What Does Rollback Mean? Everything You Want to Know

What Does Rollback Mean? Everything You Want to Know

You will hear the term “Rollback” in numerous retail places, leaving you wondering what it means. You are not alone, as we will go over the definition of rollback and anything else you need to know.

Retailers utilize a variety of low-cost strategies to attract people to buy. Sales, limited-time specials, BOGO (buy one, receive one), clearance markdowns, and “two fors” (two things for one price) are just a few of the more common strategies.

The Rollback is a low-price strategy unique to Walmart retailers. Though it shares many similarities with other low-cost marketing, it is not the same as a typical sale.

What is a Walmart Rollback?

Customers shopping

A Walmart rollback is a temporary price reduction on an item. A Rollback usually lasts up to 90 days before returning to its former price, which is frequently stated on the “Was/Now” signing.

Why Does Walmart Use Rollbacks?

Everyday Low Price is Walmart’s pricing strategy. They want their customers to believe that Walmart will always have the greatest pricing on the things they require. 

Walmart never wants a client to believe they need a promotion, coupon, special deal, or gimmick to achieve a low price on in-store or online things.

A Rollback is not considered a sale by Walmart. It is essentially a one-time discount on a specific item. Walmart Rollbacks offer customers additional savings on top of their already low prices.

Walmart Rollback vs. Sale

Isn’t a Rollback a Walmart deal because they’re just lowering the price? Not quite. One of the few things that Rollbacks and regular sales have in common is price decreases. There are more elements that separate them:

No Marketing Theme

Traditional sales are themed (Labor Day Sale, 50% off sale, Back-to-School Sale, and so on). It’s another technique to generate interest and get customers in the door.

Walmart may place event-related items on Rollback, but you will not see them advertised as Halloween Rollbacks or Mother’s Day Rollbacks. Rollbacks are their own form of advertising.

Percentage vs. Price

The majority of retail sales offers are based on a percentage. It could be a 10% off sale, a buy one get one 50% off deal or a 30% discount on a specific category.

Rollbacks are advertised at a fixed price rather than a percentage. The prior and current pricing are shown by the Was/Now symbol.

Item Specific

When a merchant announces a sale, it usually applies to a certain category of things (e.g., a store-wide discount, a sale on garments, a seasonal item markdown sale, etc.).

Even if the deal is only for one item (say, tires or candles), many brands carrying those things may be included.

A Walmart Rollback applies to a single item. One bag of potato chips is regularly $4.00 but is presently on sale for $3.50. 

A comparable bag of chips on the same shelf would typically cost $4.25 but is on Rollback for $3.65. Each Rollback offer is exclusive to the item.

Clearance Sale Difference

Marking an item down to sell it at Clearance is also distinct from a Rollback. Clearance products are available at Walmart.

These are typically things that the company no longer carries, overstocks, or items that have outlived their seasonal usefulness.

Rollback products are permanent store items. They will be refilled once they have been sold out. While clearance items cannot always be returned, rollback items, which are basic store items, can. 

Also, at the end of the Rollback period, Rollback items will revert to their regular price; clearance items may be marked down lower to encourage sell-through.

Having said that, a Rollback item can become a clearance item. The corporation anticipates increased sales when Walmart sets a Rollback price on an item. 

If the item does not sell, Walmart may decide it does not belong on the shelf. The company will then reduce the price once more and add it to clearance.

Does Walmart Rollback Online Items?

Rollback products are not limited to Walmart’s physical shops. Customers can find things with a Rollback pricing on Walmart.com.

The goods are labeled Rollback and include both the current and prior pricing.

Can any Item be Placed on Rollback?

Items eligible for Rollback price must have a history of sale at Walmart. In other words, a new item from Walmart cannot debut on Rollback.

Rollbacks use the Was/Now price-point signing to emphasize the offer’s value. Because new items do not have a “Was” pricing, they must wait to be eligible for Rollback consideration.

Implications for Walmart Suppliers

What Does Rollback Mean? Everything You Want to Know

Suppliers should be prepared to assess sales during the Rollback period before working with a Walmart buyer to place an item on Rollback.

What happens may influence Walmart’s or the supplier’s behavior after the Rollback time expires:

No Action Taken

Most Rollbacks return things to their original pricing. There has been no significant movement in the price or the item itself in the future.

Permanent Price Change

Rollbacks are applied to items in order to increase sales and broaden the consumer base. If an item is underperforming, a Rollback can provide the necessary boost.

While Rollbacks are only temporary, the item’s permanent price may change once the Rollback has expired. 

If the provider notices a large reduction in sales after returning to the normal pricing, it may be time to reconsider the price. Rollbacks can reveal how much people are willing to pay for a product.

Elimination From Modular

Rollbacks can assist in selling things by determining which items do not belong on the Walmart modular.

Buyers may agree to put an item on Rollback if it is not selling. If sales remain low while on Rollback, the item may be reduced to Clearance pricing, sold through, and deleted.


Walmart aspires to be the customer pricing leader. Walmart wants its customers to anticipate the greatest pricing without using coupons, discounts, or marketing gimmicks.

Walmart employs the Rollback technique to move more products and encourage new customers to try it for the first time at a lower price.

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