Walmart’s ecommerce division has been growing quickly in recent years. The company has poured billions of dollars into the online store, investing in talent, processes, and know-how to improve customer satisfaction. But, while Walmart has invested in ecommerce, it does not break out profits from the operation. As of 2019, the U.S. eCommerce business lost $2 billion. Let’s take a look at some of the key metrics that indicate the profitability of the division.
First of all, Walmart has over 4,500 physical stores. It leverages these locations to expand its online store. For example, customers can now order groceries online and pick them up later at a nearby Walmart. Another notable feature is the personalization of its website. Visitors can see recommendations based on algorithmic and merchandiser-curated content, making it even more personalized. Despite its size, Walmart’s ecommerce business is not as large as Amazon.
Despite the broader economic challenges faced by Walmart, its online presence is increasing. In fact, Walmart recently launched a subscription service where consumers can get unlimited grocery deliveries. Walmart has adapted to changing consumer behavior, using digital technologies and a variety of new products. And the company is looking to continue this trend with its omni-channel approach. Walmart plans to grow its ecommerce business by 35 percent this year, and it’s already hitting that mark.
However, it’s not all roses for the retail giant. Its ecommerce efforts have not been without problems. Walmart’s eCommerce website often doesn’t reflect the stock levels on its physical stores. Moreover, customers have frequently reported that the items listed as “out of stock” online are actually available in local stores. This has resulted in a lot of frustration for consumers. And it’s clear that consumers are a large part of Walmart’s success.
Another way that Walmart has adapted its ecommerce strategy is by using augmented reality to make their website more inviting. Unlike Amazon, which presents products in context with no human being, Walmart’s website emphasizes relationships and interactions between shoppers and products. The company’s website also features photos of real people using the products. In addition to offering consumers an engaging experience, Walmart has also implemented a variety of convenience features that make the online experience more convenient.
The ecommerce success of Walmart will depend on the company’s ability to compete effectively with Amazon. The latter’s ecommerce business may continue to grow at a faster pace than Walmart. However, higher oil prices may also make consumers more inclined to order food and other items online. Higher inflation may also make Walmart’s ecommerce business more profitable and could even convert shoppers who shop online to regular ones. The company could also continue to invest in other businesses, like Flipkart, to increase its ecommerce reach further.
The Walmart app features a virtual assistant, digital maps, weekly ads, and other features. In addition, the app offers features for baby and wedding registries and mobile express returns. The company’s digital platform is integrated with 4,700 brick-and-mortar locations. Rather than focusing on one channel, Walmart is moving towards a unified approach to ecommerce and omnichannel retail. There are two main goals of this effort: (1) to increase the online presence and (2) to expand the physical footprint of Walmart.