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Walmart eases product content conversion

BY CSA STAFF

Meeting Walmart’s product information requirements is not always easy for its suppliers, but the retailer is providing a new option that may make things a little simpler.

Walmart is integrating with product content technology provider Shotfarm. Walmart suppliers can now use the Shotfarm Switch Marketplace platform to directly connect with the retailer. This means suppliers can work with requirement such as the Walmart Spec program, which details the required, recommended, and optional data attributes suppliers must provide for their products.

Spec qualifications are already integrated into the Switch network to make the process as seamless as possible. Suppliers can drag and drop digital product assets, such as .JPG and .CSV files, into the Shotfarm platform and subscribe to Walmart. Then they map their fields to Walmart’s fields, and can have all content automatically converted and delivered.

Walmart is known for having strict guidelines for how its suppliers must identify and catalog product attributes before they can be listed or sold. While Walmart has not always been known as a supplier-friendly retailer, it has made steps in recent years through partnerships with vendors such as Shotfarm and Salsify to ease the process of properly identifying products.

Considering how vital Walmart sales are to the fiscal health of many suppliers, allowing automated or near-automated delivery of product information is a step that could help a lot of companies throughout the extended retail ecosystem.

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Report: Google eyes e-commerce platform

BY CSA STAFF

Google is reportedly looking to beef up its professional apps offering by purchasing a well-known provider of hosted online retail services. According to Re/Code, Google is considering purchasing Shopify. The Canadian provider of cloud-based e-commerce tools is a public company valued at $2.25 billion. [Re/Code]

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Harry & David plays social engagement game

BY CSA STAFF

Harry & David is using social media to bring consumers back to the fun of a childhood Easter egg hunt.

The specialty gourmet gift retailer is hosting a social media giveaway called the “Eggciting Hunt Sweepstakes” through April 15 with hundreds of dollars of gift cards as prizes. Participants register online and then are sent on a hunt for clues to find virtual eggs on Harry & David’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Seven eggs will be hidden across the sites of Harry & David and its sister brand Wolferman’s. Each egg found and clicked counts as an entry to the sweepstakes. Consumers can also receive entries by sharing the sweepstakes via email and social media. Entrants will also receive a special promotional code for their next purchase.

“Spring is a time for a new, fresh season filled with sweet indulgences,” said Lisa Bankston, director digital marketing at Harry & David. “Through the Harry & David #EggcitingHunt social media sweepstakes, we wanted to bring the traditional egg hunt to life in a digital format, giving our fans a way to test their skills with the clues we are sharing throughout the sweepstakes and learn more about our brands. It’s a fun way to share the many exciting products we carry for special holidays and all year-round.”

This contest combines social engagement, brand advocacy, and of course gamification. Consumers searching for eggs will inevitably be exposed to Harry & David social messaging, and also develop an image of the retailer as a source of fun and entertainment. Add in the encouragement for existing Harry & David customers to spread the word of the brand to their friends and family, and the retailer has created a recipe for a happy Easter.

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