Senior Content Strategist
Mastering Walmart's New Content Quality Standards
Do you remember scrambling to update content for your Walmart product listings last fall? Following the integration of Walmart Online Pickup & Delivery (OPD) and Online Grocery Pickup (OGP), Walmart updated content guidelines and added new requirements that would inform a product’s Content Quality Score.
The Walmart Content Quality Score is a grade automatically given to product detail pages (PDPs) based on core content and back-end information, such as attributes. The score helps brands understand how optimized the PDP is for Walmart's search engine.
Like so many brands, you might have only heard about the new requirements when your team received a low content score alert from the category buyer. Ouch. While some merchants provided a detailed list of missing attributes or content fields that needed fixing, others weren’t so helpful. Brands had to push for updated category guidelines and feedback.
This is a good example of what brands face when retailers make big changes, sometimes without much guidance. We must be one step ahead––thinking through best practices retailers might eventually adopt from competitors––and fast to respond. Brands can fall behind in as little as a few days if they do not provide compliant, high-quality content.
Walmart’s New Content Quality Initiatives
Overhauling category guidelines and content-scoring models is no small feat. So, why the big push –– and why now? It all has to do with product discoverability. Walmart wants to give shoppers a consistent search experience that’s also tailored for each category.
Until recently, suppliers had been using different words/ attributes to describe similar products, creating inconsistency in Walmart’s search database and an inconsistent shopping experience for customers. Now, Walmart is standardizing style guides for category and product-level content –– and aggressively pushing brands to comply.
A Proactive, Integrative Approach to Retail Readiness
Through its Connected Content Solutions Providers program, Walmart and content syndication platforms–– which deliver product content to multiple retailers––are making it easy for brands to understand what they need to do to improve their content scores.
Specifically, partners like Salsify are integrating Walmart Style Guides (the source of truth for content requirements) into their Walmart channels. This will allow brands to map essential category and product-level attributes in the readiness report, giving them a clear list of opportunities to maximize their content score and boost PDP performance.
How to Make Your Content Walmart- Ready
Is your product content ready for Walmart’s optimized search experience? Make sure your e-commerce team sees this checklist of next steps.
- Ensure that Walmart Style Guides relevant to your brand are integrated within the Walmart channel on your content syndication platform.
- Log into the Item 360 portal to identify missing or incorrect fields; these will be highlighted.
- Audit existing product content to make sure it satisfies category and product-level requirements/guidelines.
- Leverage consumer research to ensure any updated content satisfies Walmart's requirements and meets category-specific needs.
- Future-proof your commerce content strategy by regularly checking your brand’s content quality scores and addressing optimization opportunities right away.
- Meet with your Walmart category managers (ask about known or anticipated changes within the category).