Taking a look at the Editorial Recommendations published by different retailers can give us a good idea of what to do – and what not to do – when publishing our own articles. This is why we’ve taken the time to examine the strengths and weaknesses of some of the biggest eCommerce websites currently publishing Editorial Recommendations online. Among eCommerce websites, Walmart is undoubtedly among the biggest, being one of the biggest retailers overall. Their decision not to begin publishing Editorial Recommendations on their website is certainly something to take a closer look at, as it is something the retailer could certainly benefit from, and Walmart has never been a slouch in the past when it comes to adopting the latest trends.
Walmart is No Underdog
As already mentioned, Walmart is among the biggest of the eCommerce sites online. Amazon may hold dominance online with approximately 40% of sales, but Walmart holds about 5% of sales in comparison, so you cannot say they are an underdog in comparison. This is especially true when you consider Walmart’s revenue comes in at approximately double Amazon’s. Amazon may have been the one to design the Editorial Recommendation and begin using it online, but Walmart can most certainly afford to be deliberate when it comes to choosing how and what it copies from Amazon’s playbook. With Editorial Recommendations already proving themselves to be such a profitable venture for everyone involved, from those who write them to the retailers publishing them, it stands to reason the site could greatly benefit from having them on their site. So why then has Walmart still failed to begin publishing these articles and reviews for their customers?
Easy Ecommerce Wins at Walmart.com
It should be noted that Walmart does, in fact, have affiliate programs in place. These programs have now been around for about a year and have already proven themselves a success for the retailer. At present, the Walmart affiliate program works much the same way as the Amazon affiliate program, with offsite associates earning revenue from referrals. However, they do not yet have a facsimile of Amazon’s on-site Editorial Recommendations in place. Creating such a program would be a terrific move for Walmart, and one that would be an easy next step for the retail giant. However, for the moment, Walmart only offers a Best Seller program with badges. Though this does offer some small incentive to get individuals to make purchases, it is still not the same motivator as Editorial Recommendations. Walmart still has much more room for improvement and could easily do so much more with the resources available to them.
Leveraging the Fear of Amazon
Among the many details to note is how many sellers are now jumping at the opportunity to sell on Walmart. This is either as an alternative to selling on Amazon or in addition to selling on Amazon. The tremendous growth of Amazon over the past several years has allowed the eCommerce giant to begin to squeeze margins, and many sellers are starting to feel this. Being able to sell on Walmart is a good opportunity for these sellers to get away from Amazon and escape this pressure.
What is notable about this fact is Walmart offers sellers an opportunity and another option. However, if it were to continue to expand its programs, it would also be offering publishers another option in addition to working through Amazon’s Onsite Associates Program. At present, the Amazon Affiliate Program and the Amazon Onsite Associates Program are the largest of the Editorial Recommendations programs online. However, because Walmart is also powerful if it were to open up its own programs and begin to expand, it would be a good competitor able to offer good options for sellers and publishers alike.
It is easy to see why Walmart should begin to work on an Editorial Recommendations program. Just as Amazon’s Editorial Recommendations program benefits everybody involved from Amazon itself to sellers and publishers, a similar program from Walmart would also benefit everybody involved. Though Walmart’s launch of an affiliate program within the past year is a good start, it needs to begin working on an Editorial Recommendations program on its site to harnessing the benefits this would provide. At present, it seems to only be a matter of time before Walmart does indeed launch this type of program. What will be most interesting is to see how much it follows Amazon’s current strategies and model in doing so.