Previously, I’ve outlined some findings from Amazon benchmark reports in this column, but applying those findings across other retailers required some degree of guesswork. Which metrics or trends are transferrable in light of different site experiences, consumer bases, etc.? With the latest report from Salsify (my employer) including data directly comparing the product content landscape across the same category on both Amazon and Walmart.com, you can better answer those questions.
Specifically, the study analyzed the product content across more than 71,000 toys and games pages on Amazon, and more than 9,000 pages in the toys category on Walmart. Products on each retailer are also measured based on sales rank, with top- and poor-selling products being those in the top or bottom 10% of sales rank at a given price point, respectively.
While this analysis just covers a single vertical, it highlights the many similarities but also the important differences between what constitutes winning product content on both major retail sites.
So what’s different?
Pervasiveness of enhanced content
Across every price range in the analysis, top-selling products on both Amazon and Walmart were significantly more likely to have enhanced content as compared to poor-selling products. However, the overall percentage of studied Walmart products using enhanced content was significantly higher than on Amazon – even amongst poor-selling products.
Average review counts for top sellers
Like the presence of enhanced content, review counts amongst top-selling products were notably higher than those of poor-selling products, but the degrees to which this was the case varied significantly between Amazon and Walmart. As with most categories on Amazon, top-selling toy products on the site have an average of several hundred reviews, regardless of price point. On Walmart, top-seller average review counts ranged from just 18.4 to 178.4.
Both of the above stats highlight important differences for what constitute “table stakes” for top-performing products on each retailer. Not utilizing enhanced content on Walmart to engage buyers with that richer level of multimedia content, you’re likely putting your product in a particularly disadvantageous position. Consumers on the site are more frequently buying products with that type of content, and many of your competitors are likely providing it. Similarly, if your product only has a dozen or so reviews on Amazon, it won’t compare favorably to competitors, and consumers have proven to be more likely to choose to buy products with that extra degree of validation.
So what’s similar?
The average U.S. consumer expects six images on a product page, and whether on Amazon or Walmart, this latest analysis shows how these preferences particularly impact conversion performance as you move up in price. But across every price point studied, the average image count across top-selling products was significantly higher than that of poor-selling products.
Star ratings not being a big factor
While higher review counts have a pretty clear correlation with better selling products across both retailers, and other verticals, the difference between the overall star ratings of top-selling and poor-selling products much more negligible. On Amazon and Walmart across all price points studied, top-selling products had average star ratings ranging between 4.2 and 4.4. For poor-selling products, the range was 3.8 to 4.2, and at no point did the difference between average top and poor performers exceed 0.4 stars.
From a merchandising standpoint, it may be easy for brands to lump Amazon and Walmart together. What this data makes clear is that while both of these retailers share a number of high-level trends, there are opportunities to gain a meaningful advantage over competitors by taking a retailer-specific approach on particular product page elements. Marketers should keep this in mind as additional online retailers continue to invest and iterate on the site experience and back end techniques that have made Amazon and Walmart so successful.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.