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Case Study: Securing your spot at the dinner table through valuable customer feedback

How one Walmart Merchant is keeping customer feedback the centerpiece of sales and inventory planning this holiday season.

As the holiday season draws near, the importance of understanding shopper behavior comes to the forefront for both brands and retailers. Thanksgiving, a cornerstone of the festivities, is marked by indulgent meals and warm gatherings. But with growing concerns about inflation, an ever-changing landscape of consumer preferences, and 44% of Walmart customers planning to buy fewer items to cut costs—it’s harder than ever for brands to earn a seat at the table1.

While past-season sales and inventory can tell one piece of the story, Walmart Luminate Charter gives brands and Merchants the opportunity to tap into verified Walmart shopper data for a clearer view to steer assortment, pricing, promotions, and inventory planning. One Walmart food Merchant was on a mission to go beyond typical sales data and inventory tracking to gain a deeper understanding of changes in turkey and ham customer behaviors and sentiment to inform strategies for the upcoming Thanksgiving season.

The methodology

Using Walmart Luminate’s Customer Perception tool, the Merchant launched a survey to collect direct feedback from 500 verified Walmart customers to:

  • Gain deeper segmentation insights around changing holiday traditions and customer needs.
  • Forecast purchasing behaviors and demand signals for 2023 based on insights from this last year.
  • Identify potential correlations with prevailing economic conditions influencing customer budgets and priorities.

Key takeaways

Last year, just over nine in 10 Walmart shoppers served turkey for Thanksgiving, while ham was on the rise. A vast majority of turkeys were bought for celebrations and family dinners, and three in four shoppers opted for turkeys larger than 10 lbs. While shoppers buying multiple turkeys decreased from 2021, the overall turkey purchase rate was stable despite economic hardships2.

Customers were driven by price and convenience to shop at the best retailers for them. Notably, convenience was more important than price for Walmart customers, even with the economic headwinds of late 2022. Customers who purchased elsewhere were driven by price more than convenience, and retailer-specific incentives.

Looking even closer

In a second surveyjust weeks before Thanksgiving, the Merchant found that demand continued to be strong with 23% of Walmart shoppers planning to serve both ham and turkey as main dishes. And 34% of Walmart customers took time to research the best deals online before going to the store, while 25% made their purchases online.

What’s next?

With these insights the Walmart Merchant was poised to follow up and meet customer needs with proactive offerings for holiday 2023.

  • Supply line optimization

With clear customer emphasis on price and convenience, the Merchant can reevaluate replenishment performance in Walmart Luminate Channel Performance for the 2022 holiday season to sure up performance and plan ahead. Keeping costs down and timelines tight will be integral to success in 2023.

  • Promotional advertising

Competing retailer loyalty programs and price were sticking points for shoppers who purchased outside of Walmart. By working with suppliers and Walmart Connect, the Merchant can target price sensitive customers more likely to utilize loyalty programs. Then, follow up with Customer Perception for longitudinal feedback.

  • Basket building

Using Walmart Luminate Shopper Behavior, the Merchant can determine which items are likely to go into the basket with turkey or ham for price-sensitive, midmarket, and upmarket shoppers. These insights can be paralleled with customers’ Thanksgiving ‘23 serving expectations. The result? A focus on convenience to create new endcaps and modulars catered to clear customer priorities for holiday 2023.

Earning a seat at the table with Walmart Luminate insights

Holiday shopping habits are evolving, but with early planning and data-driven insights, Merchants and suppliers can get ahead of challenges and opportunities this season. Walmart Luminate sheds new light on the what, why, and how so you can gain deeper insight into customers' behaviors and sentiments in new ways to fuel smarter, faster decisions.

Don’t miss opportunities to listen to customers and grow your business with strategic, first-party insights. Learn more about using Walmart Luminate to forecast and strategize for success.


1Walmart first-party data provided by Walmart Luminate, Q4 FY2024. Reflecting 10/17/2023 to 10/24/2023.

2Walmart Luminate, First Party Data. Q4 FY2023.