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Walmart Luminate is Coming…Here’s What You Need to Know

By Sophie Brown, Omni Strategy Specialist, VENDO  

Introduction

While Luminate Basic is free for suppliers, Walmart charges a fee based on a percentage of sales for Luminate Charter. With that upgrade comes enhanced features including detailed category insights, customer trends, and modular data. Most importantly for dotcom, it provides a breakdown of online pickup and delivery data. This ultimately allows suppliers to calculate their true online penetration, which is something we haven’t been able to do prior.

What’s the difference between Luminate Basic and Luminate Charter?

Walmart Luminate is the newest reporting system for suppliers that provides sales data, inventory data, and customer shopping insights. Recent announcements say that Luminate will completely replace the Decision Support System (DSS) in Retail Link as soon as Q2 (previously March 2024), so it’s important to be prepared by understanding the implications this has on your business.

How will your dotcom reporting change from DSS to Luminate?

To fully understand the reporting changes, it’s important to first understand the different “digitally initiated” fulfillment channels Walmart uses. Historically, Walmart has broken out fulfillment channels in the following way.
  • Ship to Home (S2H):  Merchandise is purchased online and shipped to the customer from dotcom fulfillment centers.
  • Ship From Store (SFS):  Merchandise is purchased online and shipped to the customer from Walmart stores.
  • Pickup Today (PUT):  Merchandise is purchased online and picked up by the customer in the Walmart store. The customer can pick up their order any time within 4 days of ordering.
  • Online Pickup & Delivery (OPD):  Merchandise purchased online and either picked up by the customer or delivered to the customer’s home. The customer must select a specific date and time to pick up their order curbside or have it delivered.  
  • Note that these channels have changed slightly with Luminate. There is no PUT and OPD. Instead, we see Pickup (PU), which includes all online orders that are picked up at the stores, and Delivery (DLV), which includes online orders that are delivered to the customer’s home. 

    Along with these channel changes, the way Walmart buckets these fulfillment channels into store vs. dotcom sales will vary across DSS, Luminate Basic, and Luminate Charter.

    DSS reports sales based on where the customer makes the purchase, except for Online Pickup & Delivery (OPD). DSS’s dotcom report includes Ship to Home, Ship from Store, and Pickup Today. OPD is included in store sales, and there is no way to break out that channel.
    Luminate Basic reports sales based on where the inventory comes from. Basic’s dotcom report only includes Ship to Home. All other channels will be lumped into the store report as one number that includes Buy in Store, Ship from Store, Pickup, and Delivery.
    Luminate Charter provides that true dotcom penetration, as its omni-channel reporting accurately attributes sales based on where the customer makes the purchase. Dotcom sales include Ship to Home, Ship from Store, Pickup, and Delivery. 

    Conclusion

    Walmart Luminate marks a significant shift in the way suppliers access and analyze their sales and inventory reporting. While it has its obstacles, we’re excited to see how the platform continues to develop!

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