Walmart, the world's largest retailer and biggest private employer, has launched its first ever web series aimed at giving the American public the opportunity to decide which new products get to go on the their shelves, both on and offline. Wrapped up in a reality series format, the first episode features products from four U.S. entrepreneurs, picked from thousands of entrants to a crowd sourcing product contest. The four showcase their merchandise and the one that proves the most popular with the audience wins the chance to see the retail giant stock and sell it. There are five weekly shows in the series, the first one is launched today with the others following suit on a weekly basis through to October 22nd. Products included on the first show include a line of gourmet scented stuffed animals and a brilliant wheelchair for infirm or injured dogs. You can see the full list of finalists and their wares here (Elvis Presley Bedding Collection anyone?)
Viewers can visit the Get On The Shelf site and vote online for their favourite product/entrepreneur each week. The series is produced by the digital studio team behind Shark Tank's Mark Burnett so the format is a pretty tried and tested one. To drive further engagement, viewers are given just 72 hours after each episode goes live to vote. The winner, based on the amount of pre-orders gained, will receive additional marketing support from Walmart. You can see the first show here (at time of writing it's still shown as unlisted on YouTube):
Kelly Thompson, Senior VP of Merchandising for Walmart.com is excited for the project and confirms that:
Get on the Shelf celebrates the resilient and tenacious spirit of American entrepreneurs, many of whom have been working hard for a big break like this. The web series creates more exposure for finalists to share their inspiring stories, which makes for captivating reality TV that's also interactive since American consumers can vote for the next great product at Walmart.com.
You can catch the shows every Tuesday at 1pm E.T. for the next five weeks. Go vote for the dog wheelchair now.