Walmart is an American multinational retailing corporation that operates as a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. With 11,695 stores and clubs in 28 countries, Walmart is the world's largest company by revenue, per Fortune Global 500 list in 2016, as well as the largest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees. Also, one of the world's most valuable companies by market value, 62% percent of Walmart's fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion sales came from its U.S. operations in 2016.
At Walmart U.S., they earn the trust of their customers every day by providing a broad assortment of quality merchandise and services at everyday low prices ("EDLP"), while fostering a culture that rewards and embraces mutual respect, integrity and diversity. EDLP is the pricing philosophy under which they price items at a low price every day so that their customers trust that their prices will not change under frequent promotional activities.
Through innovation, Walmart is creating a seamless experience to let customers shop anytime and anywhere online, through mobile devices and in stores. They are creating opportunities and bringing value to customers and communities around the globe.
While Walmart is best known as a general merchandise discount giant, the retailer is in the midst of a big push to significantly beef up its online Marketplace. On that marketplace, integrated into Walmart.com, Walmart sells a wide and growing selection of merchandise from third parties that Walmart doesn't carry in-store or take possession of--like, say, Kors luxury bags or vintage Montreal Expos cuff links.
Walmart.com is the 2nd-most-visited e-commerce site in the U.S., with over 110 million unique visitors per month and 44 million US Mobile, according to comScore. And, arguably more importantly, e-commerce growth rose 29% as Walmart began to reap the benefits of its $3 billion acquisition last year of jet.com, as well as of a massive overhaul of its Marketplace. As of January 2017, Walmart's website now offers some 35 million different kinds of items, but more than four times what it had a year ago.
But as the world's largest retailer seeks to win shoppers away from Amazon and eBay, it plans to add 1 million items per month to that assortment for the foreseeable future, primarily to the Marketplace, which it first launched in 2009. Walmart recently finished a major overhaul of its web site that will allow it to handle more variety, provide more information on each item and better support third-party sellers. Walmart has committed to spending $2.7 billion on labor, technology and other investments, including improving its website and e-commerce business.
Walmart benefits from its Marketplace by not assuming the costs of warehousing and shipping, while providing more of a one-stop shop for online customers. What's more, eMarketer has forecast that total e-commerce sales will reach $684 billion in 2020, or double what they were last year. ChannelAdvisor, which provides tech to marketplace operators including Walmart, estimates Walmart is now #3 among marketplaces, but growing more quickly than Amazon or eBay, albeit from a much smaller base. Vastly expanding the marketplace is a key tool for re-igniting that growth, company executives say.
"It's important that customers, when they come to walmart.com or use our app, find what they're looking for, so we need to have a broader assortment," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told reporters at a briefing in Rogers, Ark., last month. McMillon said at Walmart's annual shareholder meeting that the company had been waiting to "aggressively market" the site until all the tech building blocks were in place.
FREE 2-day Shipping
Walmart.com now offers free, two-day shipping on over 2 million items, without a membership fee. The range of items will include “everyday essentials,” like household products, safety items, pet supplies, beauty products, cleaning supplies and electronics. Walmart’s free shipping requires customers to spend at least $35, which was lowered from the previous $50 minimum. In today's world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is the most compelling all-around value proposition for customers looking for low prices, a broad assortment and quick shipping.
- Look for millions of items across the site marked with 2-Day Shipping
- FREE on orders of $35 or more
- Use filters to choose from only items the qualify for 2-Day Shipping
- Order by 2pm for delivery in two business days
Watch this brief video to learn more.
Walmart operates one of the most advanced retail distribution networks in the world. With over 85,000 associates across more than 160 distribution centers servicing stores, clubs and direct delivery to consumers, their network is unrivaled.
- Each distribution center is more than 1 million square feet in size and employs 600+ personnel unloading and shipping over 200 trailers daily.
- Every distribution center supports 90 to 100 stores in a 150+ mile radius.
- Regional Distribution Centers are the heart and soul of Walmart’s logistics operations. The average "D.C." serves 90-100 stores in their region. The 42 facilities utilize 12 miles of conveyor belts to keep products moving.
- Fashion, Optical, Jewelry, and Grocery Distribution Centers are unique facilities. As their names imply, they support Walmart stores and other distribution centers by shipping specialized products to their network.
- Fulfillment Centers make Walmart's vision of "a seamless shopping experience at scale" possible by offering fast shipping to both homes and stores - whatever ways our customers choose. To get a behind the scenes look at a Walmart fulfillment center in action, click below. Learn More >
As part of an effort to enhance its digital initiatives, Walmart is testing the use of flying drones to handle inventory at its large warehouses, which supply the thousands of Walmart stores throughout the nation. In 2017, the company will consider in which of its 190 distribution centers it will deploy drones. It’s one of several strategies the company is using to better compete with Amazon in e-commerce.
At a recent demonstration at a dry goods distribution center, a drone moved up and down an aisle packed nearly to the ceiling with boxes, taking 30 images per second. Shekar Natarajan, the Vice President of Last Mile and Emerging Sciences, explained that the machines could help catalog in as little as a day what now takes employees about a month. Walmart workers now manually scan pallets of goods with hand-held scanning devices. The drone’s methodical, vertical movements would essentially mimic the path of a person in a forklift who might be inspecting labels and inventory.
Drones in the warehouse are one of the Walmart’s new digital initiatives to boost its online channel operations. The New York Times reported that a drone slowly cruised above a row of aisles and captured images of products with a custom-built camera. Walmart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez remarked that drones would “potentially” allow the company to take stock with fewer workers, which would speed up distribution and improve efficiency by reducing logistical challenges. Interestingly, the drones may provide Walmart with a cheap way to gain some ground on Amazon's warehouse logistics.
Walmart is also interested in deploying drones in its parking lots and to deliver goods to local residents. These items are easy enough to carry and deliveries of basic supplies in regular intervals is a great candidate for automated equipment.
Walmart transportation maintains a private fleet of 6,100 tractors, 61,000 trailers and more than 7,800 skilled staff truck drivers to move goods to and from distribution centers. They are constantly working to ensure that they are moving merchandise in responsible, sustainable ways. Drivers follow the most efficient routes to their destinations, and work to minimize the number of "empty miles" they drive. This way, they use less fuel, drive fewer miles and maximize the merchandise delivered while minimizing the environmental impact.
Walmart also said on its blog that it is testing a “last-mile” delivery service through Uber and Lyft. The pilot program will start with tests of grocery deliveries in Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado. “We’ve been working on convenient new ways to make shopping easier for our busy customers and members,” said the retailer.
The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck is the latest in fleet efficiency. This prototype combines aerodynamics, mictroturbine-hybrid powertrain, electrification, advanced control systems, and cutting edge materials like carbon fiber all in one vehicle. Watch this exciting video to see this amazing vehicle in action! Learn More >
Walmart Mobile App: Shopping, Savings Catcher & More!
With the Walmart app, customers can use their smartphone, of any variety, to shop at the store. Users link a credit card or bank account to the app. Then, at checkout, they can just scan the phone to pay rather than needing to have their wallets handy. The process is secured through a passcode, or, for some phones, through fingerprints. As long as the phone can use apps and has a camera, the Walmart App will work.
Shoppers will soon be able to scan items while shopping and skip the checkout lane to speed up their in-store experience. This move dovetails with other efforts by the nation’s largest retailer to win over customers by making it less time-consuming to hit up a Walmart store — an urgent mission at a moment when online shopping is changing consumers’ definitions of convenience.
As a subset of the Walmart app, Walmart has also introduced the Savings Catcher into the market. This program changes how you shop and save money. After a shopping trip, when you get home, enter your receipt number into the Savings Catcher website or scan it using the Walmart app. Walmart will scan local competitors to see if the products you purchased are available for a lesser price. If the products are found at a cheaper cost, the difference is credited to your account!
Walmart has a significant global presence in corporate responsibility, with programs related to the workplace, compliance and sourcing, the environment, and social areas, including the communities in which we operate. The company donated more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind products and services last year through its Foundation. This video highlights some of the company’s recent initiatives in these areas. Learn More >
Walmart Acquires Jet
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for $3.3 Billion for Jet.com in the biggest U.S. E-commerce acquisition ever. Jet is among the fastest growing and most innovative e-commerce companies in the U.S., that will infuse Walmart with fresh ideas and expertise, as well as an attractive brand with proven appeal, especially with Millennials, the first generation of true digital natives. Among other things, Jet has:
- Demonstrated ability to scale with speed, reaching $1 billion in run-rate Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and offering 12 million SKUs in its first year.
- A growing customer base of urban and millennial customers with more than 400,000 new shoppers added monthly and an average of 25,000 daily processed orders.
- Best-in-class technology that rewards customers in real time with savings on items that are bought and shipped together, thereby reducing the supply-chain and logistics costs often buried in the price of goods.
- A select group of more than 2,400 retailer and brand partners tailored to create an attractive and distinctive assortment for consumers.
Walmart and Jet will maintain distinct brands, with Walmart.com focusing on delivering the company’s Everyday Low Price strategy, while Jet will continue to provide a unique and differentiated customer experience with curated assortment. Walmart and Jet will leverage innovative technology solutions from both companies to develop new offerings to help customers save time and money. Together, Jet.com and Walmart can win the future of retail.
Watch Kumail Nanjiani, actor/comedian and star of HBO’s Silicon Valley, explain how saving money using Jet.com works!