Walmart is giving its suppliers a way to send more detailed product information to the company as more shoppers turn to digital channels, according to The Wall Street Journal. The retailer hopes giving companies a standard way to share data — and more of it — will give it a richer database that can be used to improve customer experience, hone its product selection and become more competitive on pricing.
Late last month the retailer said it is piloting the Product Content Collection System, a tool that will make it easier for suppliers to send their product catalogs straight to Walmart. The company is encouraging both existing and potential suppliers to submit product data for every item in their catalog, even the ones Walmart doesn’t sell. The PCCS will also facilitate the collection of more variable data formats such as video.
“For any retailer in today’s day and age, high quality product data is a must,” said Ram Rampalli, global head of content acquisition at Walmart’s global e-commerce group. “Once you get that you can do whatever you want.”
It’s one way Walmart is changing to compete with online rivals like Amazon.com Inc., as well as its brick and mortar competitors. High quality data that comes straight from the supplier, as well as a standard way to classify items across the supplier network, can help Walmart more easily perform analytics and manage the growing dataset. Reliable product information can also improve the experience for customers who shop online.
Additional product details could assist Walmart when deciding which products to stock, Rampalli said.
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