The revamping of Walmart has started under the founder of Jet.com, Marc Lore who is now heading Wal-Mart’s U.S. e-commerce division. Jet.com is an e-commerce startup that was acquired by Walmart last year for $3 billion. Lore was on an acquiring spree right from the word go and so far has spent $200 million in buying e-commerce startups including Moosejaw, an outdoor retailer; ModCloth, online fashion retailer, a competitor to Zappos, Shoebuy and furniture site Hayneedle.
Now Lore has come up with an idea to boost sales by bringing the customers to the store. This new idea is called “Pickup Discount”, which is inspired by a technology developed by Jet.com. Using this Smart Cart technology, Lore is trying to give stiff competition to Amazon using the massive store fleet of the company.
From next week, if the customer chooses to buy any of the 10,000 specific products listed online-only and agrees to pick it up from the store instead of getting it shipped, he or she will get an attractive discount. The company actually is trying to pass on the cost that is incurred in shipment to the customer in the form of a discount. This idea is expected to work in two ways: one the customers might come more to Walmart’s portal to order as the cost will be less than the competitors and second they might make additional purchases when they drop into the stores to pick their online purchase.
Charlie O’Shea, a Moody’s analyst said on this new strategy, “Stores are still an asset and Wal-Mart is demonstrating that with this effort. Jet is in a lot of ways Wal-Mart discovering fire for a bricks-and-mortar retailer. Even if Wal-Mart gave up a small piece of its margin by filling an order in-store, it’s an overall win if they persuade someone to add extra items to their carts. ”
The discounts will be based on an algorithm, which will take into account the item’s price, size, and the location of the inventory. With this strategy working, Walmart expects to put an end to closing down of thousands of brick and mortar stores across the US.
Discounts that will start on 10,000 products will be expanded to more than 1 million popular items online by the end of June 2017. This strategy will not include those products that are sold by its third-party marketplace.