As a brand selling on Walmart.com, staying updated with the platform's ever-evolving standards is crucial to maintaining a strong online presence and driving sales. Since merging Walmart's online and in-store buyers and merchandising efforts, the retail giant has been on a mission to enhance the online shopping experience by revamping item content requirements. In July, Walmart introduced significant changes to its Content Quality Score (CQS) system, affecting how products are displayed and discovered on the platform. In this article, we'll delve into the key takeaways from these changes and what brands need to do to adapt and succeed.
Ella Ruth Hill, Written Content Manager at OneStone, advises, "Content quality is not just about meeting Walmart's standards; it's about creating an exceptional shopping journey for every Walmart.com visitor. Embrace these changes as opportunities to stand out and succeed in the online retail landscape."
The Introduction of Omni 5.0: A Game-Changer
Walmart recently rolled out their latest content quality upgrade, known as Omni 5.0. This initiative is a response to the changing landscape of e-commerce and aims to improve content quality across the board. The objective is clear: to provide an enhanced customer experience through better imagery, copy, attribution, and rich media. The revamped scoring model places a strong emphasis on two key aspects: core attributes and product type attributes.
One of the most significant updates in Walmart's CQS system is the transition from category attributes to product type attributes. Category specs will soon be phased out entirely, leaving product type specs as the sole option for product information. This shift has a direct impact on how your products are discovered by shoppers.
Attributes for Site Discoverability
Attributes play a crucial role in improving product discoverability on Walmart.com. Two primary ways they are utilized are through facets and shelves. Facets are specific filters (e.g., "3-drawer desks" or "black tables"), while shelves represent more generalized searches (e.g., "desks" or "tables"). Brands should ensure their product attributes align with these changes to maintain optimal visibility.
Consistent Weighting of Core Attributes
Walmart is placing consistent weighting on core attributes, which include:
1. Product name
2. Site description
3. Key features
Filling in these attributes accurately and comprehensively is now more critical than ever. Walmart will start highlighting missing fields in the backend, making it easier for brands to identify areas that need improvement.
Changes in Content Scoring
One notable change is that reviews will no longer factor into content scores. This shift places more emphasis on the accuracy and completeness of product information provided by brands.
What Remains the Same
While there are significant changes, some content requirements remain constant. Brands should continue to focus on the quality of:
Rich media elements such as 360 spins, videos, and PDFs will not affect content scores, but they can still enhance the shopping experience for customers.
Insights and Stats
Statistics show that items with content scores of 80% or higher have a 2.5x higher conversion rate than those with scores below 80%. Core attributes will now constitute 60% of the content score, underlining their importance for brands aiming to excel on Walmart.com.
What You Need to Do
According to Heather Applegate, Sr. Director of Creative, "The key takeaway that all suppliers should know is that Walmart is revising and putting added weight on their Content Quality Score, incentivizing brands to have their items complete from front (forward-facing copy and images) to back (backend attributes). Backend attributes are more important than ever, as they enable correct categorization of products, directing shoppers to the item(s) they need.
To thrive in this evolving landscape, brands should:
1. Update Product Information: Ensure that your product attributes align with the new product type specifications.
2. Focus on Core Attributes: Pay close attention to product names, site descriptions, key features, and images to maintain a high content score.
3. Leverage Rich Media: While not factored into content scores, consider enriching your product listings with rich media elements to enhance the shopping experience.
4. Monitor Content Scores: Regularly check your content scores in the Item 360 site portal and address any discrepancies.
While Walmart is not imposing immediate penalties, brands that do not adapt to these changes risk falling behind in the competitive marketplace. By staying proactive and aligning with Walmart's new content quality requirements, brands can continue to thrive on the platform and provide a better shopping experience for customers.