Walmart is leveraging its longtime association with shopper influencer company Collective Bias to add influencer content to product pages, Digiday reports.
Starting last month, photos with bloggers, recipes and other information began appearing below some products’ specifications. Consumer product companies like Mondelez, Henkel and Bigelow are participating, according to the report.
Collective Bias, founded in 2009, is headquartered in Walmart's hometown, Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was acquired by North Carolina tech company Inmar in 2016.
Walmart continues to beef up its website, revamping its imagery and flow and, now, adding content beyond the essential details.
The site has a new look and feel (including a new color palette and larger, more appealing photography), and new specialty shopping experiences in home and fashion categories. But the retail giant seems reluctant to add any details that would send customers elsewhere, so the content, at least now, is mostly demurely placed images, Digiday noted. In some cases, photos expand to downloadable information like recipes, in others, they're simply of bloggers and others using the product.
It’s not clear how much the effort will move the needle for Walmart, whose e-commerce is getting renewed attention of late. Until it acquired e-commerce startup Jet (and Jet founder Marc Lore) in 2016, Walmart had more or less left its e-commerce operations to drift. So far similar influencer programs at Amazon have mostly fizzled.
While added content like this has had mixed results, social media continues to be an important marketing tool and a way to have other voices chime in on a brand. But even then, shoppers are more interested in product information and discounts, according to research from social media management company Sprout Social emailed to Retail Dive. More than half (51%) want promotions and deals while more than a third (36%) want product information. After that, it's a swift slide down in interest: 22% want news, 17% want business updates, 14% want educational content, 10% want entertaining content, 9% want to see "inspirational content" and just 7% want to see content including celebrities or other influencers they follow, Sprout Social found.