Walmart to create comprehensive supplier catalogs online

Although social media has reshaped the retail landscape, social product ratings are "clearly subjective" and online product information is often inaccurate, according to an entry in the WalmartLabs blog, written by Ram Rampalli, global head of content acquisition at Walmart (NYSE:WMT). This is the basis for Walmart creating a new pilot program known as Product Content Collection System (PCCS). The program will facilitate suppliers sending catalogs directly to Walmart for the retailer to post.

The PCCS specifications, including the list of attributes, requirement level and data transfer protocol, will be shared with vendors to create the framework for how to share the catalog data with Walmart. The big-box retailer will even accept content from suppliers who currently do not sell on Walmart.com.

"Our goal is to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive product information to our customers—regardless of how they shop—to improve the shopping experience for our customers," Rampalli wrote.

A lot of larger suppliers are already a part of the B2B centric Global Data Sync Network (GDSN), but many smaller and mid-sized suppliers, introduced through the Marketplace program, are not part of the GDSN. This new program will make it easier for them to upload all of their content.

The program is expected to launch later this year. Suppliers who were interested in joining the pilot program and submitting product catalogs were encouraged to send an email to Walmart.

Rampalli added, "Having the full product catalog ensures we have great content for the customer experience, and also allows for rapid setup of items if and when Walmart decides to carry them."

This month has been full of announcements regarding Walmart suppliers. For example, the retailer announced it will begin charging vendors fees for stocking items in new stores and for warehousing, with the hope to better control costs. Letters were mailed to 10,000 suppliers last week when Walmart announced this amendment to its agreement with suppliers.

For more:
See this WalmartLabs blog

Related stories:
Walmart ups vendor fees
Walmart amending supplier contracts to control pricing
Walmart pressures suppliers to reduce prices
Walmart to raise wages for 100,000 workers
Walmart restructures management to focus on local

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