“We had to learn to work in different ways to become more digital and to put data to work in different ways,” says Walmart CEO Doug McMillon as he reflected on the release of their blowout financial results. “Basically, to create a seamless experience for customers. We don’t want them to sense any difference as it relates to our brand whether they are shopping inside a store, picking it up, or having it delivered. All of those differences and channels that we might have thought about in the past need to be erased and taken away.”
Ecommerce Was Very Strong
I would like to say thank you to all of our associates around the world and here in the US. They did a great job. You can imagine how challenging it is in this environment to go to work everyday and serve customers and keep the supply chain moving. Whether it’s in our stores, our Sam’s Club’s, or our distribution centers they have done a great job.
Customers have been responding in waves as we’ve gone through the first and second quarters. Not surprisingly, they got really focused on things they needed to stock up to be at home for a long time at first. Over time, as we got through the second quarter and stimulus checks came in to play and people were at home, we certainly saw them buy things like laptops and tablets and fishing equipment and bicycles. Things that were related to home decor as they were at home thinking about their environment inside and outside the house we certainly saw them respond with what they were buying. Ecommerce, in particular, was very strong.
Technology Phenomena Happening Around the World
I’ve been in retail for almost 30 years and it’s really exciting when so many things can be done using technology. We can save customers time and expose them to so much more choice than we could previously. Our ecommerce assortments are broader as retailers and that’s certainly true at Walmart. We sell first-party owned inventory as well as through our marketplace. Now they can pick up their phone or be at home and open up their laptop and shop in so many different ways and have access to so many different things. It’s a lot of fun to be able to try and serve them in that way. That phenomena is happening around the world.
You can use your app to do pickup and our stores. You can use your app to have the product brought straight to your house. Obviously, you can come in the store and we are learning how to use technology inside the stores in different ways to save you time. It boils down to access to assortment and an ease of shopping here in the US and around the world that people haven’t experienced before. That’s happening in Mexico, Canada, China, India, and all over the world.
We Had To Become More Digital
There have been a lot of changes inside the company. We had to learn to work in different ways to become more digital and to put data to work in different ways. Basically, to create a seamless experience for customers. We don’t want them to sense any difference as it relates to our brand whether they are shopping inside a store, picking it up, or having it delivered. All of those differences and channels that we might have thought about in the past need to be erased and taken away. Our teams have been doing a great job doing that.
The outcome of that is this ease of shopping that’s unique and different. In our case, we’ve got so many stores so close to customers around the country it gives us a big advantage especially in being able to deliver quickly. We’ve got an express delivery system here in the United States that commits to delivering orders from our stores in less than two hours. That’s now in more than 2,000 stores and coming to stores all over the country. We are actually delivering a lot faster than two hours so far. That’s a great experience.
We believe that this is something that we can build on along with having great stores where you want to come in from time to time, stock up, and experience what’s new. Really, we think that this omni world of retail is what will end up being the winning strategy over time.
Scale Can Sometimes Be A Disadvantage
Scale can sometimes be an advantage and sometimes it’s a disadvantage. Speed also matters a lot. Creativity matters a lot. What I’m proud of is how our team is responding to create new solutions for customers. Ultimately, whether Walmart grows or not is all up to them. We are serving families, moms and dads, and customers that have a lot of different choices. Even during the pandemic period with ecommerce and all the chains that were open there was still a lot of choice.
We’ve got to compete to earn their business everyday and that’s the approach we take. Our team has really stepped up during this period and even before the pandemic to drive change and to create more solutions for customers.