Natural home care products are becoming popular, following sustainable and healthy lifestyle trends among consumers. Below is a summary of key findings on how three retailers feature and market natural home care products online.
Home Care Products on Walmart.com
- As stated in the initial research, Walmart’s website does not have a category specifically for natural home care products.
- In its household essentials category, none of the subcategories is specifically for natural products and there is no filter option for natural products only either. It does, however, include featured brands, some of which are known natural brands.
- The site provides 602 options of natural home care products from various sellers–for example, ProMax Commerce, Nature’s Chapter, Pacific Sands Inc., etc.–and Walmart’s own stock, but one has to search for them instead navigating through categories and subcategories.
- The site has special offers–such as clearance, rollback and price at check out–although they are not exclusively designed for natural home care products.
- Walmart’s Instagram last feature of natural home care products was almost two years ago.
- Its Twitter has not featured natural home care products at all in 2020, neither has its Facebook or YouTube.
- Walmart Sustainibility Hub states that Walmart has established commitment to green chemistry, embracing the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. It is the first retailer to participant in Chemical Footprint Project Survey. This, however, does not appear to be widely featured on its social media.
- Availability of natural home care products at Walmart can be found in a number of articles online, such as on TODAY and New York Magazine, all featuring selected natural home care products with information of retailers that offer the product. Note that Walmart is behind Amazon in terms of how often it appears as a retailer selling the featured products.
- A SWOT analysis of Walmart finds that one of the threats to its business is the healthy lifestyle trend, and high-end competitors have advantages in attracting quality-seeking customers. Many perceive goods sold at Walmart as not healthy or natural.
Natural Home Care Products on Walgreens.com
- Although Walgreens does not have a natural home care category on its homepage, the website has a category for natural and organic products, under which natural cleaning brands are listed. From there, customers may easily navigate for products by brands.
- There are four natural “fresh & clean” brands offered on the site and a total of 30 items, very few compared to the other two retailers.
- There is also a subcategory for sale items under natural and organic products. Customers may also browse through its weakly online deals although it is not exclusively for natural home care products.
- Walgreens has not featured natural home care products on its Instagram at all in recent years.
- Its other social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, have not featured the products either. Its YouTube channel mostly posts videos relating to healthcare and, to a lesser extent, beauty tips. Although there are features of some natural home care products by Ology from Walgreens on Pinterest, Walgreens does not appear to carry home care products by the brand anymore.
- According to its Chief Marketing Officer, Walgreens’s marketing strategies focus on its purpose instead of its products.
Natural Home Care Products on Target.com
- Among the 29 categories on its homepage, household essentials has an “explore all” option which lists all household products.
- There are also subcategories among which is the option for natural cleaning products. There are a total 278 items under this subcategory.
- This also features optional search criteria such as sustainability claims and certifications (plant-based, cruelty-free, etc.) and brands.
- Among the brands is Target’s own Everspring, a brand for sustainable and natural home care products.
- Similar to the other two retailers, Target does not focus on featuring products on its social media.
- Target also joined Chemical Footprint Project although this is not widely advertised by Target.
- Its own natural home care brand, Everspring, is featured on a number of online articles, from news channels such as CNBC to popular lifestyle sites such as PopSugar.
- The brand is marketed with a “Target Clean” icon, indicating a product is made without unwanted chemicals. The icon is also used on other natural home care products that fit the criteria.
- Everspring products are also marketed with video reviews on YouTube by a number of channels.
To carry out this research, we conducted searches on the retailers’ websites. Where possible, we tried to navigate through the categorical organization of the websites. Walmart appeared to be the only one where this process was not possible. Instead, in order to find natural home care products, one must manually search for the term. We also examined the retailers’ social media accounts to study their marketing strategies through the platforms. It appeared that the retailers did not promote products this way. Searching through their online marketing materials, we found that the retailers did not focus on promoting products (except Everspring) although there were weekly promotions not exclusively for home care products. Many marketing materials we found were from the manufacturers of the products.