Walmart’s Digital Commitment Pays off with Astounding 40% E-Commerce Sales Growth

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
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Walmart announced its Q2 financial results last week and shocked the industry, reporting 40% growth in e-commerce sales.

The retailer has been engaged in a hard-fought battle with rival Amazon for control of the e-commerce market, investing in its website, digital capabilities, supply-chain infrastructure, and store systems to elevate its e-commerce prowess ― and it worked.

While 40% e-commerce growth is not unheard of in today’s increasingly digital environment, it is a noteworthy accomplishment for a retailer the size of Walmart, with billions of revenue coming from its online properties alone. Helping to forge this incredible growth is Walmart’s ability to leverage its sprawling store footprint to spur digital sales through innovative click-and-collect initiatives.

“The teams made a lot of progress learning how to pick more efficiently,” Walmart CEO and president Doug McMillion said on a recent conference call with the investment community. “Really good progress on those metrics, and the SKU count that we're picking from in the stores is growing over time. We think we have a big advantage as it relates to fresh and perishable food with the right assortment at a great price so close to so many Americans. When I think about a store being able to pick efficiently ― and it's also a profit center because people shop in it, that's a winner as opposed to more capital for e-commerce fulfillment to be built out that nobody shops in. It's an advantage. So we're trying to make the most of that.”

Key highlights of Walmart’s record-breaking quarter include:

  • Total revenue was $128.0 billion, an increase of $4.7 billion, or 3.8%.
  • U.S. comp sales increased 4.5%, the strongest growth in more than 10 years led by the performance of grocery, apparel and seasonal.
  • U.S. omnichannel saw significant progress with an expanded online assortment, including 1,100 popular new brands.
  • Grocery pickup is now available at more than 1,800 locations. The retailer is on track to reach about 40% of the U.S. population by year-end with grocery delivery.
  • Sam's Club comp sales increased 5.0%, the strongest growth in six years.
  • Net sales at Walmart International were $29.5 billion, an increase of 4.0%.

“Thanks to the hard work of our associates, we had a great quarter with strong results and momentum across the business,” McMillion said in a prepared statement announcing the results. “We’re pleased with how customers are responding to the way we’re leveraging stores and e-commerce to make shopping faster and more convenient. We’re continuing to aggressively roll out grocery pickup and delivery in the US, and we recently announced expanded omnichannel initiative in China and Mexico. Customers have choices and we’re making it easier than ever for them to choose Walmart.”

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