American Idol-like contest
Walmart’s new idea, Get on the Shelf, is “similar to the popular
American Idol television show”: any American can join the contest by
submitting a video in which they promote their product before 22
February. The winners (after two rounds of voting) will have their
products sold in Walmart’s internet shop (the best three contestants)
and in selected offline Walmart stores in the US (only the best one).
Walmart will screen all entries before submitting them to their website
and Americans can vote for any of the approved videos from 7 March till 4
April. The ten videos with the most votes will then advance to the
final (11 – 24 April), and afterwards the three winners will be
announced. Whether they will also receive a cash prize or only the
glory, is not known.
Only the votes count
Get on the Shelf is developed by Walmart’s innovation centre
@WalmartLabs and is a whole new way of crowdsourcing for Walmart.
Usually the retailer forces strict requirements upon its suppliers, but
they will now be cast aside: only the votes count – and the multitude of
customers who want to see the products in their Walmart shelves.
Henky Harinarayan, Walmarts senior vice president e-commerce, stated
that this will help breach the barriers between customers and shelves.
“For a long time, the ability to get a product into a retail store was
at the sole discretion of the store buyer. Today, we are removing these
barriers by giving anyone a chance to launch their product at Walmart
and reach millions of shoppers nationwide.”
Walmart admits that many interesting products would have remained under
the radar using only traditional methods, although the list of currently
submitted items is not that stunning. In the first few weeks, when Get
on the shelf was only promoted on a low scale, forty mostly non-food
items were submitted. Among them an iPad pillow (the ePillow)
pivoting comb that easily creates instant updos (PoniLox), a pet food
bowl with motion sensor and automatically closing lid (Auto Dish) and –
last but not least – PugZ paw puffs for dogs. Needless to say that all
of these useful items would be an indispensable addition to Walmart’s