Wal-Mart CEO touts new mobile apps for helping in-store associates

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Dive Brief:

  • Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillan stated the chain is giving workers cellular gadgets to make their jobs simpler. Speaking to buyers in a convention name on Thursday, he stated new in-store apps and handhelds are getting used to watch product inventories and streamline duties.
  • The improved efficiencies and higher stock management enable workers to dedicate extra time to interacting with prospects as an alternative of spending time on different duties. “We’re transforming to become more of a digital enterprise,” McMillan stated. That evolution features a new function on its cellular app that may course of transactions and let prospects keep away from ready in checkout traces.
  • Online gross sales additionally had been an enormous driver of development for the corporate, rising 63% within the first quarter from a 12 months earlier. Management downplayed how a lot of the achieve resulted from the acquisitions of Moosejaw and ModCloth in the course of the quarter, saying most of that was natural development at Walmart.com, in response to Investor’s Business Daily.

Dive Insight:

Wal-Mart has acknowledged Amazon as a aggressive menace for the reason that early days of web commercialization and has seen the e-commerce pioneer’s gross sales develop by double digits 12 months after 12 months. But this previous 12 months has been notable for Wal-Mart’s embrace of cellular applied sciences that not solely drive gross sales, but additionally assist handle retailer operations.

Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillan described the transformation for shareholders in stating how cellular applied sciences are serving to workers to do their jobs extra rapidly and effectively. By liberating retailer workers from restocking and stock duties, they can present a extra personalized effect for purchasers and drive higher gross sales.

That type of buyer interplay is a technique that brick-and-mortar shops can differentiate themselves from on-line opponents which can be busy accumulating reams of information about prospects’ buy historical past, product searches, evaluations and geographic information. While Wal-Mart’s $482 billion in gross sales final 12 months dwarfed Amazon’s $136 billion, their rivalry will solely intensify — notably if Amazon makes a significant funding in brick-and-mortar retail by shopping for a series like Whole Foods or BJ’s Wholesale Club, as was reported final month.

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