Daily Insights

Weird Flex, But Walmart Is OK

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 20, 2019

Despite the ever-looming retailpocalypse, Walmart has defied the odds. The corporation exceeded expectations in its recent fiscal fourth-quarter report, with digital at the root of much of its success. From company acquisitions to inventory additions, here are the steps Walmart has taken to become a true digital contender in the age of Amazon.

1. Dabble In Digital: Instead of heaping time and money on marketing one of its new acquisitions, Jet.com, Walmart made efficient and experimental use of the asset. The corporation turned to the website as a make-shift test kitchen for digital innovation, experimenting with how to effectively bundle products and appeal to millennials with unique private label offerings. The move indicates Walmart’s awareness of the value of consumer data and digital know-how.

2. Shorten the Search: Shoppers prioritize search on retailer sites and identify irrelevant results as a major pain point in the purchase process, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box. Where other brands fail to ease and assuage the search process for a common query like “coffee maker,” Walmart’s first page of results consists entirely of relevant listings. Walmart also helps shoppers narrow results with advanced contextual filters, such as the coffee maker’s cup capacity, in this case.  As retailers increase their digital assortment, it proves essential to accurately tag products and leverage tools such as search previews and contextual filters to aid shoppers searching for specific products.

3. Pick Up on Pickup: No stranger to throwing rocks at AmazonWalmart’s “pickup towers” are an improved adaptation of Amazon Lockers, aimed to incentivize in-store pickup. The feature serves as an opportunity to drive incremental traffic to physical stores to earn additional sales. Walmart prominently features fulfillment options across its digital landing pages and makes the selection process intuitive. The retail giant calls out pickup options on the homepage above the fold and encourages customers to shop the site by fulfillment method, instead of product category. On category pages, the primary filters allow shoppers to filter products by their availability through various fulfillment methods.