Celebrities and interactive videos and related tools could help Walmart gain more power among food retail shoppers.
In another example of how retailers of all types — including those selling groceries — are trying to deepen the consumer experience, Walmart and Eko, an interactive video company, are expanding Walmart Cookshop. The free interactive video hub offers custom content from such celebrity chefs and hosts as Jamie Oliver, Sofia Vergara, Patti LaBelle and Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman.
Walmart Cookshop has gained 22 new episodes, including a special featuring Sofia Vergara and her son Manolo. New episodes of Tasty, Shortcut Chef, Veggie Boost, Mystery Basket and Over the Top are now available, along with a variety of improved features and updates to the Walmart Cookshop interface, including updated player controls, a “My Favorites” section to save recipes, a new share function and additional shopping moments along the user journey to allow customers to shop the moment they are inspired.
“At Walmart, we have always believed there is inherent value in exploring new ways to use technology to improve the e-commerce experience. We are pleased to bring our customers unique innovative experiences like Walmart Cookshop, which provides much needed inspiration and joy while many are safely staying at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Justin Breton, strategic brand partnerships at Walmart. “After the initial success of Walmart Cookshop this fall, we are happy to expand our work with Eko, as they continue to deliver deep technology and creative expertise to Walmart.”
Powered by Eko’s proprietary technology, Walmart Cookshop viewers can watch and interact with episodes, enjoying full control over ingredients and outcomes. The videos offer a direct path to purchase products and groceries, either for pickup or delivery, connecting the interactive content to commerce at rates well above the industry standard of around 2%. Data from the beta launch shows an 8.7% click-through rate, indicating unparalleled shopping intent from engaged users.
Developed as part of the Walmart and Eko joint venture, Walmart Cookshop offers a variety of customizable food experiences. Eko’s technology and the Walmart Cookshop platform create new, innovative opportunities for Walmart's brands and partners to increase their e-commerce presence and connect with consumers in new ways.
“Cookshop is the result of a strong multi-year partnership with a tech-savvy retailer, Walmart. We’ve been enabled and encouraged to deliver the best possible experience and results for suppliers and shoppers,” said Tom Fishman, general manager at Eko. “We continue to explore new avenues of connecting experiences with commerce and are constantly amazed at the possibilities interactive video provides.”
Walmart first invested in Eko in 2018 in a bid to attract shoppers and boost digital customer engagement through video. Their partnership has led to the development of interactive content spanning toy catalogs to cooking shows, with Walmart Cookshop as the most recent expansion. Eko and Walmart previously collaborated on the successful interactive experiences of Camp, WonderLab, and GiftFinder, which continue to establish Walmart as a leader in the future of e-commerce.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list.