Walmart’s “Get on the Shelf” Contest Draws More Than 4,000 New Products

Walmart today announced that after five days of public voting, its new Get on the Shelf contest has attracted 274,000 total votes as of Sunday, March 11, 2012. The “American Idol” style contest and was created by the heart of Silicon Valley based Walmart business unit that is tasked with creating platforms and products around social and mobile commerce to support Walmart’s global strategy of anytime, anywhere access where millions of customers can discover, research and shop through mobile devices, online or at physical stores.

Diverse products have trended in the initial days of voting including datil pepper salt from combat veterans; eyeglass repair kit to fix glasses in 30 seconds; and a fork specifically designed for dogs. This is the first contest of its kind from a major retailer, and the American Idol-style contest gives the top three products an opportunity to win virtual shelf space on The Grand Prize winner’s product will have the opportunity to be sold on and featured on the site’s home page, and also get the chance for valuable shelf space in select Walmart stores across the country.

More than 4,000 product creators entered via video submission to Get on the Shelf between January 9 and February 22 of this year from across the United States.  In the first 24 hours of the contest voting, which started March 7, 93 percent of contestants had received votes.  An average of 55,000 votes are cast daily and an average of 92,000 daily visits are made to the site.  People can vote once for a product using their Facebook account and once using text messaging every day.  Votes can be cast for multiple products a day.

“We have been amazed by the number of entries for Get on the Shelf, and by the community’s passion and excitement for the contest,” said Guha Jayachandran, principal engineer at @WalmartLabs who developed the idea for the contest.  “Discovering products we may not have otherwise known about combined with the power of social media makes this a unique and fun contest. Small businesses can gain visibility and access to the scale of Walmart and customers get a direct voice in what they want to see on the shelves.”

The top five product categories submitted to Get on the Shelf include:

  • Home improvement at 11.4 percent
  • Personalized products at 10.2 percent
  • Health/wellness/fitness at 9.6 percent
  • Fashion apparel/home at 8.1 percent
  • Outdoor home at 6.7 percent

Get on the Shelf is the latest initiative from @WalmartLabs, Walmart’s hub for innovation at the intersection of social, mobile and retail to lead the next generation of e-commerce.   In the past months, the group has announced Shopycat, a social gift finder and new iPhone and iPad apps to make shopping easier and more efficient.

The first round of voting will run for 28 days through April 3 when the top 10 finalists will be announced. The second round of voting will take place April 11 through April 24, after which the top three contestants and grand prizewinner will be unveiled.

For more information and to vote, visit The contest is only open to participants in the United States. Products already carried by Walmart or are not eligible for entry.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.