Walmart and Yahoo tailor holiday content for social, AR shopping

Walmart and Yahoo on Black Friday launched a “Holiday with Heart” effort to kick off the holiday season through shoppable content and add-to-cart functionalities powered by augmented reality (AR), according to a press release emailed to Marketing Dive.

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The “Play for Joy” game on Instagram lets mobile users interact with a claw machine and grab as many virtual Walmart gifts as possible before the clock runs out. They can also tune in for a new video series starring lifestyle influencer Taryn Newton and shop her holiday décor selections via VidAR, a separate AR experience by Yahoo that lets users overlay 3D product images into their own space through a smartphone camera. “We Heart the Holidays” is another shoppable video series across Yahoo Life platforms.

Additionally, the duo is rebooting the “30 Days of Savings” program for the third consecutive holiday season to let shoppers explore popular products. This year, the effort includes fresh social media programming, including a tweet countdown and TikTok extension that lets audiences preview featured gift ideas. Last year’s push spurred a 239% lift in gross merchandise value year-over-year, an indicator of e-commerce velocity, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Walmart is doubling down on its shopping-related partnership with Yahoo following holiday activations in 2019 and 2020. Last year’s 239% YoY lift in gross merchandise value suggests the joint venture was successful in driving some online purchases during consumers’ first pandemic holiday season.

The partnership is expanding significantly this year to include more shoppable content tailored to mobile audiences, designed to spur product discovery and simplify the mobile shopping experience.

An AR game mimics the play of an arcade claw machine while boosting product discovery among Instagram users. Embedding the game into a popular social media app may extend the effort’s reach and help Walmart engage potential customers while they scroll on their smartphone. At the same time, the two new video series simplify the product discovery and research process for at-home shoppers — still a large segment of consumers as many plan to buy gifts online due to convenience and pandemic-related reasons.

The expanded content campaign and new digital commerce integrations speak to consumers’ heightened demand for more seamless online shopping experiences. Prior to the pandemic, things like shoppable video and AR try-ons were still emerging technologies, but increasingly, consumers expect these digital tools as part of retail marketers’ standard offerings.

This year’s holiday efforts could be particularly lucrative for retailers like Walmart, as Deloitte estimates holiday sales may spike 9% from last year. “Holiday with Heart” arrives during Walmart’s Cyber Week sale that includes the first shoppable livestream on Twitter in the U.S., Walmart CMO William White said in an announcement.

Earlier this year, Walmart and Yahoo teamed up to create the retailer’s “Deals for Days” effort, which also included livestream shopping events and video activations targeting Gen Z and millennials.

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