Just as the leaves are turning from green to auburn brown this Fall, our attention turns to the holiday season. The time of the year when consumers are getting ready to spend for the Holidays. The leaves aren’t the only thing changing, however, shopping habits have been immeasurably impacted by conscious consumers and smart mobile devices. According to Andreessen Horowitz:
By 2020 over 80% of adults on earth will have a smartphone, and most of them preferring to conveniently discover and purchase products from their laps or the palm of their hand.
These same connected consumers are craving robust and trustworthy information about what they are purchasing, and where to purchase it from; making informed purchasing decisions based on key pieces of product information and content they expect to be available on-demand. In other words – no information, no purchase.
As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart clearly understands this empowered consumer, and is gearing up aggressively to deliver an Omni-Channel experience. As such, the retailer has recently launched its Walmart Store Assortment Online Initiative. In a September letter to its supplier community, effectively launching this initiative to vendors of products across many different categories, the company states…
“Walmart continues to gain momentum in creating a seamless customer experience across the Walmart.com and Walmart Stores business. With the holiday season fast approaching, now is a great time to expand customer awareness of your products by making them viewable on Walmart.com”.
This initiative emphasizes the importance of ensuring accurate and trusted product information is available to the end consumer to guide purchasing decisions. In other words, “what you see is what you get” – whether shopping online or in-store. Walmart sees the quality and completeness of a product’s information as the single, biggest influence on product sales and brand loyalty.
The holiday season is around the corner and in preparation, Walmart is requiring suppliers to provide high quality web-ready content by October 1, 2015. This includes providing product category and sub-category specific attributes, making it critical for suppliers to understand the requirements relevant to their business with Walmart.
While the deadline is less than 1 week away, there’s still time to get your business ready for Walmart.com and beyond with 4 easy steps:
- Interpret the Walmart web-ready product spec, and determine the attributes needed by product category and sub-category
- Leverage existing product integration interfaces with Walmart, such as the GDSN network connection your business may already have
- Top-off the remaining attributes needed to comply with the Walmart spec
- Publish to Walmart and sell sell sell!