Walmart has recently undertaken some major re-work in the tech they use to keep their customers from wandering off to Amazon.com.
Couple of years ago Walmart was not concern about Amazon, but it has reasons to do so now. From just under a quarter of customers to now more than half have revealed that they buy from both is a worrying trend.
The store had made a name for itself offering heavily discounted merchandise. However, affluent customers who had sought refuge in Walmart are now returning to Amazon as finances improve. Traditionally, bargain hunters were the main target of Walmart. But Amazon has now started offering product categories. This has resulted in heavy erosion of Walmart’s customers. Just last year Amazon posted a whopping 41% growth while Walmart managed only 8%.
Now Walmart has resorted to come clever tech improvements. Last year Walmart spent nearly US$ 300 Million & acquired 5 Tech Firms. Indian Code writers & Engineers are now working feverishly & have managed to establish online purchases for 20% of customers who do not own a credit card or even a bank account. This was achieved using ‘Pay With Cash’ programs. Mobile Apps & Payments are the new wave sweeping the retailing industry. However, Walmart cleverly utilized their stores to enable customers to pay offline & book online! Walmart also has a ‘Shopycat’ feature your online wish-list is carefully scrutinized to offer just what you desire.
Interestingly, Walmart’s customers resorted to the ‘Scan & Scram’ technique to find the lowest prices. In simpler terms would-be customers use their smart phones in stores to scan an item’s bar code and then buy it online from a rival merchant.
Hence, Walmart has come up with ‘Endless Aisle’ technique wherein customers can easily buy online what isn’t available in the store, using smart-phones.
Let’s see how successful these endeavors are.
Will we see Walmart in India soon?