January 24, 2012

Walmart Creates Own Version of Reality TV Show

Recently, Walmart has announced its own version of a reality TV show called “Get on the Shelf.” This new program is run by @Walmartlabs’ social media and ecommerce division. So exactly how does the “Get on the Shelf” program work? Walmart has welcomed all companies to submit a submission video online about why their product or products should be sold at Walmart. Fellow shoppers can go to walmart.com and vote for the products they like the most. The 3 products that receive the most votes will be sold on walmart.com, and the product that comes in first place will also be featured on the homepage of Walmart’s website.

However, there’s a twist. Along with their product idea, companies must also submit a video in which they must sing about their product or products. The “Get on the Shelf” program is set to begin the day that the latest season of American Idol premiers, which a spokesperson for the company says is a “coincidence.” Although not done purposely, the premiere of American Idol may help Walmart’s competition. If Walmart uses smart advertising and marketing techniques and is able to get people to associate the two shows with one another, people will remember to vote for “Get on the Shelf” as they are dialing in their votes for American Idol. The contest may also draw shoppers to Walmart.com and into Walmart stores. After voting week in and week out for a product, a customer is going to want to try it, and since they have seen the product on Walmart’s reality TV show, they are likely to go to Walmart to purchase it.

The competitors on the “Get on the Shelf” program are allowed to get voters anyway they like, and Chris Bolte, the Vice President of @WalmartLabs, says that this is part of the competition. Walmart will be watching how the top competitors get their votes, whether it’s through advertisement, social media, or word of mouth. Walmart may pick up some valuable marketing techniques that may ultimately help to get customers in the door in the future.

So how will “Get on the Shelf” impact the Walmart brand? The “Get on the Shelf” program is innovative. Never before has a brand like Walmart asked customers what they want to see in stores and online. This competition will lead customers to see the Walmart brand as a brand that listens to customers and puts customers first. A competition like this may place it above competitors like Target, who have not yet reached out and asked customers what they would like to see in stores. Consumers are drawn to companies where they feel valued, and the Walmart brand is using the “Get on the Shelf” program to show customers how highly they value them. Many other brands like Walmart, may also start to make an effort to reach out to customers in order to enhance their brand. By playing a more active role in choosing what products a store sells, customers are likely to get exactly what they want, making them satisfied and much more likely to return.

Contributed by Keena Classen

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