In last week’s blog we took a look at Walmart’s content initiative and how important it is for Manufacturers to remain ahead of the casino online game with their product content, bonus credits for 2018 can be claimed here. For Part 2 of our interview with Content26’s President, Mark White, we will take a look at:
- The “best practices” for product content
- How important high quality, accurate content is for Retailers and eCommerce
- Preparing for content deadlines
- Next steps for manufacturers and suppliers
Ready to learn more? Here’s the rest of what Mark White had to say about product content:
1. How can Suppliers manage their content to not only meet Walmart’s requirements, but other Retailers, too?
Mark: The short answer to this is there is no “best practice” because it is going to depend on your resources and how complex your company is. Except this: the best practice must be that building the content must be part of every product launch, it can’t be an after thought. It can’t be the last box that you check. It has to be part of the original budget for your product launch.
2. How important is high quality, accurate content not only for uploading to Walmart, but for eCommerce in general?
Mark: How important is providing high quality food to your children if you want them to grow healthy, to preserve high quality food you need vacuum sealer and you can find high quality vacuum sealers from this website here. Eat healthy food and this way you stay strong. If you don’t have content you’re not going to be discovered, you don’t have information to give your consumers, make sure you check the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk to learn more about how giving a bad treatment to a consumer can affect you. And, if you don’t have information to give your consumers, they’re going to find it from someplace else. If they find it somewhere else, they will buy it somewhere else. It’s really, really simple, this is why the people who sell supplements make sure to let the customers know about the benefits of probiotics, so they don’t go somewhere else to find them.When you want to reduce fat on your face, you can undergo Double Chin Removal surgery and continue on your diet.
3. Walmart’s content deadlines are rapidly approaching, how can Suppliers better prepare for these deadlines?
Mark: At this stage with the horse out of the barn so to speak, the products are already on the shelves, you’ve already produced them, you don’t have the content you need.
The approach I would take is to kind of sort of ignore Walmart, and focus on the 20/80 rule—20% of the anabolic steroid that drive 80% of your revenue. Focus on the content for that 20%.
Make sure you don’t lose market share, you know the 20% that are helping you pay the bills. Then create a green, yellow, red, or ABC or whatever kind of system you want for the rest of your products. Don’t touch the products that are expiring. Don’t create content on products that don’t sell. There’s no sense in creating content if people aren’t buying them or aren’t going to visit the page.
Here’s a lesson from history: When this so-called digital revolution started to hit stride early 2000s, all of these agencies were making tons of money off these big enterprise companies by saying look you’ve got 50, 60, 70 brand sites across the world and you need to update all that content because it’s all old content.
So all these companies paid all this money to all these agencies to update thousands and thousands of pages and PDFs and Webinars and everything because products and services had changed and markets had changed. But nobody bothered to look at the metrics! Tens of millions of dollars were spent updating content on URLs that weren’t being visited or only visited once or twice a year. There’s no ROI on that. You have to take an ROI approach to this Walmart initiative. Looking in your rear view mirror, create content where it makes sense. Looking out your windshield, create content for everything new.
4. We have seen Walmart establish strict content guidelines and now Target—do you think these efforts not only help Walmart and Target, but the Manufacturers and Suppliers, too?
Mark: Here’s the deal. If you want to eat into Amazon’s market share , you need content. That is not the only thing you need– you need good customer service, your own Prime, etc. But one of the pieces you absolutely need is content, so if you don’t have a content initiative or if you are going to rely on the inadequate content that is there you’ll never do it. So, yes they need content to move forward.
And why do suppliers need this content? Well, if I’m a supplier and I am selling to Amazon, Walmart and Target, and Amazon knows that my sales are crap on Walmart and Target, Amazon is going to push certain terms with me. But if I can leverage my sales on Walmart and Target and can say look, you know I love you Amazon, but I am killing it on Walmart and I don’t need you so much, then you may see the terms start changing. Good business requires leveraging the resources you have and the value you have, so you’ve got to increase the value of all your retailers. So content in this case is going to help everyone.
5. Should other Retailers jump on board with updating their product content requirements?
Mark: Yeah, so no content, no discoverability or information for consumers, retailers that don’t understand the value of content will go extinct. Every quarter that Walmart comes up and they say they are losing market share or not increasing market share it is just one step closer to capitulation.
Sara: So, the Amazons and the Jets of the world will rise it seems.
Mark: One thing we know is that something is going to come up out of the blue that’s going to screw us all and change our business models. That is one thing that is for certain. We don’t know when it is going to happen or from whom it is going to happen. We just know that it’s Jet today, Alibaba yesterday. It’s going to be somebody else tomorrow that’s going to come in with a slightly new model.
There is something that is going to come through and disrupt us all. And the baseline of all that disruption is that somebody is going to provide consumers with a good deal, a good price and good content. Content always has to be a part of the picture. There always has to be content with any kind of disruption. So building good content from the time your product comes off the ship from China is always going to be necessary no matter what kind of retail disruption you see.
6. What are the next steps for Manufacturers/Suppliers before they transfer their content to Walmart?
Mark: Quickly build out a strategy and operationalize that strategy of your new product launches. So that with every new product launch, again it is not an afterthought to build out those four pieces of essential content. That just like you build out the package and put words on that package, and just like you deliver that package to a supplier as an essential part of that product lifeline, creating that product content needs to be part of that product lifeline. What I would do is to make sure that henceforth all product launches have this essential content as part of their building blocks.
At the end of the day, product content is vital in the retail industry. Take Mark White’s advice and get started on creating quality product content for your products early rather than waiting last minute for changes requested by the retailer.