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Inside Walmart's Mobile Strategy

Posted by Matthias on March 12, 2014

MatthiasEven with rapid gains in ease-of-use and accessibility, it is difficult to believe how quickly mobile technology became a crucial part of in-store customer experience. Today, retailers large and small are investing more in mobile. However, not all mobile strategies are created the same.

Walmart, the world's largest retail chain, is forging a path in mobile that generates positive customer experiences and boosts profitability.

In this presentation from eTail 2013, Wendy Bergh, VP, Mobile & Digital Strategy at Walmart, reveals the key to Walmart's success with in-store marketing through industry-leading mobile apps and omni-channel implementation. Bergh takes us through Walmart's seamless experience between website, mobile website and in-store app use; she demonstrates Walmart's unique shopping list app and provides stats on increased conversion.



Transcript excerpt:

...Today, we are delivering platforms in a variety of different countries and we’re also evaluating what other countries we want to go with the goal of eventually having all of Walmart’s banners up and running and mobile. When we build we think about leverage, especially, on the technology side. If we build for example shopping lists we want to make sure it can apply to multiple banners and multiple customers and so it’s a little bit of the 80/20 while we’re building it we want to create that leverage, but we also want to have that local component, so shopping list may be slightly different in the US than what we might take to the UK based on some customer behaviors and that’s something that we’re trying to build so we have scale, but also local flexibility.

Our biggest, so when you think of those three buckets mobilizing dotcom, mobilizing stores, accelerating multichannel the biggest opportunity is mobilizing stores. And Deloitte did a study last summer where they looked at mobile influenced in store sales and as of last year 5% of in store retail or about $158 billion dollars was influenced by mobile. By 2016 that’s going to be 20% of in store retail almost $700 billion dollars, and so we are very focused on this opportunity, customers are making their decisions. They have a lot of relevant information in their hands with their smartphones as they walk into our stores. And so, what have we done to date from a stores perspective since it is the big opportunity. We’re thinking about serving the customer across the shopping frontal from a pre-planning decision making and checkout experience. So one of the things we launched a while back was shopping list. We know 90% of our customers create a shopping list before they come to the store. They may scribble it on a piece of paper, however they do it. We wanted to make that experience easier for them, so we created a mobile shopping list where customers can add items to the list either by typing them in, speaking them or barcodes getting them. When the items are added the customer can see the local price in that store, they can also, you know, if they click into it they can see nutritional information other rich part of content and they can also access specific national manufacture coupons that maybe relevant for their shopping experience.

Once the customer gets to the store, we wanted to make sure they had easy access to relevant features you would want to use in the store. So we were the first retailer to launch something called in-store mode and basically what this is, is when a customer enters a Walmart Store based on Geofencing we know the customer is under the store, we’ll trigger their app to literally change the UI of the home screen so it serves up relevant in-store tools. So you can see...