What is the Walmart E-Commerce Business Strategy

Introduction

Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue – over US$500 billion according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2018 – as well as the largest private employer in the world with 2.3 million employees. It is a publicly-traded family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family.

As of January 31, 2018, Walmart has 11,718 stores and clubs in 28 countries, operating under 59 different names.

The company operates under the name Walmart in the United States and Canada, as Walmart de México y Centroamérica in Mexico and Central America, as Asda in the United Kingdom, as the Seiyu Group in Japan, and as Best Price in India. It has wholly-owned operations in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Canada.

Walmart was the largest U.S. grocery retailer in 2016, and 62.3 percent of Walmart’s US$478.614 billion sales came from U.S. operations

The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. By 1988, Walmart was the most profitable retailer in the U.S. and by October 1989, it had become the largest in terms of revenue.

E-commerce Business Strategy

Walmart has been offering e-commerce business strategy to its customers for some time now, but it’s only relatively recently they have been taking things seriously and looking at avenues to really innovate the ways in which their products are accessed online.

Recent highly publicized acquisitions of Jet.com, Hayneedle.com, Shoes.com, Moosejaw, and Modcloth.com, have also demonstrated Walmart’s commitment to becoming a key e-commerce player.

However, Walmart has realized it holds a key advantage over Amazon which it can leverage to offer services the online kingpin simply cannot – its nationwide network of physical store locations. Amazon may have its sights set on brick-and-mortar stores, but Walmart is already there, at the top of the game.

Walmart is, therefore, looking for opportunities to bring the in-store and online E-Commerce sellers using the online tactics to optimize their products, to offer customers unique ways to access its products and services.

Strategy – Endless Isles

Being tested in select stores, the endless aisle system is one of the ways in which Walmart is seamlessly integrating its in-store and online shopping experiences.

A kiosk placed at the end of a physical aisle allows customers to access the entire online Walmart inventory. If a customer has come to a location looking for a specific product, only to find the store doesn’t carry it, they need simply access the terminal and place an order.

They can then arrange to either collect the item from the store or have it delivered to their home. The endless aisle concept also reduces the chance of a customer visiting a competitor’s store after an unsuccessful trip – meaning fewer lost business opportunities for Walmart.

Strategy – Walmart Prime

One of Amazon’s most notable products is its Prime membership service. With Prime, Amazon customers pay $99 per year to gain access to streaming services such as Amazon Video and Amazon Music, as well as unlimited next day delivery on items – at no extra cost. With Prime Air, drones are set to take to the skies to offer delivery in thirty minutes or less – also at no extra cost to subscribers – making Amazon’s competitors are understandably nervous.

Walmart already attempted to compete with Amazon Prime with its ShippingPass service. ShippingPass offered unlimited delivery for $49, but a lack of engagement by Walmart customers resulted in the service being pulled, and subscribers refunded.

From April 2017 however, Walmart began offering its online customers discounts on thousands of products if they selected the option to collect their items in-store. The amount of discount varied between products, with low-cost but heavy goods seeing the most significant reductions.

By effectively paying customers to collect their packages in-store, Walmart once again demonstrates it understands the value of omnichannel marketing strategies. Instead of viewing e-commerce business strategy and in-store retail as two competing revenue streams, Walmart views them as complementary.

How to Sell on Walmart

The Walmart Marketplace is a platform that allows third-party sellers to list their items on Walmart.com, just like you would on Amazon or eBay. Selling to Walmart’s online marketplace is an easy way to get your products in front of a massive audience. Marketplace items appear in search results on Walmart.com alongside other items.

Here’s how you can start selling on Walmart Marketplace in a few easy steps:

E-Commerce Business Strategy

Graphic Source:  Walmart Official Marketplace Website

Step 1: Apply to be a Marketplace Seller
Step 2: Complete Your Registration
Step 3: Complete Partner Profile
Step 4: Verify Bank Deposit
Step 5: Complete Item Setup
Step 6: Test Items and Orders
Step 7: Launch Your Account

[table id=1 /]

Read More
Omer Riaz June 20, 2019 0 Comments

How to Use Social Media for Ecommerce Marketing

Overview

Being an online business owner or e-commerce seller means one needs to give more detailed thought into how the business is going to be managed on a day to day basis. This will invariably depend on individual circumstances, resources, time constraints, overall objectives, preferences as well as service and production needs.

Marketing is a powerful business tool. The internet age has provided a whirlwind of opportunities for every hardworking dreamer that wants to fly without wings. The world of eCommerce and internet has proven to be a lucrative arena for those who want to benefit from the promises it beholds.

Regardless of the parameters, one thing is certain: online business owners crucially ‘need’ to plan and manage resources effectively, to ensure continued profits, growth and consistent success. And one of the most vital of these resources is the art of Marketing!

Another important question is do you think that you are doing great as an online marketer?

Here are 5 ways online businesses and e-commerce entrepreneurs can successfully market and grow their businesses while increasing profits:

Social Media Branding

Make sure your company’s vision and products are effectively communicated online via powerful branding.

Make the branding of your company, products, and services on social media visually appealing!

Human beings are creatures of visual stimulation. We thrive on it. And we act on it.

Think about ads on television about fast food; the way they trigger your visual senses with close-ups of juicy burgers on a bun, splash of ketchup and mayo, steamy golden fries and cool soothing soft drink! It’s all visual; making your mouth water!

Thus, make your visual branding inviting to look at – since if the ad didn’t invite and entice the eye, no one would read it!

Post daily across major platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others for maximum audience engagement and brand positioning.

Knowing Your Audience

Knowledge is power! Being aware of the “market landscape” and knowing who your competitors are and what they are offering, is a powerful weapon!

Whether it’s running FB ads, sending Emails to your list, writing Landing or Sales Pages or simply promoting a Blog post, the art of persuasive social media marketing and attention-grabbing content depends on understanding your audience!

Do your research on what are your audience’s pain points, their needs, wants, desires, struggles, preferences.

A successful e-commerce social media marketing strategy should understand people, have a strong insight into their needs and wants and be empathetic towards providing a solution to their problems.

In essence, great social media for e-commerce business and the associated marketing is simply a direct conversation between you and the consumer.

Remember, writing something doesn’t mean that you’ve “communicated” it.

For example: if you’re selling a mattress, then communicate the benefits of the mattress to the audience (relieving back pain, uninterrupted good night’s sleep, etc).

Customers don’t buy products, they buy the experience, the vision and the benefit THEY believe they can get out of them. And it’s your marketing efforts’ job to MAKE them believe of it!

Keep Track of Costs for SMM

SMM (Social Media Marketing) is your backbone for global audience engagement, lead generation, brand recognition, product visibility and other integral factors that determine your success as an eCommerce business.

So, keeping track of your SMM costs is crucial. You don’t want your costs to negatively impact your SMM.

To make your SMM tactics and campaigns more effective, you need to:

  • Layout a clear plan for your goals and objectives with all your social media presence
  • Dedicate a strong team to manage your social media channels and platforms
  • Assign a realistic cost range to each social media outlet for advertising and promotions
  • Use measuring tools to keep an eye out on progress and social media effectiveness
  • Utilize Google Analytics and other resources to keep you in the right direction

How to Create Catchy Social Media Posts

As human beings, we are creatures of emotion. Love, hate, jealousy, fear, pity – all are forms of emotion that make us beings of empathy and intellect. We use that intellect to make decisions via ‘Free Will’. Human behavior can be controlled if the free will can be controlled.

How do you control free-will? Through the power of sheer persuasion! And words have the ability to fuel persuasion via creating beliefs, images, stories, and narratives that captivate the heart and consume the mind.

So for your social media marketing, if you’re writing to persuade, you have to hit the gut before you get anywhere near the brain. The part that decides “I want that” is emotional and often subconscious. If your premise doesn’t work emotionally, logic will never get a chance to weigh in.

If you flip that emotional switch, the sale (or other action) is yours to lose. Because our logical minds do eventually step in (usually in a way that makes us think we’re driven by logic in the first place). If your premise is not credible (as in it’s too good to be true), you fail.

Create catchy posts by:

  • Using powerful and interesting images, captions, headlines
  • Use audience psychology and pain points address their concerns and problems
  • Offer solutions and features/benefits, by differentiating yourself from competitors
  • Use easy to read the language, no technical jargon or complicated words

Use Paid Promotions

Paid promotions are powerful for generating warm traffic that is already looking for what you’re offering online. Platforms like Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and AdWords are critical when it comes to harnessing successful results from paid promotions.

Paid promotions give you:

  • Large audience outreach, connecting you to millions of people
  • Brand positioning by enhancing the visibility of your product to the masses
  • Opportunity to build credibility and trust
  • Earn higher profits through solid lead generation and sales

If you don’t have paid promotions already in your Social Media Marketing strategy for E-commerce, you need to do so as soon as possible. It will be game-changing and will pay dividends down the road.

[table id=1 /]

Read More
Omer Riaz June 14, 2019 0 Comments

Help or Hype: How to be an Ecommerce Guru!

Overview

E-commerce is one of the most lucrative ways to earn big returns on investment.

Whether you’re selling on Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, eBay or elsewhere, the power of E-commerce is a great arena to attract a great number of qualified leads.

There’s no reason why any self-driven, passionate, goal-oriented and disciplined individual cannot become a successful, knowledgeable and inspiring Ecommerce Guru’ in their own right! All it takes is the right mindset, tools, resources, and an insatiable hunger to succeed while harboring a vision that knows no bounds.

The world is rapidly evolving – from technology and gadgets, medicine and travel, to how we do business and consumer goods. Any form of online business, particularly Ecommerce, is no different, and is here to stay!

Any successful online business guru knows one key fundamental recipe. This recipe involves professionalism, skills, reliability, knowledge, strategy, cost and overall ability to harness productivity in an utmost effective way.

Being your own boss or an E-commerce Guru is not just a matter of name but a constant struggle from no one to a BIG ONE!

With a strategic and educated approach, hard work, competitive foresight and a never-say-no attitude, you can become an Ecommerce; helping yourself and your clients, while also enabling others who want to learn from you – the right way! Without the hype.

Here are 6 tried and tested tips, insights, and techniques that can make a legitimate and proven eCommerce Guru (and not a hyped up fake-preneur!)

1. Learn from Mistakes

Failure has a truly ‘negative’ vibe by its very name. We think of it as something that ‘should not’ be a part of our lives.

Also, a big misconception we often harbor about big ‘Gurus’ and ‘Experts’ is that they are invincible superhumans with the strength of roaring lions.

That is incorrect. They are humans just like us. They love cute little cat videos on YouTube, they feel hungry at midnight and they don’t enjoy paying bills. Just like us.

Mistakes or failures are part and parcel of the game. Naturally, embracing the fear of making mistakes or ending in failure certainly isn’t ever an easy situation. With focus, knowledge, and learning, the impending dread of failure can become an enviable asset you can use to your advantage.

How so? Well. Mistakes are a precursor to success. They form the breeding ground for growth. Unless one makes mistakes, one cannot embrace the definition of success. It is a definition that evolves throughout our entrepreneurial lives and is uniquely distinct to everyone.

2. A Strong Backend Support

As an E-commerce Guru, you cannot reach, sustain and compete at the very top of the food chain ladder, if you don’t have ‘strong legs’ to lift you up or support you.

What this means is you need to develop, cement and maintain a strong Backend Support mechanism to your enterprise that can function as the very basis to your entire business.

Backend Support essentially entails various control and regulatory areas such as: Dashboard, Administrator Management, META Data Control, Crawler Control, Sitemap, Tracking, Store Management, Order Management, Customer Service, Shipping and Social Media engagement, to name a few.

With these elements in place, an E-commerce Guru can focus on building and growing not just his or her business, but also helping those who want to learn the tricks of the trade and advance in the world of E-commerce successfully – without dead ends!

3. Using a Funnel Approach

The truth is that even if you devote thousands of dollars in finances to send traffic to your eCommerce website or product listing on Amazon, chances are that the visitors will ‘not’ be ready to buy your product right away.

For anyone to be a successful Ecommerce Guru, it is important to figure out how your marketing and sales efforts can ‘work together’ to grab your audience’s interest and incentivize your prospective customers to buy! Using an effective sales funnel can accomplish just that.

So how does using a funnel work?

The simple purpose of a funnel is to: Attract (Strangers), Convert (Visitors), Close (Leads) and Delight (Customers).

  • Attract: Provides marketing or advertising which attracts visitors to your product page or official site.
  • Convert: Establishes unique offers which inspire those visitors to ‘willingly’ share their contact information. This willingness is based on genuine interest.
  • Close: Culminates into proactive efforts which support those leads to ‘close’ and transition into paying customers.
  • Delight: The most important phase. Superb customer service that satisfies your customers, keeps them happy and makes them send you referrals. Word of mouth advertising works its charm here!

4. Be Unique in Selling

Make your E-commerce selling original. It’s OK to be creative. There’s plenty of boring listings on Amazon, don’t let yours be home for content like this.

For example, if you’re selling fingernail clippers, don’t give them the same uninspired content typically associated with products like this. Give it some personality and explain the benefits of using them.

Use Amazon business reports to measure your conversion rates. Once you have your essential content in place, you can look at your statistics in the reports and establish a baseline conversion rate for your product.

Furthermore, showcase to the world your ‘Unique Selling Proposition”. A unique selling proposition (USP) refers to the unique benefit shown by a company, product or brand that enables it to ‘stand out’ from competitors!

5. The Power of Compelling People

Compelling people is your biggest strength. Persuasive business communications and powerful copywriting are forms of art. They are literally art forms that normal human beings simply cannot replicate – unless you’ve had specialized training.

If you can effectively influence your customers, you can have a successful year in business for 2019.

They decorate the canvas of your imagination like the stroke of a paintbrush, and create a picture that incites interest, grabs attention, evokes desire and inspires action!

The art of effective persuasion and compelling people is about ‘consuming’ the audience’s imagination.

The human imagination is one of the most liberating things in the world; it takes us beyond our wildest dreams and traverses all boundaries, transcending limits we never thought were possible.

AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action >> these are the pillars upon which marketing and advertising are built upon – and copywriting is the crucial glue that binds them together. If you can master these as an Ecommerce Guru, you can easily compel people to listen to you, respect you, buy from you and keep coming back to you for more!

[table id=1 /]

Read More
Omer Riaz June 10, 2019 0 Comments

Powerful Business Tactics Used by Online Ecommerce Sellers – Successfully!

Overview

Success in online business is just as much skill and consistency as it is anything else. When we speak of skill, it automatically necessitates technique and powerful business tactics. The more effective the technique and tactics, the more pronounced will be the results.

If you want to be a successful seller in the growing E-commerce marketplace and want to make your mark with higher profits, technique, and tactics are your best friend!

Thus, starting a profitable, self-regulating and ever-green online business, requires certain strategic tactics a successful online seller must practice on a consistent basis!

Here are 5 of the most effective ones you can start applying today:

Understand Your Weaknesses and Strengths (Everyone Has Them!)

Running a great business and selling successfully with profit is all about self-awareness. Having the knowledge (and the courage) to successfully evaluate, understand and tactics based on your strengths and weaknesses.

Do a complete SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of yourself and your business.

It is important that you know, understand and embrace your weaknesses and strengths. If you don’t, then it’s like shooting darts in the dark and hoping you hit the target. Not practical at all!

If you are self-aware of your weaknesses, you will automatically work on them for improvement. Similarly, being aware of your strengths enables you to effectively utilize them to your advantage.

Competitor Knowledge

Knowledge is power! Being aware of the “market landscape” and knowing who your competitors are and what they are offering, is a powerful weapon!

Knowing your competitors inside out can, in turn, help you create your products, services, and marketing in a way that is stronger and far more powerful than what’s out there currently.

Moreover, it will enable you to set your prices competitively and help you to counter rival marketing campaigns with your own unique and effective initiatives.

Constantly keeping an eye on your competition will provide you a wealth of knowledge and an ocean of information that gives you an effective ‘vantage point’ to make your products or services more ‘appealing’ and visible to the same audience that you and your competition are competing for.

Now, let’s come to powerful business tactics. What should you know about your competitors? Here are a few areas you analyze and stay abreast with:

  • The products or services they provide and how they market them to customers
  • Their brand and design values
  • Whether they innovate – business methods as well as products
  • Their staff numbers and the caliber of staff that they attract
  • The prices they charge
  • How they distribute and deliver
  • The devices they employ to enhance customer loyalty and what backup services they offer
  • How they use IT – for example if they’re technology-aware and offer a website and email

Stay Ahead of the Game!

Yes, game! You heard that right. How? The online selling and E-commerce market is a big, cut-throat and competitive “arena” of several players who are competing against you for the ‘same’ spectators (prospective customers) you are trying to sell your products or services to.

Hence, adopting an innovative approach, a ‘think outside the box’ strategy and visionary foresight will allow you to always keep moving forward in the race. A small step forward in the right direction is a hundred times better than a step forward in the wrong direction.

Some of the ways you can do this are by:

  • Keeping in touch with industry news, consumer behavior, and buying trends
  • Attending trade shows, conferences, and seminars if you can
  • Staying abreast with what’s going on in the online selling marketplace
  • Talking to your customers on a daily basis and learning from their mistakes

These are some of the ways you can keep stepping ahead with a foot in the right direction.

Better Research and Efficient Planning

Research and planning are the cousins of decision making. They are connected by blood! They must go hand in hand.

So starting a new or growing an existing business is much like buying a car: You need to conduct informed research before making the decision.

How?

The way you execute effective research and planning is by:

  • First, figure out if there’s demand for your product or service
  • Second, you go over a competitive analysis, while at the same time looking for a place to set up shop
  • Third, you create a proactive and educated plan to differentiate your offering from all the other products or services that are out there

Research is key! The best online sellers with the best business professional powerful business tactics are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore.

Adaptable and Evolution-Friendly

Be adaptable and welcoming to evolution. A successful business is one that is ever-evolving, living, breathing and open to change. A successful business is an organism that sustains itself by acclimatizing with its surrounding environment.

The fast past and rapidly evolving world of E-commerce and online business is always changing; always on the move; always undergoing a metamorphosis. This is part of the online ecosystem and business habitat.

It is crucial that as an online seller you learn, develop and perfect the ability to adapt to the environment. Entrepreneurs who cannot adapt to change are those who get left behind.

Be consciously ready and accepting when it comes to adaptation, stay open-minded, be flexible in how you view things, be willing to take criticism and undergo overhauls or revamps to your business and processes when/if needed.

[table id=1 /]

Read More
Omer Riaz June 10, 2019 0 Comments