Wal-Mart views the omnichannel shopper as its ‘sweet spot’
18.11.2015 424 views
It was a mixed bag for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the third quarter, as total sales declined for the world’s largest retailer while comparable sales and web sales increased slightly, though not as much as company executives would have liked.
Wal-Mart does not break out e-commerce sales figures on a quarterly basis, but the merchant says global web sales increased 10% year over year when factoring in the impact of currency fluctuations. Wal-Mart did not disclose web sales growth figures without this impact and says growth online was tempered by challenges in such key international markets as Brazil, China and the United Kingdom.
Comparable sales increased 1.5% during the quarter, and traffic increased 1.7%, Wal-Mart says.
Wal-Mart made several improvements to its e-commerce program during the quarter as it continues to try to link its wide network of stores with its global web and mobile commerce properties.
“We will be the first to deliver a seamless shopping experience at scale,” CEO Doug McMillon said on a conference call. “Online retailers are testing physical store experiences because they recognize the same customer desire that we do. There’s a race to do this right, but only Walmart can bring together a dense network of stores, supported by a supply chain and systems like ours, with an emerging set of digital capabilities to win with customers.”
Wal-Mart continues to accelerate the rollout of online grocery pickup services and go after the so-called omnichannel shopper, as it added 85 locations with the capability, bringing the total to 140 stores in 25 metropolitan markets that allow store pickup of online grocery orders. “Customers who start using online grocery spend nearly 50% more than similar customers who shop only in stores,” he said. “This is the customer we’re going after—the shopper in our ‘sweet spot’ who accesses Wal-Mart in multiple ways.”
The merchant made several improvements to its mobile technology capabilities as well. Wal-Mart rolled out to all stores geofencing technology, which links up with customers’ loyalty accounts and mobile devices to alert the retailer when a customer arrives in the parking lot to pick up an online order. It also launched a wish list that allows consumers to add desired items from home or by scanning items in a store. “We expect more than 210 million visits to our app in November and December, up from 18 million in 2012,” he said on the call.
Source: Internet Retailer
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