Need to Know
- Walmart Cookshop features interactive videos starring celebrity chefs and other famous faces
- The videos, which are hosted by actress Sofia Vergara, will star Jamie Oliver, food blogger The Pioneer Woman, and singer Patti LaBelle
- Users control ingredients that are added to each video recipe, and can purchase products and ingredients from Walmart, directly from the video
Walmart has launched a new, interactive cooking video series that will let viewers purchase products and ingredients directly through the videos themselves.
Walmart Cookshop, which launched on November 23, features recipes from celebrity chefs and other stars and allows viewers to tailor the recipes they’re watching to their specific tastes and dietary specifications. Actress Sofia Vergara is featured in a tutorial that teaches viewers how to navigate the Cookshop videos; celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, food blogger Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman, and singer Patti LaBelle. The videos are a partnership between Walmart and eko, an interactive-video technology provider.
“Cooking together or for a loved one can bring so much joy, and now more than ever, we need our kids to grow up healthy and happy,” Jamie Oliver said in a statement. “Eko’s technology will allow people to interact with my recipes, and choose what ingredients they want to use. I hope everyone will enjoy our quick, easy, and unique recipes that families can experiment with over and over again.”
The videos begin like regular cooking videos, but very quickly give way to a choose-your-own-adventure format: in the first video from Jamie Oliver, part of what will be an ongoing series for Walmart from the celebrity chef called Veggie Boost, the British chef allows viewers to indicate whether they’re cooking for kids or adults, what type of vegetable they’d like to use, whether the dish needs to be kept vegetarian, and what types of additions they’d like to use, among other options. At the end of each recipe video, viewers are given the opportunity to purchase ingredients to make the dish at home, directly from Walmart.
Walmart previously partnered with eko on a series of interactive videos around Halloween. In an interview with CTECH discussing the ongoing eko partnership, Walmart EVP Janey Whiteside said the initiative is part of Walmart’s “journey to try to change the relationship that retailers can have with their customers, so it goes from transactional to being much more emotional and fun.” The company has shown a strong commitment to digital innovation throughout 2020. Walmart has focused on delivery and in-store pickup and improvements to the online checkout experience, among other initiatives, resulting in a 79% spike in online sales for the retailer in Q3.
With Cookshop, Walmart joins a number of brands and retailers who are using interactive video to sell products to consumers who are largely shopping from home this year (and this holiday season). Brands such as Estee Lauder, Levi’s, and Swarovski have been experimenting with livestream shopping, an interactive digital shopping technique that has long been successful in Asian markets and is increasing in popularity in North America as well. In June, YouTube launched shoppable ads, which allow brands to convert video ads into virtual storefronts.