Walmart is on a mission to become an omnichannel powerhouse focused on providing a seamless experience whether the customer is shopping on their mobile device, a traditional PC, or in a brick-and-mortar store. To do so they've been building out their online shopping experience, investing heavily in technology, and converting store space into fulfillment centers to get products to their customers faster and with less expense. Here are five ways Walmart is taking over omnichannel retailing:
Walmart's mission to become an omnichannel powerhouse Creating an omnichannel experience enables customers to shop how they want, when they want and however they want. In 2021, Walmart U.S. had e-commerce sales amounting to 43 billion U.S. dollars, increasing over 70 percent compared to 2020's figure. While the retail giant is working to become an e-commerce leader, the brand also wants to appeal to those who aren't shopping online. Thanks to Walmart, shopping is just a click away. Their strategy is to generate sales by creating the biggest and best selection in their stores and online. Today, Walmart offers an incredible number of products from hundreds of thousands of brands.
Investing heavily in technology Walmart is investing heavily in technology to make its online shopping experience as fast and easy as possible. For example, they've upgraded the design of their app, now allowing customers to find items, find coupons, view their past orders, and so much more right from their phone. Walmart has also bought several startups to bring new innovative shopping experiences and invested significantly in automation. The result? Walmart reported $559.15 billion in revenue, up 6.7% compared with $523.96 billion for the previous fiscal year.
Converting store space into fulfillment centers Walmart is pressing the advantage of operating thousands of stores by adding automation to some locations designed to fulfill online orders more efficiently. With a large store footprint in the U.S. that spans over 4,700 stores, it's a good way for Walmart to move more inventory closer to consumers reducing delivery times and costs. In addition to these, Walmart has 25 dedicated e-commerce facilities and fulfills e-commerce orders from 8 regional distribution centers; 2 fashion distribution centers; 6 Sam's Club dark stores converted from retail stores; and three import distribution centers.
Using data and AI Walmart doesn't rely on analytics alone to make its e-commerce operations successful, but that doesn't mean it's any less effective. Walmart's AI systems use data to predict which items a customer might be interested in, what deals it can make with suppliers, and where to find the items. They've also been developing new delivery models using drones and autonomous vehicles. Their goal is to move a customer's shopping list from their living room to their front door without interacting with a human. While the warehouse and distribution areas may be getting more automated, they're still very much humans driving the operations. Stores are the primary point of contact for customers and are essential to Walmart's omnichannel success.
Better customer experience with quicker shipping Customers have come to expect fast shipping, and Walmart is responding by matching Amazon. Walmart's free two-day shipping covers tens of thousands of items on its website and in stores. Their personalized online shopping experience recognizes shopping habits online and in-store and auto-populates the list of products you are most likely to purchase.
Conclusion Walmart's omnichannel efforts are a strategic force in the global economy. To be successful, they'll have to continue investing in technology and working with their suppliers to implement sustainable business models that ensure success in the long run. For the last several years, Walmart has transformed into an e-commerce powerhouse. In 2020, Walmart's e-commerce sales increased 79%, contributing to a 5.1% rise in the company's overall revenue. The retailer's investment in technology and innovation is paying off. But, Walmart isn't the only retail giant going strong. The global e-commerce market is expected to grow to $3 trillion by 2023, according to Statista, and Walmart has a shot at dominating.
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