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Taking Digital Strategy Seriously: 3 Lessons From Walmart

Dur­ing the last hol­i­day sea­son, some retail­ers revealed their lat­est busi­ness advance­ments and took their com­peti­tors by sur­prise, while oth­ers still don’t get it. Retail­ers are in a fierce bat­tle­ground in which there are low bar­ri­ers to entry and con­sumer behav­ior shifts with new tech­nol­o­gy adop­tion. And some brands that tra­di­tion­al­ly relied on its brick-and-mor­tar stores to make the most of their sales can­not keep up with con­sumers’ cur­rent pref­er­ence to shop on dig­i­tal chan­nels. With reports that 98 per­cent of Gen Z still shop in store, the busi­ness strat­e­gy of retail­ers still needs to include both brick and mor­tar and dig­i­tal.

In my pre­vi­ous blog post, I men­tioned that Wal­mart made huge strides in improv­ing its dig­i­tal strat­e­gy after it pur­chased Jet.com. The retail­er expand­ed its reach to tap new con­sumers it pre­vi­ous­ly didn’t have suc­cess acquir­ing and increased the num­ber of online con­ver­sions.

Ear­li­er this year, Wal­mart was named the 2016 mobile retail­er of the year, catch­ing the long-time retail leader, Ama­zon. Here are three lessons you can take away from Wal­mart on under­stand­ing cus­tomer expec­ta­tions to bet­ter increase acqui­si­tion and loy­al­ty.

1) Shift your busi­ness mod­el

The adop­tion of new tech­nol­o­gy has changed con­sumers’ behav­iors and their way to shop. Wal­mart has changed its busi­ness strat­e­gy by strength­en­ing its dig­i­tal chan­nel rather than focus­ing sole­ly on its phys­i­cal stores.

Ear­li­er this month, Wal­mart acquired ShoeBuy.com Inc. for $70 mil­lion to fur­ther expand its dig­i­tal foot­print, and it expects to close 269 phys­i­cal stores in 2017. Oth­er retail­ers also expect to close more phys­i­cal stores. Con­sid­er how you might shift your approach to enhance the dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence.

2) Make the jour­ney more expe­ri­en­tial

Con­sumers today cher­ish expe­ri­ences over phys­i­cal goods and enjoy shar­ing those expe­ri­ences through social plat­forms such as Twit­ter, Snapchat, Insta­gram, and GroupMe. With the emer­gence of in-store wid­gets, Wal­mart can con­nect its phys­i­cal stores with its online pres­ence as well as its mobile app to opti­mize the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. How can you bet­ter inte­grate your in-store, online and mobile app expe­ri­ences to enhance the buy­er jour­ney?

3) Con­vert with mobile pay­ments

Wal­mart intro­duced Wal­mart Pay to make pay­ments more con­ve­nient for its cus­tomers. Nev­er­the­less, 80 per­cent of Wal­mart Pay trans­ac­tions were from repeat cus­tomers. To fur­ther increase cus­tomer acqui­si­tion and online con­ver­sions, it also part­ners with oth­er mobile pay plat­forms. Ana­lyze your mobile expe­ri­ence and think about changes you might make to improve your cus­tomer engage­ment strat­e­gy on mobile.

Getting Serious About Digital and Mobile

Retail­ers are final­ly real­iz­ing that tra­di­tion­al brick-and-mor­tar stores are no longer the bread and but­ter for their busi­ness­es and are quick­ly mov­ing their efforts to their dig­i­tal and mobile stores. Like Walmart’s Jet.com acqui­si­tion, the well-estab­lished Unilever snatched Dol­lar Shave Club in July 2016 to beef up its online pres­ence and acquire Dol­lar Shave Club’s cus­tomers. More of these com­pa­ny acqui­si­tions will take place in 2017 as addi­tion­al retail­ers embed a dig­i­tal strat­e­gy into their busi­ness.

When it comes down to inte­grat­ing the dig­i­tal piece into the over­all busi­ness strat­e­gy, know­ing how to exe­cute and deliv­er great web and mobile expe­ri­ences to your cus­tomers is above all.

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By | 2017-09-08T08:10:01+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Industry News|Comments Off on Taking Digital Strategy Seriously: 3 Lessons From Walmart