Walmart's E-Commerce is Growing More Sophisticated

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Walmart's E-Commerce is Growing More Sophisticated

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 05/21/2018

As Walmart continues its e-commerce push, including a redesign of its website and upcoming launch of a Lord & Taylor flagship store on Walmart.com, the mega retailer saw a 33% spike in e-commerce growth in its first quarter of 2018.

"We are seeing good momentum with right assortment and the right pricing supported by marketing," said Kary Brunner, director of Investor Relations at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in a recent earnings call. "Online grocery is also a contributor to our e-commerce growth and you've seen us introduce a number of initiatives including the expansion of online grocery, as well as grocery delivery in the U.S. this year."

Walmart will expand online grocery pick-up to reach 2,100 locations by the end of 2018, up from around 1,400 locations around the U.S. currently, according to Brunner. The retailer aims to scale grocery delivery to reach about 40% of the U.S. population by the end of the year.

Walmart also launched the redesign of its website this month, which features a "cleaner and more modern digital shopping experience," as Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, described it.

Next up is the rollout of the new Lord & Taylor flagship store on Walmart.com in the coming weeks. The flagship, which will debut with more than 125 brands, will be part of Walmart.com’s broader fashion destination and orders over $35 will be eligible for free two-day shipping.

“As part of the Walmart.com redesign, and our commitment to establish Walmart.com as a destination for fashion, we recently relaunched our new fashion shopping experience," said Denise Incandela, head of Fashion, Walmart U.S. eCommerce. "The new experience is aligned with how customers shop the category, with editorial elements that inspire customers to browse and buy, and has already generated positive customer response.The next step is the launch of the Lord & Taylor flagship store, which introduces exciting new premium brands to our customers.”

The Lord & Taylor flagship store broadens Walmart's e-commerce shopper base, targeting those seeking premium market goods.

Walmart.com’s new fashion experience will consist of two shops: Everyday Brands and Premium Brands. To distinguish Walmart.com’s premium shop, a “Premium Brands from Lord & Taylor” header will run across each premium brand page.

“This innovative flagship on Walmart.com is an entirely new model for us and demonstrates the evolution of Lord & Taylor and our commitment to advancing our digital presence,” said RJ Cilley, SVP of Digital, Lord & Taylor. “We are excited for the opportunity to serve exponentially more customers with our premium fashion offerings, including our famous dress selection and many stylish brands.”

Meanwhile, on the hyper premium side of Walmart's efforts, the retailer's personal shopping venture Code Eight has rebranded itself as Jetblack, Recode reported.

In job listings, the service is described as a “members-only personal shopping and concierge service that combines the convenience of e-commerce with the customized attention of a personal assistant.”

Customer experience agents working for the company will need to "wow every customer with personalized recommendations, curated products, and high-touch service," and "work closely with team category experts to ensure we provide the best recommendations," according to the recent listing.

The service is still in beta in Manhattan, but visitors to www.jetblack.com can request early access.

The startup is being led by Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss. She has been working on Code 8 since the end of March last year.