By rededicating itself to the “spirit of Walmart,” the international retailer has addressed performance concerns convincingly, with seven straight quarters of heightened customer traffic in stores and an 11.8 percent improvement in e-commerce sales. Walmart also points to the continued improvement in customer satisfaction scores, in-store sales, and inventory management. What factors have allowed Walmart to enjoy such positive outcomes recently? Some key elements include its increased online grocery offerings, which will expand even further with Walmart’s imminent acquisition of Jet.com. Furthermore, Walmart has devoted itself to an omnichannel approach, and as Walmart’s CEO acknowledges, “The distinctions that we talk about … between stores, apps, pick-up, delivery, and sites are continuing to blur into the background for customers. For them, it’s just Walmart.” Finally, across all these efforts, Walmart persists in its dedication to lowering the costs for customers. For example, its online capabilities mean that customers can largely control how they save, such as by ordering sufficient quantities to get a discount or ensuring that their shopping basket is large enough to avoid delivery charges. The acquisition of Jet expands those options, reinvigorating that spirit of Walmart in ways that appeal greatly to the customers who appear to be flocking back to it.
Source: George Anderson, Retail Wire, August 19, 2016