Member Exclusive   //   February 22, 2024

Research Briefing: Walmart’s e-commerce strategy and growth

By Li Lu

In this edition of the weekly briefing, we examine Walmart’s recent earnings announcement and the state of e-commerce as seen in data from Modern Retail+ Research.

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Walmart’s e-commerce growth in uncertain times

Breaking News: Walmart announced that its global e-commerce sales increased by 23%, 17% in the U.S., this past quarter. The retailer noted that much of its growth was driven by delivery and pickup options. However, in Modern Retail’s annual E-commerce Index, Walmart also had other online strategies that helped support its growth. It bolstered its paid membership benefits and also added AI technology to its search engine. 

Questions: What are strategies that retailers can use to increase e-commerce growth? Where should retailers focus during times of financial uncertainty?

Answers From Research:

Walmart has continued to expand its membership program’s benefits. In last year’s index, Modern Retail+ Research noted Walmart’s partnership with Paramount+ streaming services. This year, Walmart Plus added early access to promotional deals, including early access to Black Friday deals and an exclusive weekend of deals in July called Walmart Plus Weekend – a direct competitor to Amazon’s Prime Day.

Another standout area for Walmart was AI. It partnered with Microsoft to integrate generative AI into its onsite and in-app search functions. The new feature allows shoppers to present statements like “Help me plan a unicorn-themed party” instead of searching for individual items like “unicorn decorations” and “plates.” Walmart’s adoption of AI into its search algorithm focuses on the customer’s digital experience and improves overall site performance in the long term. 

Want to learn more: Modern Retail+ Research’s e-commerce strategy analysis examines the direction that retail is headed.


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