Time for an update on the latest Walmart retail and eCommerce news. There’s been lots of innovation and new product and service introductions by the world’s largest retailer both in-store and online. The biggest news is Walmart’s introduction of a free shipping promotion to compete ahead of Amazon’s big Prime Day sales event across the US. It is also heavily promoting its $49 annual fee, two-day free Shipping Pass program across the US. Struggling to gain market share in China, Walmart will sell its Yihaodian marketplace assets to . Also, Sam’s Club China will open a flagship store on . The company is expanding its Walmart Pay program to its 4600 US stores as customers reuse reaches 88%.
Walmart continues to expand its Marketplace program to enable third-party sales to customers online. According to SA Stock Market News, Wal-Mart’s investments in e-commerce will pay off in the future. AmigoBulls reports on the company’s share price rise from better than expected earnings and its efforts to become more like Amazon. It is increasing its buying of more American-made products for sale in its stores. Meanwhile, sales for Walmex across Mexico and Central America reached just over $6.7 billion, 11% higher than the 2015 quarter.
Wal-Mart rolls out a week of free shipping ahead of Prime Day
Wal-Mart sees Amazon’s Prime Day and is raising it four.
Just hours before Amazon’s second Prime Day sales event, a self-invented holiday that offers exclusive deals for members of its subscription service, Wal-Mart is eliminating the $50 minimum spending requirement for shoppers to receive free shipping on their online orders.
Also Monday, the discount retailer said it has slashed prices on a handful of products, including a Samsung 55-inch 4K TV for $598. That’s half the usual price.
The deals are in addition to a promotion Wal-Mart launched at the end of June, when it started offering a free 30-day trial for ShippingPass, its answer to Prime. The annual subscription service gives shoppers free unlimited two-day shipping for $49, compared with $99 for a Prime membership. However, Prime comes with additional perks, such as video streaming. Via cnbc.com
Walmart squares up against Amazon with 2-day delivery across the US
Walmart has just expanded its free, two-day shipping pilot to the entire United States. The program is called ShippingPass, and it competes directly with Amazon Prime, offering users free, two-day delivery on any item for an annual price of $49.
This is just half the price of the $99/year Amazon Prime subscription, but it doesn’t come with the same access to Amazon’s streaming services like Prime Music and Prime Video.
For now, ShippingPass is only available for items that Walmart sells directly on Walmart.com. The company has been investing heavily in its ecommerce business, infusing $2 billion in the platform, according to the WSJ. Of course, Walmart wants to expand the ShippingPass delivery system to third-party sellers as well, though that is not currently available to users. Via techcrunch.com
Walmart confirms agreement with JD.com
Walmart confirmed on Monday that it is entering an agreement with JD.com, China’s second-largest ecommerce site.
Walmart will receive 5% of JD.com’s outstanding shares, summing up to about 145.5 million newly issued ordinary shares. It will sell its Yihaodian marketplace assets to JD.com. Also, Sam’s Club China will open a flagship store on JD.com.
Through this partnership, Walmart hopes to grow its China business and extend its ecommerce reach in the country, where it has struggled to gain traction. Via businessinsider.com
Wal-Mart now lets you pay with your phone at all 4,600 U.S. stores
Wal-Mart will now let you pay with its phone app at all 4,600 stores nationwide. The effort is part of Wal-Mart’s strategy to make shopping easier and faster, while learning more about consumer behavior.
With Wal-Mart Pay, the cashier scans a QR code on the phone screen to charge a credit, debit or Wal-Mart gift card linked with the account. It differs from Apple, Samsung and Android Pay, which involves tapping your phone next to a payment machine with a wireless technology called NFC.
In December, Wal-Mart said it would develop its own digital wallet rather than honor existing systems from Apple and others, though Wal-Mart said it isn’t ruling out third-party wallets in the future. Via klfy.com
Walmart Adds Partners to Grow Third Party Marketplace
Seth Beal is charged with making a success of Walmart’s third-party merchant marketplace. We sat down with Seth at the Internet Retailer conference in Chicago last week to learn more about the program, which, as the company announced in April, is ramping up.
Beal revealed that after working exclusively with ChannelAdvisor, Walmart is adding three new partners to help it scale the Walmart Marketplace: CommerceHub, Solid Commerce, and 4Psite, which are helping their merchant customers integrate with Walmart. Sellers also have the choice of integrating directly.
But just because Walmart is going from “hundreds” of merchants to “thousands” doesn’t mean everyone will have a chance to offer their goods on its marketplace. Beal said Walmart is looking for professional sellers versus the “eBay seller.” Walmart will be looking at such things as, “Do they have the product, a track record, and good customer reviews,” he said.
While the Marketplace started awhile back with a handful of sellers, it wasn’t until Walmart completed building its global technology Pangaea platform that the company was able to expand the assortment at scale and accelerate its marketplace expansion plans. Beal said Walmart expanded its assortment from 2 million to 9 million items and said Marketplace was a major contributor. Via e-commerce bytes
Wal-Mart ramping up e-commerce strategy via marketplace
Walmart is planning to add 1 million products per month to Walmart.com, primarily through the third-party marketplace integrated into its e-commerce site. Walmart.com offers about 11 million products, compared to about 260 million on Amazon. It had 88 million online visitors in February, compared to more than 1.7 billion for Amazon, according to comScore. Wal-Mart’s online sales rose about 7% during its fiscal first quarter, but its rate of growth has been slowing.
Wal-Mart lately has been doing its best to embrace all of the different technology innovations—e-commerce, mobile payments, premium fulfillment memberships, drones, even robotics—that would otherwise help obliterate its traditional business model if it didn’t embrace them. Maybe the brick-and-mortar retail world isn’t going away quite that quickly, but if you want to run with the new giants of retail, you need to do it with technology.
It’s certainly looking like the right time to do that, as Wal-Mart warned analysts last year that its financial picture was looking pretty cloudy throughout this year and into next. Of course, increasing technology investment to the point where Wal-Mart was the world’s biggest tech spender last year also has a way of further clouding the company’s financial picture. Via retaildive.com
Wal-Mart’s E-Commerce Investments Will Drive Its Future Growth
The giant retailer Walmart continued to strengthen its growing businesses when, in a quick turnaround, it sold its entire stake in Yihaodian to the Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com (NASDAQ:JD). This deal is another step in a process that Walmart started last year to accelerate growth in emerging revenue streams by restructuring brick-and-mortar operations domestically and worldwide and expanding its e-commerce business.
In its physical locations operations, Walmart made some restructuring decisions that received plenty of media coverage and aimed to improve traditional stores’ business profitability. Earlier this year, Walmart announced that it reviewed its entire store business and decided to close the Walmart Express brand with its 102 locations and additional 52 stores in the US and Puerto Rico. Internationally, the company closed 60 underperforming stores in Brazil and 55 small loss-making stores in other Latin American locations. In Asia, the company set a target to open up to 50 new locations in India while, in Japan, it will remodel the stores instead of opening new ones. The rationale behind the broad restructuring is to strengthen the core business to enable a safer journey by expanding the e-commerce business, which, in my opinion, is the big story in Walmart’s future.
It is clear that while Walmart operates an enormous and fruitful brick-and-mortar stores business worldwide, the direction the company is taking is toward e-commerce due to its benefits compared with physical locations. This is, of course, a long and painful process to go through. However, it is inevitable to create a long-term sustainable business in today’s world.
Walmart’s e-commerce efforts are not new, but there are a few actions the management took to accelerate the shift towards e-commerce and encourage growth in that segment. Last year, as the CurrentC launch was delayed, Walmart kicked off Walmart Pay, an interim solution to provide the necessary e-payment capabilities the company was looking for to improve customer experience and optimize the payment process in its physical locations. Walmart Pay is not as sleek and easy as Apple Pay (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android Pay, or other services, but it provides a good temporary solution until Walmart decides whether to adopt CurrentC in the future. As the e-payments market grows worldwide, Walmart cannot afford itself to stay behind no matter what the reason is, and by launching Walmart Pay, the company demonstrates how committed it is to implement e-payment capabilities that could be later leveraged to support its e-commerce business. Via seekingalpha.com
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. To Become More Like Amazon
2016 is shaping up to be an annus mirabilis for Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and its investors. WMT stock is up 16% YTD, clearly outpacing the retail sector which is in negative territory.
Part of that rally was sparked off after the company delivered a healthy first quarter report managing to exceed top and bottom line estimates. Wal-Mart reported revenue of $115.9B, good for a modest 0.9% Y/Y growth but $2.68B higher than the consensus on Wall Street. Comparable same-store sales increased 1% Y/Y marking the seventh straight quarter that same-store sales grew. Meanwhile, EPS of $0.98 was down 4.9% Y/Y but still $0.10 ahead of estimates.
Despite the drop in profits, Wal-Mart investors have been happy that the company’s plans to downsize its stores as well as reward its workers with higher wages has not impacted the bottom line as much as had been earlier feared. Wal-Mart announced in January that it was planning to close 102 Wal-Mart Express Stores and another 52 full-size locations during the current year. Meanwhile, new CEO Doug McMillon took what seemed like a controversial decision to increase the wages for the company’s more than one million store workers first to $9/hour and then to $10/hour. Via amigobulls.com
Wal-Mart makes progress on ‘Made-in-America’ vow
You won’t hear anti-Walmart talk from Wisconsin manufacturers Tailor Made Products and Rockline Industries.
Both are among companies enjoying increased business as a result of a public pledge by the world’s largest retailer to step up purchases of U.S.-made goods by $250 billion over 10 years.
Tailor Made added a production cell at its Elroy factory in 2014 after winning a contract to manufacture kitchen utensils — potato mashers, ladles, turners, and such — that Walmart Stores Inc. formerly sourced from China.
Sheboygan-based Rockline expanded its factory in Springdale, Ark., within the last year, in part to produce facial wipes for the mega-retailer Via toledoblade.com
Walmart Mexico sees sales growth despite June slump
Walmart de Mexico, commonly referred to as Walmex, recorded a successful second quarter this year, posting double-digit sales growth, reports The Wall Street Journal. Mexico’s largest retailer managed the top-line gain even with a slight slowdown in sales during June as overall household spending declined.
Total sales for Walmex across Mexico and Central America reached just over $6.7 billion, 11% higher than the 2015 quarter. (No numbers for e-commerce sales were broken out.)
Walmart has been focused on building its e-commerce business in Mexico, launching a new Mexican e-commerce site and app for its Sam’s Club business late last year. And Lowe’s, Amazon, and Home Depot have all made significant investments in e-commerce in Mexico, as well. Via businessinsider.com
What’s ahead in global e-commerce?
Later this week, we’ll look at Alibaba’s global moves in e-commerce, mobile payments and logistics as well as the hyper-competitive world of Indian e-commerce.