Walmart Grows New Pickup and Delivery Customers by 4X
Walmart passed the omnichannel test in the first quarter and used its store fleet to reach consumers in its stores and online.
The retailer has quadrupled the number of new customers trying its pickup and delivery services since mid-March as consumers visited the bulk retailer to place orders at home.
Rise in retry rates for the services as well as rapid growth in e-commerce have also been reported. Total revenue increased 8.6% to $ 134.6 billion for the first quarter. Sales to US companies increased 10% and e-commerce sales increased 74%.
“Our increasingly seamless omnichannel customer offering is resonating,” said Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart, in a call for results. “The strategy positions the company well in this crisis and we remain convinced that this will also be the case in the future.”
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That rate of growth is sure to slow as more retailers reopen in the US, Neil Saunders, GlobalData general manager for retail, told RIS. “However, there is little doubt that online supply will continue to be high compared to pre-crisis levels, and much of it will involve in-store pickups,” he noted. “Walmart is also investing heavily in a variety of fulfillment solutions so that part of its business will continue to grow, particularly in the grocery sector.”
Walmart has expanded the slot capacity to meet this increased demand as well as the number of general goods that can be picked up and delivered online. The company is temporarily fulfilling online orders for approximately 2,500 stores, and Brett Biggs, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the company has accelerated investments in omnichannel fulfillment solutions.
“I think it’s time we stopped calling our supercenter pick-up and delivery functionality online grocery because it’s much more than just grocery,” said McMillon.
While Walmart’s open doors gave it a huge edge over many retailers during the pandemic, Saunders noted that Amazon and other retailers still online faced far more intense e-commerce competition.
While strong online performance won’t be as high as the lockdowns end, Walmart is expected to continue to outperform overall e-commerce market growth for the next several years, he said.
Walmart announced it would be discontinuing Jet.com, the e-commerce platform it bought in 2016 and built into its own operations. However, the brand name may still be used.
The retailer also announced that it has opened 139 COVID-19 test locations in its parking lots and will open another 44 by the end of the month. Asking some apparel suppliers to switch production for healthcare workers to PPE has resulted in nearly 2 million medical gowns, with another 10 million expected by the end of June.
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