below) — though they continue to be an important metric for you to monitor.
 

Circumstances Beyond Your Control

We understand that things don’t always go as planned. If your performance has dropped significantly due to a problem beyond your control (e.g., severe weather, natural disasters), then you can create a case for Partner Support. When reporting a problem for which you are not at fault, we require:

  • The reason for the problem
  • Proof of your claim that you are not at fault (e.g., a case number regarding an API failure where it was validated that you were not at fault, a list of the warehouse addresses that have been impacted by a storm, etc.)
  • The date range in which orders were impacted
  • The affected order numbers

If we can verify your claim, we will take no action against you. Your Seller Scorecard will still display the lower performance rates until they improve over time. If you experience this type of problem but your performance rating is still within the desired targets, you don’t need to contact Partner Support.

Measuring Standards Compliance with the Seller Scorecard

To measure performance, we capture several key metrics and update them bi-weekly in your Seller Scorecard, which is located under the INSIGHTS & ANALYTICS section in the left-hand navigation bar.

Since the scores there are based on data collected, we cannot accommodate manual changes to individual account reports, even if you are successful with an appeal or dispute. In those cases, the circumstances of your performance rating will be considered when determining if sanctions or consequences are warranted, even if the Scorecard does not immediately update.

The performance metrics we use to review your account’s health are summarized here and explained further below.

MetricDefinitionRequired for Compliance
Order Defect RateThe number of orders with a defect divided by your total number of orders in the same time period.<2%
On-Time Shipment RatePercentage of orders shipped by the Expected Ship Date.>99%
Valid Tracking InfoThe percentage of orders with valid tracking information provided and delivery scan on or before the Expected Delivery Date.>99% (excluding items shipped via the “Freight” method)


The Order Defect Rate (ODR)

ODR is the number of orders with at least one defect divided by your total number of orders during the same time period. On your Seller Scorecard, the 90-Day ODR rate is calculated from 120 days ago to 30 days ago, so that orders still within the return window are not included in your rate. Please note that the ODR can be calculated over any historical order period, but will be presented in Partner Portal for a 14-day and 90-day period.

“Order defects” include:

  • Cancellations
  • Returns
  • Delivery Defects
  • Customer Complaints

A given order may have multiple infractions, but it will only count as one order defect for the purposes of counting your overall ODR. In short, multiple infractions on the same order are considered as a single defect for ODR calculation at the account level.

All Sellers should maintain an Order Defect Rate (ODR) of 2% or lower to meet the minimum Seller performance standards.

ODR RateCompliant with StandardsRecommendation
0% – 2%YesKeeping doing great work!
2% – 6%NoProactively address metrics causing defects.
Above 6%NoAddress metrics causing defects to prevent account suspension.

 

Calculations Vary …

Sellers with 50 or greater transactions over the past 120 days are evaluated based on the past three months. However, Sellers with fewer than 50 transactions and more than 120 days on the platform are evaluated based on the past 12-month period. Only Sellers who recently completed onboarding and have fewer than 50 transactions in the past 120 days will see their ODR in their Scorecard.
 

An Example

Let’s say a Seller has sold 100 orders. Out of these orders:

  • One order had a Customer Complaint and a Return Defect
  • One order had a low Item Rating because the item was damaged

Although the Seller had three order defects in all, only two orders had problems. Therefore, the overall ODR is 2%, not 3%.
 

ODRs and Timing

We present most Sellers’ ODRs in Seller Center for both 14- and 90-day periods. Both 90- and 14-day ODRs get updated on the 1st and 15th of every month. For example, if today was Sept. 1:

  • 14-Day ODR: The time-period considered for 14 day ODR is updated for last 14 days (Aug. 17 – 31).
  • 90-Day ODR: The time period considered for 90 day ODR is 30 days lag and then taking transactions for the sellers for last 120 days (May 3 – Aug. 2). We give you 30 days as a chance to process all returns and cancellations. This, in turn, will give your account a more accurate ODR value.


** Tip: If you are trying to see if your performance is getting better, you will find that any improvements are more obvious in the 14-Day ODR. **
 

Types of problems counted as defects

TypeDescriptionExamplesNotes
Cancellation defectsOrders that Sellers cancelled after receiving the order from Walmart.
  • Orders canceled because of an incorrect item/description/image
  • Orders canceled because of a pricing error
  • Orders canceled because the item is out of stock
It’s extremely important to have items in stock and available to ship when customers place orders on Walmart.com. While some out-of-stock experiences are unavoidable, order cancellations indicate opportunities to improve your inventory management and bottom line.
Return defectsOrders that have been returned because of problems with the product delivered to the customer. 
  • Orders refunded because the item is defective/damaged
  • Orders refunded because parts are missing
  • Orders refunded because the item is not as described on the website
  • Orders refunded because the received item is poor quality
  • Orders refunded because the customer received an incorrect or duplicate item
Each order will only be counted once when factored into the ODR, even if there are multiple returns in a single order.
Delivery defectsOrders that were delivered after the Expected Delivery Date (EDD).Based on a seller’s lag time setting and the shipping option chosen, an order was expected to be delivered within 5 days, but it actually took 6 days for some items to be delivered.Orders with multiple shipments are expected to have all shipments delivered by the EDD.
Customer complaintsOrders for which customers contacted Walmart or the Seller indicating their dissatisfaction.If, in the customer’s view, an item does not match their expectations of what they wanted to buy.
  • Multiple contacts on a single order will be counted as one infraction for the order. 
  • At this time, even resolved customer complaints are still considered defects, as they contribute to a poorer customer experience.
  • Although we will not notify you of customer complaints, you can download a report from Seller Center to review all POs that are flagged as such.


Remember that ODR is not the sum or the average of the rate of other metrics. Rather, it is a comprehensive metric that counts each PO as an order defect if it has one or more problems. 

Consider the previous example more closely. The Customer Complaint rate was 1%, the Return Defect rate was 1% and the Item Rating rate was 1%. Yet two orders out of 100 had defects, so the ODR was 2%.

On-Time Shipment Rate

Customers expect orders to ship on the date that you promise. Failing to meet expectations consistently will negatively impact your overall score.

You must provide Walmart with an order shipping confirmation and valid tracking information. Once we receive shipping confirmation, we will notify the customer. An order is considered “shipped on-time” if customers receive the shipping confirmation on or before the expected shipping date (ESD).

To see reviewed orders that missed the ESD, you can download reports from the bottom of the Fulfillment Insights page, including one that lists which POs didn’t ship on the same business day, and one that lists POs delivered in more than five business days.

Valid Tracking Rate

Packages need more than correct tracking numbers to be considered valid; they also need to use one of the suggested carriers. 

Large and bulky items (LTL) that are sent through regular shipping methods (Value, Standard, Expedited, Next Day) are subject to regular shipping rules. You should properly configure shipping items through the Freight shipping method, which are excluded when calculating tracking rates — so long as they are properly configured with shipping overrides.

Ideally, you should provide a URL that allows your customers to track shipments. If this is not possible, then you need to provide the URL of the website on which customer can track the order.

Reviews and Sanctions

Walmart’s Partner Performance team regularly reviews the performance of all Sellers, and will notify them if they do not comply with the <2% ODR standard.

Accounts that fall significantly below the performance thresholds can be temporarily suspended or blocked. Before any action is taken regarding your Seller status, Walmart will provide at least one warning. Also, Sellers will not face potential suspension until they have been live for 120 days on the platform.

In general, the Partner Performance Team will take action based on Sellers’ 90-day ODRs. However, we evaluate Sellers with 50 or more transactions over the past 120 days on their most recent three months. Also, when considering whether you’ve made improvements to your ODR, the Partner Performance Team will look at whether your 30-day ODR has improved.


Suspended Accounts

If your account is suspended, you will receive a warning via email explaining why. In fact, before any action is taken regarding your Seller status, Walmart will provide at least one warning.

If you have been suspended due to low ODR, you must demonstrate a commitment to reducing your order defects by submitting an appeal with a Business Plan of Action in order for your selling privileges to be reinstated. Find out what exactly you must do by reading Walmart Marketplace Seller Appeals Process.

** Note: Sellers will not face potential suspension until they have been on the platform for 120 days. **


The Appeals Process

Similar to other Seller Account Suspension processes, you can appeal the suspension of your selling privileges. To do so, create a case in Seller Center with the Case Subject “Appeal Seller Account Suspension” and attach your Business Plan of Action, which details the steps you will take to prevent further Walmart Marketplace Policy violations. 

The Business Plan of Action is an appeal to have your selling privileges reinstated on Walmart Marketplace and should always:

  • Identify the issues in your selling or business management practices that caused the violations.
  • Clearly address how proper changes were made to these practices.
  • Provide actionable steps to resolve them to prevent further violations in the future.

 

After Submitting the Plan

Walmart Marketplace will contact you within two business days about our decision. Because each Seller scenario is unique, we will provide a performance timeline when our Partner Performance team reviews your Seller account.

** Note: Submitting a Business Plan of Action does not guarantee that selling privileges will be reinstated. **

If your selling privileges are terminated, Walmart is not required to provide a reason for the decision and appeals will not be granted. Learn more about the appeals process.


Tips to Improve Your Performance

 

Setting Up for Success

  • Provide accurate tracking and carrier information for all of your Walmart Marketplace orders. For more information, read Providing Valid Tracking Numbers for Shipments.
  • Make sure your customer service phone number and email address are accurate in Seller Center.
  • Include your hours of operation under the Customer Service section of Seller Center.
 

Providing Quality Service

  • Ensure your item descriptions are up to date and accurate.
  • Pack orders carefully so that items will be delivered intact.
  • Ship and deliver orders on time by making sure all the customer orders are shipped by the ESD and delivered by the EDD.
  • Monitor your performance by continually reviewing your Seller Scorecard.
 

Working with Customers

  • Provide high-quality, post-transactional customer support like refunds, cancellations, customer questions and emails.
  • Respond to and resolve all customer inquiries within 24 hours, seven days a week.
  • Use customer-centric resolutions to ensure customer satisfaction. For example, avoid using aggressive, unpleasant, or non-empathetic statements when resolving customer issues.


FAQs

Q: How frequently does ODR update?
A: ODR updates on every 1st and 15th of every month.

Q: What if the inclement weather or natural disaster impacts orders and drives down my performance metrics?
A: In the case of a natural disaster or inclement weather, the impacted orders can be de-scored to avoid negative ODR performance. Verify whether the tracking numbers indicate an exemption due to bad weather. If yes, please create a case to Partner Support and provide the list of impacted orders. The metrics will be refreshed in the next cycle.

Q:How is ODR calculated?
A: ODR is the number of orders with at least one defect divided by your total number of orders during the same time period.
90 Day ODR - calculated from 120 days ago to 30 days ago so that POs still within the return window are not included in your score.
  • Sellers with 50 or greater transactions over the past 120 days are evaluated based on the past three months.
  • Sellers with fewer than 50 transactions and more than 120 days on the platform are evaluated based on the past 12 months.
  • Sellers who have recently completed onboarding and have less than 50 transactions in 120 days, will still see an ODR in Seller Center. However, Sellers will not face potential suspension until they have been live for 120 days on the platform.
For example, if a Seller has fewer than 50 transactions and has one order defect, ODR is calculated as follows:
  • In that time frame, five orders were placed out of which, one order had a defect:
(1/5)*100 = 20% ODR
  • The five transactions are based on that one-year period. After that, all the other transactions will be included in the next refresh cycle of ODR as the date changes.

Q: What are the different types of defects?
A: Order defects include the following:
  • Cancellation Defects - POs that sellers cancelled after receiving it from Walmart.
  • Return Defects - POs that have been returned because of problems with the product delivered to the customer. 
  • Delivery Defects - Purchase Orders that were shipped after the ship by date.
  • Customer Complaints -  POs for which customers contacted Walmart or the Seller indicating their dissatisfaction.
SummaryLearn what performance targets Sellers must meet to continue selling on Walmart.com
Partner ChannelWalmart.com:Marketplace


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