In 2020, Walmart's ecommerce sales surged by 79%, positioning Walmart Marketplace as an indispensable channel for online sellers. But with rapid growth comes complexity. How can merchants navigate the labyrinthine landscape of order management on this burgeoning platform? Effective order management is not just a convenience; it's the backbone of a successful ecommerce operation, particularly when scaling on expansive platforms like Walmart Marketplace.
This article delves into why efficient Walmart order management processes are non-negotiable, the features that Walmart provides to ease this burden, and how external integrations can further refine your operation for peak performance. Whether you're a seasoned seller or a newcomer to the Walmart ecosystem, understanding the ins and outs of order management could be the difference between sinking and swimming in the sea of online retail.
Why You Need Efficient Walmart Order Management Processes
The surge in ecommerce activity on Walmart Marketplace has brought new challenges to vendors, particularly in inventory management and order fulfillment. Walmart Marketplace processed an average of 50,000 orders per merchant last year, highlighting the pressing need for streamlined operations. Neglecting order and inventory management could jeopardize your business, while mastering them offers numerous benefits.
Prevent Overstocking & Stockouts
The financial implications of poor Walmart inventory management are stark. According to IHL Group, retailers lose over $1 trillion globally due to overstocks and out-of-stocks. Overstocking increases carrying costs and potential write-offs, while stockouts can result in lost sales and diminished customer loyalty. A well-implemented order management system can forecast demand, help maintain optimal inventory levels, and safeguard against these issues.
Process Orders Faster
Speed is of the essence in today's fast-paced ecommerce landscape. Customers expect quick turnarounds, and vendors competing in marketplaces like Walmart must keep pace. Efficient order processing means faster shipping times and quicker inventory turnover, which is beneficial for cash flow.
Manual order processing is prone to errors, which are not only costly but can tarnish your brand's reputation. Mistakes in orders can lead to returns, poor reviews, and ultimately, lost customers. Automation in order management can reduce the scope for human error, ensuring more accurate order fulfillment.
Increase Operational Efficiency
Operational efficiency is a broad term that touches on several aspects of a business. In the context of order management, it refers to eliminating redundant steps and automating tasks. This efficiency frees up staff to focus on more strategic initiatives, like growth planning or customer relationship management, rather than getting bogged down in administrative tasks.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Advanced order management systems offer analytics capabilities that provide insights into customer behavior, order patterns, and inventory status. This data can be invaluable for making informed decisions, from procurement to marketing strategies. The edge gained through data-driven decision-making can set you apart from your competition.
The complexity and volume of orders in Walmart's expanding ecommerce landscape make efficient order and inventory management non-negotiable. The advantages are clear and compelling, whether it's avoiding the financial pitfalls of overstocking and stockouts, speeding up order processing, minimizing errors, enhancing operational efficiency, or leveraging data for strategic decisions. Neglecting these aspects isn't an option for vendors aiming to compete and succeed in the digital marketplace.
How Walmart Marketplace Helps Sellers Manage Their Orders
As the number of vendors on Walmart Marketplace continues to rise, the platform has evolved to offer a suite of features designed to help sellers manage their orders more effectively. While not as comprehensive as some specialized inventory and order management solutions, these built-in tools aim to streamline operations for businesses navigating the Walmart ecosystem.
Walmart's Seller Center serves as a hub for all vendor activities. From this centralized dashboard, sellers can manage their inventory, review sales analytics, and oversee their order fulfillment process. It offers an intuitive interface, providing a snapshot of key performance metrics at a glance.
Real-Time Inventory Sync
Maintaining an accurate inventory count is crucial for avoiding stockouts or overstocks. Walmart's real-time inventory sync feature helps in this regard by updating your stock levels in real time as sales occur. This can be particularly beneficial during high-traffic periods like Black Friday or Cyber Monday when inventory levels can change rapidly.
Walmart Marketplace simplifies the complexities of order fulfillment with a straightforward process. Sellers can view incoming orders, confirm shipments, and update tracking information directly within the Seller Center. This helps to ensure that customer expectations are met and that you maintain a healthy order defect rate.
Knowing your shipping performance metrics can give you an edge in the Walmart Marketplace. The platform provides insights into shipping times, delivery accuracy, and other key indicators. Monitoring these metrics closely can guide optimizations that result in faster shipping times and, consequently, higher customer satisfaction.
Although Walmart controls most of the customer communication, the Seller Center does offer ways for sellers to manage returns and customer service inquiries. Proper customer communication is vital for maintaining good ratings and reviews, which are instrumental in a seller's success on the platform.
In summary, Walmart Marketplace offers a range of built-in features to help sellers manage their orders, from the centralized Seller Center to real-time inventory sync and shipping metrics. While these features can certainly aid in effective order management, they also underscore the increasing complexity and competition in ecommerce spaces like Walmart. Therefore, vendors looking to optimize their performance on Walmart Marketplace may find it beneficial to explore specialized third-party solutions for an even more streamlined operation.
When to Invest in Walmart Order Management Integrations
Despite Walmart Marketplace's built-in features for order and inventory management, there comes a point when sellers may find these tools insufficient for their growing or evolving needs. Knowing when to invest in additional integrations can be a turning point in a vendor's trajectory. Here are some critical signs that indicate the need for more advanced solutions.
Overwhelming Order Volume
Scaling your business on Walmart Marketplace often comes with managing a higher volume of orders than your team can handle. If your current system is struggling to keep up, this is a clear sign that you may need to scale your team or consider integrating more sophisticated order management tools.
Complex Inventory Issues
For sellers dealing with multiple SKUs, seasonal inventory changes, or bundled items, the native Walmart features might fall short. Advanced integrations can provide more nuanced inventory tracking and better forecasting to prevent overstocking and stockouts.
Many sellers on Walmart Marketplace also operate on other platforms like Amazon or eBay. Managing orders and inventory across multiple marketplaces becomes exponentially more complicated. In this case, a centralized system that integrates with Walmart and other platforms can be invaluable.
Time and Resource Constraints
Efficiency is key in ecommerce. If manual processes are consuming too much time and you're struggling to allocate resources effectively, investing in automation through integrations could be the solution. It frees up your team to focus on strategy and customer service instead of getting bogged down with administrative tasks.
In summary, while Walmart Marketplace does offer tools for basic order and inventory management, the complexities of modern ecommerce often demand more robust solutions. Overwhelming order volumes, complex inventory issues, marketplace expansion, and time constraints are strong indicators that additional integrations may be warranted. For sellers navigating these challenges, third-party solutions can offer the enhanced capabilities needed to manage a thriving ecommerce operation effectively.
Top Benefits of Extensiv's Walmart Order Management Integration
For those who find Walmart Marketplace's native tools limiting, third-party solutions like Extensiv's order management integration offer a range of benefits that go beyond basic functionality. This is especially pertinent for vendors who are scaling up and need advanced features to manage the increasing complexities of ecommerce operations.
Efficiency and Automation
Extensiv's Walmart integration offers automation that can significantly reduce manual tasks. This creates a more efficient workflow, helping businesses to focus on strategy and development rather than getting caught up in operational minutiae.
Timely Order Processing
The speed at which orders are processed can make or break a customer's experience. Extensiv ensures that orders go from cart to customer as smoothly and quickly as possible, helping to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Reduced Human Error
Automated systems have the advantage of reducing the chance for human error. Whether it's incorrect shipping addresses or wrong inventory counts, Extensiv's system minimizes these common mistakes, adding a layer of reliability to your operations.
The system also offers shipping optimization features that help to find the most cost-effective shipping methods, thereby cutting costs and improving profit margins.
Enhanced Customer Experience
One of the critical goals for any ecommerce business is to provide an outstanding customer experience. Real-time tracking and prompt communication facilitated by Extensiv can significantly contribute to achieving this aim.
Gone are the days when you had to wait for end-of-day reports to make crucial business decisions. Extensiv's real-time reporting allows for immediate insight, enabling rapid decision-making that could be critical to your business.
For vendors selling across multiple platforms, Extensiv provides multi-channel integration. This means you can manage your Walmart, Shopify, Amazon, and marketplace operations from a single dashboard, streamlining your tasks and saving time.
Extensiv's Walmart order management integration offers several substantial benefits for vendors looking to streamline their operations and grow their business. From automation and efficiency to enhanced customer experience and real-time insights, integrating with a system like Extensiv could be a pivotal step in optimizing your ecommerce endeavors.
Improve Your Walmart Order Management with Extensiv
Navigating the complex landscape of Walmart Marketplace becomes significantly more manageable when you deploy sophisticated tools designed for the task. One such platform offering advanced functionality is Extensiv, which provides a range of specific integrations tailored for Walmart order management.
Pricing and Profitability
Extensiv offers real-time pricing strategies that adapt to market conditions, thereby maximizing profitability. Their pricing models take into account various costs, discounts, and competitive pricing data, enabling sellers to maintain an edge in the highly competitive Walmart Marketplace.
Workflow customization is an area where Extensiv shines. The platform provides templates that allow sellers to create highly efficient order management processes, from order placement to fulfillment. These templates not only standardize operations but also reduce errors and delays.
Managing purchase orders is often a cumbersome task that can lead to overstocking or stockouts if not handled correctly. Extensiv’s integrations provide automated solutions for generating and tracking purchase orders, thereby ensuring a well-balanced inventory at all times.
Real-Time Data and API Integrations
Real-time data tracking and robust API integrations are among Extensiv’s standout features. These functionalities enable sellers to integrate Walmart’s order management seamlessly with their existing software ecosystems, offering comprehensive visibility and control over operations.
For sellers whose business involves dropshipping but are not revolved around it, Extensiv offers modules that facilitate real-time inventory tracking, order routing, and supplier management. This level of detail is essential for managing the complexities of a dropshipping business model on Walmart Marketplace.
In summary, Extensiv’s suite of integrations and advanced functionalities addresses many challenges Walmart sellers often face. By leveraging automated order workflows, automated purchase orders, API integrations, retailers can elevate their operations to a more efficient and profitable level.