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Walmart announced that it is planning to launch a free version of Luminate, the data platform created by the retailer to provide insights on shopper behavior for brands and retailers.
The retailer is planning to make the Basic package of the platform available for any of its supplier in 2023.
“At a high-level, Basic subscribers will gain access to a subset of our Channel Performance insights, including the standard operational metrics needed to run their business,” Mark Hardy, Head of Walmart Data Ventures, wrote in a blog post.
Walmart Luminate Basic subscribers will receive access to:
- Standard operational metrics
- Downloadable reports
- Store and ecommerce sales breakout
Under the new subscription tiers, a Charter plan will still include access to the full product set of Walmart Luminate, which includes insights on shopper behavior and customer perception.
Walmart Luminate was launched in 2021 to make its retail insights available to suppliers, and provide shared access with merchants. These include customer trends, performance metrics for specific channels and primary research with customers. Over 11 months, Hardy said the product has grown revenue 80% quarter-over-quarter.
Walmart said it has been upgrading the technology to include faster results and increased data security. It is also planning to continue to add data sets. One of the features on the roadmap for the coming year is digital product transactability, which provides insights on items added to a cart and purchased through grocery pickup and delivery.
It is also working to integrate Walmart Luminate insights into other parts of the business, such as merchandising tools and advertising arm Walmart Connect.
Walmart Luminate is part of a growing segment of Walmart’s business that specializes in making its retail technology and services available to other brands and retailers. Data and retail media are also important parts of Walmart’s “flywheel” that ties together the different parts of its business, and enables digitally-led growth. Walmart US President John Furner said on a May earnings call that the flywheel enables the company to better serve shoppers, increase income and in turn keep prices low.
“When you look at the flywheel and step back, we have the business that's in stores, we have our ecommerce business including a marketplace,” Furner said. “We're making progress in health care and financial services with the acquisitions that we managed to complete and have under the One banner. And then [membership program Walmart] Plus along with Walmart Connect and data ventures are all important pieces of the flywheel.”
Trending in Operations
Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse offered thoughts on messaging amid inflationary shifts in consumer behavior.
After months of elevated inflation and interest rate hikes that have the potential to cool demand, consumers are showing more signs of shifting behavior.
It’s showing up in retail sales data, but there’s also evidence in the observations of the brands responsible for grocery store staples.
The latest example came this week from Campbell Soup Company. CEO Mark Clouse told analysts that the consumer continues to be “resilient” despite continued price increases on food, but found that “consumers are beginning to feel that pressure” as time goes on.
This shows up in the categories they are buying. Overall, Clouse said Campbell sees a shift toward shelf-stable items, and away from more expensive prepared foods.
There is also change in when they make purchases. People are buying more at the beginning of the month. That’s because they are stretching paychecks as long as possible.
These shifts change how the company is communicating with consumers.
Clouse said the changes in behavior are an opportunity to “focus on value within our messaging without necessarily having to chase pricing all the way down.”
“No question that it's important that we protect affordability and that we make that relevant in the categories that we're in," Clouse said. "But I also think there's a lot of ways to frame value in different ways, right?”
A meal cooked with condensed soup may be cheaper than picking up a frozen item or ordering out. Consumers just need a reminder. Even within Campbell’s own portfolio, the company can elevate brands that have more value now, even if they may not always get the limelight.
The open question is whether the shift in behavior will begin to show up in the results of the companies that have raised prices. Campbell’s overall net sales grew 5% for the quarter ended April 30, while gross profit margins held steady around 30%. But the category-level results were more uneven. U.S. soup sales declined 11%, though the company said that was owed to comparisons with the quarter when supply chains reopened a year ago and expressed confidence that the category is seeing a longer-term resurgence as more people cook at home following the pandemic. Snacks, which includes Goldfish and Pepperidge Farm, were up 12% And while net sales increased overall, the amount of products people are buying is declining. Volumes were down 7%.
These are trends happening across the grocery store. Campbell is continuing to compete. It is leading with iconic brands, and a host of different ways to consume them. It is following that up with innovation that makes the products stand out. Then, it is driving home messaging that shows consumers how to fit the products into their lives, and even their tightening spending plans.
Campbell Soup is more than 150 years old, and has seen plenty of difficult economic environments. It is also a different business today, and will continue to evolve. At the end of the day, continued execution is what’s required.
“If it's good food, people are going to buy it, especially if it's a great value,” Clouse said.