Walmart expands virtual cooking platform

Date : 26 February 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Walmart has expanded its shoppable interactive video hub, Walmart Cookshop, adding twenty-two new episodes, including celebrity collaborations.

Builds on existing strategic partnership

Walmart and eko initially formed a strategic partnership in 2018, to develop original, interactive content to help the retailer develop more frequent and deeper engagement with its customers. The technology enables a new level of personalisation, enabling viewers to participate in and shape stories as they are being told. This came to the fore last year when Walmart partnered with CAMP to develop a virtual summer camp programme.

Source: eko

Extended content

Walmart Cookshop offers a variety of customisable food experiences hosted by brand Interactive Tasty and hosts, including Sofia Vergara, Jamie Oliver, Patti LaBelle, and the Pioneer Woman. Several improvements have also been made to the interface, including updated player controls, a “My Favorites” section to save recipes, a new share function and additional shopping moments along the user journey.

An opportunity to monetise a new path to purchase

Through Walmart Cookshop, viewers can watch and interact with episodes, having control over ingredients and outcomes. The videos offer a direct path to purchase products and groceries, either for pick-up or delivery, connecting the interactive content to commerce at rates above the industry standard of around 2%. Data from the beta launch shows an 8.7% click-through rate, indicating strong shopping intent from engaged users. This potentially provides retailer with an opportunity to monetise the programme through its suppliers, building on its initiatives through Walmart Connect.

Tapping into pandemic trends

The shift to virtual engagement has been a key feature of the pandemic, with several retailers developing programmes to interact with their shoppers at home. Cooking and meal preparation has been a focus for several of these; during the pandemic many shoppers have rediscovered the joy of cooking and eating at home. This is a trend which product manufacturers are expecting to remain in place even as the pandemic eases. However, one year into the crisis and consumers are seeking out more inspiration and new meal ideas, with Walmart aiming to support this through the expanded series.

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