*This is a guest post by Kelly Rianda, Head of Retail Success at Salsify.
By now it’s a given that ecommerce experienced an unprecedented rate of growth over the past few months. However, just because consumers are shopping online in greater numbers doesn’t necessarily mean that all ecommerce programs stand to benefit.
Consumer loyalty has seen massive dips due to unforeseen supply shortages. Consumers also want to buy from brands that have clear values and convey a purpose beyond just product quality. Due to the pandemic, in-store marketing activities have temporarily lost a lot of their effectiveness, so consumers now have to rely more on product pages on major online retail sites like Walmart for each stage of the marketing funnel, from awareness to consideration to purchase.
New to selling on the Walmart Marketplace? Start with our beginner’s guide.
What is Walmart Rich Media?
This rapid conflux of recent shopping trends means that brands need to overhaul the way they interact with consumers online. One essential tool at their disposal is enhanced content. Also known as A+ Content or as Rich Media on Walmart.com, enhanced content helps brands stand out on the digital shelf by delivering shopping experiences customers demand.
From comparison charts, 360-degree image spins, and video to image galleries and graphics, enhanced content experiences help brands better connect with shoppers to convey a richer brand story and brand values, right from the product page.
Enhanced content has shown to be incredibly effective in gaining interest from consumers to ultimately drive more purchases. A Salsify study conducted last year found that nearly one-third of the top 10% of products sold on Walmart leveraged Walmart Rich Media. Those winning products also used nearly twice as many images as a typical product page and had 17 times as many reviews.
Getting Started with Walmart Rich Media
Like many new ecommerce initiatives, when starting to invest in Walmart Rich Media, it is best to test, iterate, and then scale. A brand must consider how many SKUs they wish to test at first and whether this new content should be created in-house or with an agency.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there are a host of different formats for enhanced content, including, carousels, videos, charts, enhanced FAQs, 360 spins, and more. Determining which ones may be most efficient as starting points will help brands learn the ropes of Rich Media prior to diving all in. Brands must also always remember that consumers are using a host of devices to search and shop on Walmart.com. Any content created must render equally well on a 6” phone as it does on a 30” monitor.
Elements such as video and instructive image grids go a long way in conveying a product’s value to new consumers.
Once a brand is ready to get going with Rich Media, an effective resource for inspiration is your competitor set. Carry out an audit of the top 50 selling competitors to find creative gaps and opportunities in your category, understand trends in product offerings, determine how to creatively position your brand to claim new market share, and strategize how to differentiate yourself and compete with top performers without going head-to-head on price.
As a brand begins to test and iterate on Rich Media, one of the most valuable data sets they have available to them is consumer feedback. Develop a priority of communication for Rich Media by leveraging consumer-generated insights of what they value most. Both positive and negative reviews will indicate what inspired a consumer to use (or not use) your product.
For example, poor reviews allow insight into any discrepancies between what a listing communicates and what consumers ultimately experience and common questions about the product indicate where brands need to communicate more effectively.
Measuring Rich Media Success
How should brands measure the effectiveness of their Rich Media initiatives? While there are a host of KPIs that they may want to consider, we often recommend the following, business-benefit metrics:
- Search Rank Improvement: When Rich Media is effective, it leads to higher conversion rates. The more conversions a product enjoys, the higher up in rankings it goes. The higher the rank, the more consumers search and discover the product. It’s a virtuous cycle that can be measured and improved upon.
- Sales Growth: With a better conversion rate per product page, you should see an increase in overall sales. Walmart has indicated that Rich Media converts up to 12-36% more frequently.
- Customer LTV Growth: Especially in this era of brand activism, Rich Media should be seen as an opportunity to introduce your brand and your company values to new consumers. Therefore, brands should see an improvement in customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
Enhanced Content Drives Connections Between Brands and Consumers
Putting on my consumer hat, it becomes a real pleasure whenever I come across an unfamiliar brand that has taken the time to make the layout of their product page as welcoming and informative to me as possible. An elemental aspect of a brand identity is that initial spark, that connection between the brand and their consumer, that all marketing and commerce teams should strive for. And there is perhaps no more effective way to ignite that spark than through enhanced content.
By focusing on starting small to gather the data you need to see what types of enhanced content work for which products, and having clear and quantifiable KPIs to measure success and improvement, you can be sure to set up a Walmart Rich Media Strategy that wins more customers and drives more sales.
Read more in Salsify’s eBook: “How Enhanced Content Drives Sales and Product Page Conversions.”