Walmart wants to ramp up online sales, and is using Amazon’s playbook to do it.
At a summit conference last week, Walmart outlined plans to increase e-commerce sales to drive customers away from Amazon and towards its own online store. Walmart has been converting several low-performing stores to fulfillment centers to streamline deliveries, especially for larger and multi-box shipments. The company will continue upgrading its delivery service so customers can expect quick shipping or even same-day delivery.
Walmart is banking on convenience to retain customers by offering similar estimated delivery times to Amazon and increasing its online merchandise offerings. Walmart+ offers customers free delivery, as does an Amazon Prime membership. A subscription costs $2 less than a Prime membership and comes with additional perks such as curbside pickup, discounts on gasoline, and a Paramount+ Essential plan.
Walmart also aims to bring on third-party sellers to expand its online selections, which doesn’t match the massive selection available on Amazon through its own network of third-party vendors.
Walmart’s online Marketplace will feature Brand Shops and Brand Shelves, which Manish Joneja, senior vice president of Walmart Marketplace and Fulfillment Services, said is “an endless aisle where sellers of all sizes can offer customers the items they need and love.” Customers can find many items from third-party sellers they otherwise might not see to entice them to add more to their digital shopping carts.
While Walmart remains the largest overall retailer in the U.S., it has long lagged behind Amazon in online sales. However, the retailer has progressed in that direction in the past two quarters. Walmart reported $24 billion in eCommerce sales for the second quarter, which is 15% of its total revenue of $161.1 billion.
Amazon, on the other hand, generated $134.4 billion in net sales from its online store.
Walmart still has a long way to go to overcome Amazon as the leading online retailer, but with a 24% increase in online sales, it’s moving in the right direction.