Walmart Plans Heavy Investment in Ecommerce

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Walmart plans to invest at least $1.2 billion in its digital and ecommerce business the year ahead, according to an earnings call.

In 2015, Walmart delivered $486 billion in revenue and saw an increase in ecommerce sales of 22% to more than $12 billion.

The ecommerce sales growth benefitted by a 25% increase in GMV, in the fourth quarter, Walmart grew sales by 18% on GMV of 20%.  An increase in third-party marketplace volumes in the U.S., Brazil and China contributed to this growth.

In the U.S., Walmart saw record sales on Cyber Monday and Cyber Week and more than 1.5 billion page views over the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. had a strong double digit comps on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  On Single’s Day in China Yihaodian’s GMV growth was in the high double digits, and on Dec. 21, Walmart surpassed traffic on Singles Day.

When it came to engagement, in the U.S., Walmart made it possible to engage customers both online and in store.  This began with online deals on Thanksgiving morning, leading to the Black Friday store events and through the new evening edition on Cyber Monday for people who worked during the day.

Neil Ashe, president and chief executive officer of global ecommerce for Walmart, said mobile continued to be an area of high growth, nearly 70% of traffic during the holidays was from mobile devices.  Customers used the Walmart app in various ways to do their shopping online, to find a store or to use the new store search tool the company added last year.

“The search tool allows customers to find product details and the aisle location of a specific item,” said Ashe.  “Sam’s [Club] also offered a significantly enhanced shopping experience through its app and mobile web site.”

In the UK, ASDA is making its Click-and-Collect easier for customers in stores and with new pick up points at petrol stations.  Click and Collect is in all ASDA stores.  In Brazil, Walmart saw its strongest sales quarter, with high double-digit sales growth.

“What excites me most is the progress we’ve made in building out our ability to serve customers across digital and physical,” said Ashe.

Ashe said Walmart’s global technology platform Pangaea is the foundation of serving customers digitally which enables the integration of digital and physical commerce.  Walmart launched most key elements to its website and mobile shopping experience on the new platform before the holiday on in the U.S.

Ashe said that its global technology platform and its U.S. fulfillment network stood up against the holiday volume in the U.S.

Sam’s Club will also make signing up easier and make membership even more valuable with services and by helping members discover new products.  Sam’s Club will have the ability to leverage Walmart’s  investment in ecommerce.

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