The 3 E-Commerce Areas Walmart's Focused On

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The 3 E-Commerce Areas Walmart's Focused On

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 03/08/2016
As Walmart's big push to be a digital competitor continues, the company has laid out the three big e-commerce opportunities it's focused on: customers, assortment, and grocery.

In Q4 fiscal 2016, Walmart's global e-commerce sales and GMV both grew at 8%. For the full year, sales grew 12 percent and GMV grew 13 percent.

Looking forward, Walmart is working on:

1. Continuing to build a digital relationship with customers

In the technology and e-commerce space, Walmart continues to innovate with a focus on the customer. The company developed a new platform that it can scale across the business,  improved its fulfillment capabilities with new fulfillment centers to help get orders to customers’ doors faster and more efficiently, and is growing in-store pickup for online orders.

Walmart also plans to roll out Walmart Pay this coming year. The company has started testing it in a small group of stores.

"We recently aligned our technology teams because we want more speed and more customer-centric and cost-efficient innovations like this one," commented Doug McMillon, President and CEO. Walmart recently built an e-commerce technology company inside of Walmart, bringing various teams under a single Walmart Technology banner.

Additionaly, over the holidays, thanks to new fulfillment centers, Walmart saw its best on-time delivery rates ever. The company saw nearly a 40% jump in-store pickup during the holidays and during Q4, Club Pickup at Sam's Club increased 46 percent over last year.

2. Scaling online assortment

In the U.S., Walmart plans to deliver a significant assortment expansion and faster delivery at a lower cost this year, seeking more GMV growth from its e-commerce businesses.

"Our initiatives across the box are gaining steam, and we’ll look forward to drive improvements in assortment and pricing, while focusing on building a seamless shopping experience across all channels," said Greg Foran, president and CEO, Walmart U.S.

3. Expanding online grocery

Walmart expanded online grocery shopping to over 150 locations across more than 20 markets in the U.S., and plans to continue expanding this year. Customer satisfaction for those who use the free pickup service is in the high 90s, according to the company.

"Customers are literally jumping out of their cars to rave about it, and one of my recent favorites was a mom with two kids in the back of her car," said McMillon. "She told us about how much easier it has made her life because she can shop where and when it’s convenient and then drive up and just get her groceries. She placed her order while she was relaxing and watching her kids play. Customers are inviting us into the fabric of their lives."

McMillon also noted the company is learning interesting things about how consumers like to shop.

"We’ve found that 8 - 9pm is one of the most popular times customers order groceries online, usually once the kids go to bed. We also see a healthy number of orders in the middle of the night. These may be parents comforting or feeding infants and ordering more diapers or formula to pick up the next day."