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Walmart Partners With Meredith for AI-Informed Contextual Grocery Commerce

Walmart, the world’s largest grocer, continues to be an industry leader in contextual commerce. The retailer announced on Wednesday (Sept. 8) that it is partnering with media giant Meredith Corporation to create shoppable ads that allow consumers who interact with the media company’s content to add ingredients directly into their Walmart e-carts.

The partnership will pair the two companies’ data analytics capabilities to make artificial intelligence (AI)-informed recommendations to consumers, paired with visual search tools and a “shoppable bookazine” of 30-minute meals. The partnership also includes a TikTok “shop now” integration with Allrecipes content, and a voice ordering feature through Google Assistant.

The Context

Contextual commerce offers merchants the opportunity to create more paths to purchase, integrating the shopping experience into consumers’ existing routines.

See also: Contextual Commerce Expands Beyond Social Media

Walmart, for one, has been quick to get on board. The retailer has launched celebrity-filled video and activity series, including content for adults with Sofia Vergara and Jamie Oliver, and content for children with characters from Netflix’s Michelle Obama series, “Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi.” Outside of grocery, the retailer held a “Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular” on TikTok for its private-label brands last September.

Related news: Walmart AR Brings Michelle Obama’s Netflix ‘Waffles’ to Store Aisles  

And more: Walmart Joins Livestreaming Trend With TikTok

What Consumers Are Saying

This new partnership has the potential to take advantage of consumers’ shift to buying groceries online. A PYMNTS census-balanced survey of over 5,000 U.S. consumers published in the report, “The Bring-It-to-Me Economy: How Online Marketplaces And Aggregators Drive Omnichannel Commerce,” created in collaboration with Carat by Fiserv, found that significantly more than half of consumers (57% )are now ordering groceries online, with 46% of all consumers doing so more often than before the pandemic.

Read more: New Study: Bring-It-to-Me Economy Ascends as Consumers Embrace Home-Centric Lifestyles

What the Experts Are Saying

Grocers have evolved their digital platforms dramatically within the last five years. As Stor.ai CEO Orlee Tal recalled in an interview with PYMNTS, “Online grocery was the black sheep of eCommerce — nothing was happening there. And then, in 2017, Amazon acquires Whole Foods, and the entire market panics.”

You may also like: Stor.ai CEO: Sticking the Landing Keeps eGrocery Customers Coming Back

Now, the space has grown enormously, and the grocery industry is at the forefront of contextual commerce when it comes to shoppable content.

“Recipe content has always been incredibly shoppable,” Jason Young, president of digital shopper marketing platform Chicory, told PYMNTS. “What’s happening is, we now have the pipes all connected so that you can go very directly from content like recipes into transactional moments. But if you look at recipes historically, they’ve always been a point of inspiration, a point of kicking off the food shopping process.”

Read more: Soon All Content Will Be Shoppable, Says Contextual Commerce Platform Chicory 

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