Data and Content Benefit Walmart and Manufacturers

Walmart has called for data and content from all of their suppliers for every product in their portfolio. They plan on using the information for the product page on Walmart.com. That is pretty well known by now. What still seems to be a question, though, is why Walmart wants it and how it’s good for the manufacturers to play ball. Dave Feinleib of Content Analytics recently sat down with Eric Howerton to discuss.

First of all, it’s a pretty big challenge to pull all of this data and content together, not to mention putting it together in the right package to be Walmart compliant. Companies like Content Analytics and WhyteSpyder exist for this purpose. They’ll not only compile the information, but will also validate that the content is there and reads a manner that’s in line with the manufacturer’s message. The goal is to make your product shine for the consumer.

Brand teams have worked hard to gain the trust of their current customers and be attractive to new ones. Walmart wants to foster and build upon this trust. Incomplete or lacking product pages on Walmart.com undermine customer confidence. They’re going to go with the retailer or manufacturer that makes an investment in providing the information that they want to make an informed purchase decision. And they want a lot.

Manufacturers supply Walmart for a reason. The largest retailer in the world is a valuable platform for selling their products. Walmart is a company that people trust and provides tremendous visibility for manufacturers of any size. It’s important, especially for the omnichannel shopper, that a barrier doesn’t exist between the online and in-store shopping experience. Providing product data and content is the only way to diminish those walls. The more volume and accuracy of the provided information, the better the product will perform. There is no such thing as too much.

To learn more about the importance of data and content and the help that’s there for the manufacturer in this arena, listen to the entire podcast.


Markendising Today: The Path to Purchase

Rick West ScreenshotThe modern-day shopper uses all the tools available to them to research and purchase goods and services. These new “omnichannel” shoppers are a prime example of how the retail world is changing, thus its marketing and business strategies must change with it.

Recently, WhyteSpyder CEO Eric Howerton sat down with Rick West, CEO and Co-Founder of Field Agent, to discuss new trends with the omnichannel shopper. Field Agent is shopper marketing agency that specializes in mobile research.

“We are like a 15-year overnight success story,” West said. “We are really a research arm that created a solution to a problem. As research was coming in 2010, we realized to access today’s shoppers you need to use mobile engagement . . . so, we really got into tech and created this category of mobile research.”

More than 700,000 people in the U.S. have downloaded the Field Agent app. These people give in-store audits, product reviews, and longer-term diaries of product studies.

Roughly a year ago, the company started a report on mobile research and shopper activity. They found that regardless of the product size, price, or purpose, people use their mobile phones to research and purchase nearly everything.

“It is completely integrated into the shopper’s process; it is the new way people go to market,” West said. “We are probably never more than six feet away from our mobile phone, it is your alarm clock, it is in your car, or it is in your hand at all times.”

People use their phone to look for customer reviews, how-to videos, and coupons throughout the shopping process. Walmart, and some other large retailers, are starting to recognize this as an opportunity.

This is an opportunity to increase sales and customer engagement. The information coming from institutions like WhyteSpyder and Field Agent is changing how businesses look at marketing and merchandising.

 


Markendising Today: Walmart’s Data Request

Cameron screenshotWalmart has requested that all their suppliers provide online data and content for their complete inventory to Walmart.com. This big change to move all products from in-store to online may be disruptive and hard to understand, but it is also essential to court modern omnichannel shoppers and filled with opportunity.

Recently, WhyteSpyder CEO Eric Howerton sat down with Cameron Smith of Cameron Smith & Associates to discuss this major change and what it means to Walmart’s suppliers. Cameron Smith & Associates are a team of executive search professionals that have specialized in staffing and placing Walmart supplier teams for more than two decades.

“In all my 21 years this might be one of the most disruptive changes I have ever seen,” Smith said. “I had a supplier come to me last week asking me about this. He said because online sales only represent five percent of total sales, they felt they only needed to give five percent of their time to this. I think they are missing the boat.”

Online content and data is a major influencer in shoppers, Smith explained. People shop today like it is a sport; a fun competition to find the best price and most convenience. Having easily-found, accurate content and data online is a great way to get a competitive edge in this game.

“I believe the need for suppliers to have strategic focus on today’s omnichannel shopper is important,” Smith said. “Walmart is clearly giving direction about their omnichannel strategy and their needs for data and content for each SKU (stock keeping unit) page.”

Smith went on to say that this new requirement is just the beginning and more like it are soon to follow. He added that this omnichannel marketing strategy is here to stay, so suppliers need to get familiar with the concept. He also said that the suppliers who comply with the new requirements quickly stand to reap the most benefits.

“The sooner that Walmart reacts to the demands of the shopper and the sooner the suppliers react to the demands of Walmart the more rewards the supplier will see.” Smith said, “From years of experience, we know the first supplier out of the gate will most likely stay ahead of the pack.”