Joyce Screen shotIn this episode of “Markendising Today,” WhyteSpyder CEO Eric Howerton is joined by Joyce Grippi, a 17-year veteran of Walmart in various capacities. WhyteSpyder created “Markendising” as a process for winning the omnichannel shopper. They cover Walmart’s current SAO initiative.

SAO stands for “Store Assortment Online.” If you’re a manufacturer that supplies Walmart, you’ve probably heard a lot about it lately with some urgency. Change is constant for the world’s largest retailer and they’re now asking that all products available in Walmart stores also be available online. This requires all manufacturers to provide data and content through a spec sheet for each of their Walmart products to become compliant. That’s for all product categories, including even perishable food items.

This is all part of an effort to win the omnichannel shopper who utilizes multiple channels to make purchasing decisions. Walmart wants to create a seamless shopping experience where online and in-store will mirror each other. The idea is that the more a customer can see, feel, learn and experience a product through an online search, the more likely they are to buy both online and in-store.

An informed customer is one that is more likely to buy. This initiative doesn’t just bode well for Walmart, it is a huge opportunity for manufacturers as well.