Variation Help Answer from Walmart

Not that I have truly digested or undstand what they are saying, but I’ve been trying to get an item added to a variation group using the file uploads. It’s not working … so when I asked for help, I got this book. I’ll copy and paste the text here. Printed for my own files. What I think I found interesting is that you can’t change the spreadsheet AT ALL…(no hiding columns while you work on it). No making columns wider, taller, nothing. (Something I think I could do over at Amazon.) AND that you have to start with a fresh sheet everytime you get an error back.

Hello Iris Korthauer,

Thank you for reaching out to Walmart Partner Support. I hope this finds you doing well!

I understand you’re needing assistance with adding the Item to an existing Variant Group. I will be happy to assist.

However, upon reviewing the error “A variant item must have a Variant Group ID, Variant Attribute Name and ‘Is Primary Variant’ value. ‘Is Primary Variant’ should be set to ‘Yes’ for only one item in a group of variants. Learn more by searching ‘Variant Group’ in Help documentation to ensure your variant meets all requirements.” in the system .



After further investigation with our internal team, we kindly ask you to select a “Primary Variant” for the item to merge successfully in the existing group. To make this update to your Variant Group, you will need to download a new Maintenance Spec Sheet located in your Seller Center. You can find this spec sheet by navigating to Seller Center > Items > Update Items in Bulk > By Fulfillment Type > By GTIN Match .

This will download with all required information filled out except for the Variant Experience section. To make this update to the Variant Group, you will need to select an option for “Primary Variant”, as well as making sure all the Variant Attributes are filled out correctly.

There are five [5] required attributes you must include to successfully set up a Variant Group.
• Variant Group ID
• Variant Attribute Name
• Is Primary Variant
• Swatch Image - Swatch Variant Attribute
• Swatch Image - Swatch Image URL

It is vital that you read the guide below on managing your variants, as errors made can impact the time it takes for your listings to properly display.

Manage Variant Groups:
Seller Community Seller Community

There is a limit to how many items can be included in a variant group. For additional details, review Variant Limits.

Here are some helpful tips not found in the guides above:

• Make sure to have inventory for the item and you have selected the correct sheet by item category. If you are not the owner of the listing and it already has variants you will not be able to create/alter existing variants for the listing. A new sheet must be downloaded, filled out, and uploaded each time. With spec sheets, you cannot simply fix the error and resubmit the same sheet you just used. Since that sheet has been recorded with the error by the system already, that will cause a processing error and not submit. You will need to download a new sheet each time, fill it out, and then upload that new sheet.

• You also cannot have information that is formatted. Formatted text is not allowed by the sheet it will break it. We recommend having a blank sheet you can copy/paste the information into and remove any formatting before you insert it into the spec sheet. Make sure to not alter the sheet in any way such as resizing or removing columns, pasting over items that have a drop-down, or entering information types not allowed for that column.

• Please make sure to use ‘Special Paste’ when filling information over to a new spec sheet. Any changes in formatting (wrap text, alignment, border outline), font, size, colors, or text, will break the spreadsheet. If there is a drop-down section, you must use the drop-down rather than type in the information. It is important to note, when filling out spec sheets, please ensure all required fields are completed, you are using drop-down menus where applicable.

I understand you are going to re-upload a new template. Should you need further clarification regarding this, please reach back out with your updated Spec Sheets and related Feed IDs so that we can investigate the error(s), please keep in mind that it will take 4 hours for the Feed ID to process all the new information that has been uploaded. If you need assistance with any additional issues, please reach back out.

Once your Spec Sheet is completed and submitted through Seller Center, please allow four hours for the update to process. If after that time you do not see your variant grouping, please reach back out to us, providing the newest Feed ID and attaching the new Spec Sheet to this case.

Thanks for being a valuable member of the Walmart Team.

I hope this information was helpful. I am putting your case into a "Resolved” status in case you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this issue. You will have five (5) days to reply for your case to remain open. If we do not hear back within this timeframe, your case will automatically be updated to a “Closed” status and any further questions will require the creation of a new case.

Best Regards,

Not really, it’s all because of EDI X12 ANSI Standards. It was developed for UNIVAC in the 1960’s

long before VisiCalc (1978) and the Personal Computer.


Because EDI ANSI Standards must maintain backwards compatibility with vintage systems… and of course Trademarks, Copyrights, Licensing Agreements mean that Members can’t share teh Codes/Standards with non-members. So we plebs can either use the fragile Excel Spreadsheet they share, or join X12 (it ain’t cheap) and develop own complaint system for Electronic Data Interchange System. Union Pacific and many Utilities do their RFQs, etc. the same goofy Excel Spreadsheet that ‘breaks’ if you look at it wrong way.

Hey…I’m old enough to where that looks like my first computer! hahahahahahaha!

I’ve been trying to get an item added to a variation group using the file uploads. It’s not working

I’ve finally decided to dive into this too. I think I figured it out, and have uploaded the file, now to wait for the results.

What I think I found interesting is that you can’t change the spreadsheet AT ALL

You have to click the ‘Enable Editing’ button to get you out of protected view - otherwise the file will effectively be read only, and you won’t be able to do anything with it, including saving any changes.

Once you enable editing, then you can hide or adjust columns, and save your data.

Here’s the straightforward version of the instructions (always missing from help files, right?) that I think should work.

Note: this applies to adding an existing standalone product into an existing variant group. There is a different process for creating a new listing from scratch and adding it as a new variant at the same time. All my variants were first created as standalone listings, so that’s what this applies to.

Download a maintenance spreadsheet for either your category, or by the specific GTIN’s you want to edit.

On the Items dashboard, choose Upload Items in Bulk.


I requested mine by category, but assume the GTIN method will work similarly.

Apparently, SKU and Product ID (and Product ID Type) are the only required fields, so enter those in the spreadsheet for the items you want to update.

Before proceeding, make sure you have the Variant Group ID handy for the group you want to add items to. If you don’t know it, find one of the existing items in the group you want to add to and click the ‘View all Variants’ link under your SKU. That should open a new page that will show the Variant Group ID at the top.


In your spreadsheet, go to the Variants column and enter the Variant Group ID. Choose the Variant Attribution Name and Is Variant Primary values.

This part I’m not too certain of because when I created my group, I manually typed the color names I wanted into the columns (as mentioned in my other post) because the system wasn’t pulling them in correctly, but…

In the color column of the spreadsheet, I added the text for the variant color name I wanted.

I’m adding just one item as a test to see how it goes. The only fields I filled in for the maintenance spreadsheet were:

  • SKU (the sku of the existing item)
  • Product ID (the UPC of the existing listing)
  • Product ID type: UPC
  • Color (the name as I want it to appear in the child box)
  • Variant Group ID (the group I want it added to)
  • Variant Attribute Name (Color)
  • Is Primary Variant

There were no errors on the upload. If I did everything right, then after things update, my current listing with 18 variants should have 19 variants. Fingers crossed. :crossed_fingers:

Somewhere in the help files, I read to keep a list of your names for variants…BUT I figured out how to see them in Seller Central. So there’s no “need” for that.

I also think I learned that you can’t simply change a variant group You have to remove the item from Variant ID and then add the item to the new variant ID. Two different uploads.

There’s two items that are being stubborn for me…so time will tell if I can figure those two out.