Shelter-in-place and self-quarantining measures during the COVID-19 pandemic are facilitating shopping behaviors that people might have been otherwise slower to adopt. As a result, people are learning to shop in new ways, utilizing Walmart’s multiple fulfillment channels, especially Walmart Online Grocery.  A recent report from App Annie stated that the Walmart Grocery app has seen a 460% growth in average daily downloads during the pandemic, compared to January 2020 performance. This growth allowed the Walmart Online Grocery app downloads to surpass Amazon by 20% as of April 5.

While we hope the devastating effects of the pandemic are short-lived, we believe the change in consumer shopping behaviors is here to stay. Once shoppers are “onboarded” to the platform, they will likely continue to shop online even as stay at home restrictions lift. We’ve been thinking about some of the lasting impacts this new digital adoption will have and the implications for brands. Here are a few ways we recommend preparing your brand to succeed in the new environment of post-pandemic shopping:

 

Prioritize Your Digital Shelf Presence for Walmart Online Grocery

As more people are diversifying their use of the retailer’s channels, including the Walmart Grocery app, this opens the opportunity for new strategies and touchpoints for brands to reach shoppers. As a broader base of shoppers is now relying on these channels, it is more important than ever to ensure you are represented well on the digital shelf. Are your products discoverable? Is your content driving conversion? Are you in stock? Do you have the proper tools to make this an efficient process and win the brand loyalty of these shoppers?

Race to Favorites Lists

The first shopping trip for new OG users is the most important. Items from their list are automatically saved in favorites. Future shopping “trips” on the app often happen from that favorites list, building with new items as needed to meet the needs of refreshed shopping lists. For this reason, it’s imperative to be sure that your products are in-stock and showing up in search to capture new consumers.

Related Reading: Managing Omnichannel Product Availability Amid COVID-19

Increase Online Marketing Efforts

Walmart Online Grocery adoption will also likely provide a boost to Walmart pure-play eCommerce on Walmart.com as more customers are viewing the Walmart digital ecosystem as a viable way to shop. We anticipate Walmart will see a sustained digital traffic lift, increasing the need for optimized ad campaigns, search placements, and other marketing vehicles for brands on Walmart.com.

Are You Readily Equipped? 

An influx of change brings an influx of opportunities. Harvest Group has been able to assist several of our clients during this time to understand out of stock, product listing, and sales issues with our investment in internal tools for OG data. Recently during an onboarding session with a new client, our Insights Team was able to identify an issue with three products that were unlisted from OG causing sales to drop to 0% for three weeks. By recognizing this issue, the team was able to provide the client with a data-driven story and key talking points to discuss with their Walmart Buyer to fix the product listing issue.

During this fast-moving time in retail and in the future as shoppers continue to rely more heavily on Online Grocery orders, it’s important to have a detailed view of your item sales and a team watching closely for possible errors. Are you ready to learn more about expanding your omnichannel capabilities? Email hello@harvestgroup.com to learn more.

 

 

Michael Turner

Author Michael Turner

Michael Turner is the Team Lead for Digital Innovation at Harvest Group.

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