How Wal-Mart Is Building a Better Online Store

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 13, 2013 12:00 am  

“I’d rather be able to pick up the package on my schedule versus having to wait for a delivery to come,” Sherk said.

One of Wal-Mart’s top priorities is developing “our next-generation fulfillment network” to deliver products purchased online to customers quickly, said Charles Holley, Wal-Mart’s chief financial officer, during a consumer and retail conference held in March. A transcript of that conference was also posted on Wal-Mart’s corporate website.

“We will continue to invest not only in how the customer wants to shop but how they want to receive the merchandise,” Holley said.

Nemer, the analyst from Wells Fargo, said in a Feb. 21 report that the delivery system “could be a potential game-changer.” But he added that Wal-Mart hasn’t released many details about its fulfillment plans.

And for the consumer who is nervous about entering credit card information on a website, Wal-Mart in 2012 launched a pay with cash feature. It allows people to order online, have the item shipped to a Wal-Mart location and then pay for it upon pickup.

Wal-Mart Mobile

Wal-Mart’s application for smartphones has also been a success.

“It is not enough to simply have a presence in the mobile commerce space,” Mobile Commerce Daily said in a Dec. 31 article. “Retailers need to dominate it, and Walmart reigns.”

If customers don’t find what they want in the store, they can turn to the Wal-Mart app on their smartphone and order it there, said Sherk of Kantar Retail.

Wal-Mart is testing an app for iPhones called Scan & Go, which allows customers to scan items while shopping, bag them and then pay for them at a self-checkout register.

The test started in 70 stores last year and has been expanded to 200 locations.

“In the coming weeks we’re going to be testing additional features like mobile coupons and mobile gift cards that can be used as part of that Scan & Go experience,” Jariwala said.



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