Shopper Marketing - May 2017 - 26
Walmart Canada Improves
Online Experience for
New York - Retailers tend to build e-commerce websites according to a traditional
structure, but this has to change as more
and more purchases of consumables that are
shopped weekly transition online, Rick Neuman, chief information officer and executive
vice president of e-commerce at Walmart
Canada, said during a presentation at the
National Retailer Federation Retail's Big Show
"We tend to put together a website that has
a very traditional experience," Neuman said.
"You have your home page, you have your
category pages, product pages underneath
that. It flows through a traditional checkout,
spits you out into an order confirm and some
customer service stuff on the other side. It's almost been operationalized to the point where
there's not a ton of innovation anymore."
But a weekly consumables shopper who
visits a website on a regular basis has different
needs than the general merchandise shopper
who gave rise to the traditional site structure.
"We really need to look at it in the context of
both the physical store - which will absolutely
be relevant - and that website, and if we don't,
the experience will fall flat," Neuman said.
y SHOPPER MARKETING MAY 2017
Over the past 12 years, Walmart Canada
added fresh food and a full grocery assortment to 80% of its stores, either by building
new supercenters to create that "one stop
shop" or by conducting "in-box conversions"
that take existing stores and bring in fresh
food. In 2015, the division put Walmart.ca
through its own in-box conversion, baking
food into the website's existing functions.
When the U.S. division introduced fresh
food online, it split its e-commerce operations
into two websites (one for general merchandise and one for grocery), but the Canadian
arm made the decision to build it as one. Its
aspiration was to bring more and more product into the weekly shopping experience -
starting with core grocery but then adding
cleaning supplies, pet supplies and general
merchandise items such as light bulbs - so
the assortment would eventually become
identical on two websites.
Another enhancement the division made
included creating a shopping companion
mobile application with a built-in favorites
component that lets shoppers quickly add
the items they buy all the time. In addition to
quick repeat orders, the functionality makes