Walmart didn’t have a problem driving customers to its stores or website. CEO Doug McMillon said the company’s positive report is thanks in part to a favorable economic environment, as well as accelerated growth in a number of initiatives. E-commerce, for example, benefited from the expansion of its grocery pickup and delivery efforts as well as a broader online assortment, the company said. Many analysts are encouraged by Walmart’s growth online, which signals it may have enough competitive strength to compete against Amazon. By offering a variety of e-commerce options, the retailer is hoping to attract new customers. Through its recent Jet.com website refresh, Walmart has zeroed in on wealthy, urban Millennials. It’s not clear whether that message is resonating, but it does show that Walmart is bulking up to compete on Amazon’s turf.
WALMART E-COMMERCE AND DELIVERY STRATEGY
Last year, the company focused a large portion of its e-commerce efforts on grocery, which, as of December, accounts for 52% of Walmart’s sales. The retailer’s grocery pickup service is available at 2,100 stores – more than double what it was in 2017 – and will expand to 3,100 stores by the end of this year. Its grocery delivery service launched in March of last year and has been expanding since. Along with its own delivery platform the retailer is partnered with many delivery service providers including Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire, Roadie, DoorDash and Postmates. In addition, Walmart has been testing autonomous grocery delivery by partnering with electric and driverless car company Udelv in Phoenix and Ford in Miami. This was after its first driverless car test with Alphabet’s Waymo, which picks up customers and brings them into stores.