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Walmart’s jump on a shorter holiday season taps technology to drive sales across channels

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In light of the shortened holiday season this year — there are six fewer days to shop than last year with Thanksgiving landing on November 28 — Walmart is getting a head-start on its holiday marketing strategy. The company dropped prices on a number of items beginning on Friday and is launching multiple technology tools to help consumers shop for holiday gifts.

Why we should care

In addition to the headstart on holiday deals, one of the biggest shifts in retail is in giving consumers more ways to shop.

Walmart’s technology-enabled holiday shopping options are aimed at saving consumers time through personalization, faster delivery and more in-store and mobile capabilities. They include:

  • Personalized gift recommendations. A Gift Finder tool curates gift ideas based on 40 different types of gift recipients and price range.
  • Mobile shopping: A scannable toy catalog, launching November 1 in the Walmart app, will enable consumers to shop the company’s seasonal toy catalog from their phones.
  • In-store options: DotCom Store and “Check out with me” services are expanding to all Walmart Supercenters. “Check out with me” lets customers check out with an associate and avoid cashier lines. DotCom Store allows shoppers to place online orders in stores and have the items shipped to their homes.
  • Next-day delivery battle. To compete with Amazon, Walmart’s free one-day delivery is available for hundreds of thousands of items. It’s now being offered free without a membership fee, unlike Amazon, which is offering one-day shipping for Prime members on many items.

Walmart and other retailers’ jump on the holiday season is an indication that the shopping cycle could look different than in year’s past. Consumers are also indicating they’ll be shopping earlier this season, according to a Deloitte survey, which found that holiday shopping is expected to peak in early to mid-December. With six fewer shopping days than last year, marketers should be rolling out holiday deals now.

More on the news

  • To drive shoppers into stores, Walmart is launching “retailtainment events” around this year’s Pokemon, Star Wars, Frozen movies.
  • Best Buy is also offering free next day delivery on thousands of items to kick off its holiday shopping season.
  • Target announced it was investing $50 million to increase employee hours and training during the coming weeks to prepare for this year’s holiday season.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

Marketingland.com

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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