Thursday, May 04, 2017

Can Wal-Mart’s Expensive New E-Commerce Operation Compete With Amazon? - Bloomberg

Excerpt from an extensive profile of Walmart's latest attempt to more effectively compete with Amazon

"He’d like to extend Jet’s sensibility and business model to Walmart.com, the second-biggest e-commerce destination in the U.S., according to ComScore Inc. A site redesign is due this summer. (He’s thinking of recording another set of personalized introductions.) Lore also recently announced free delivery on Walmart.com for orders of more than $35, a Jet-like (and Amazon-like) tactic to give customers discounts for buying more stuff at once, so it can be shipped more efficiently in a single box. He also announced that shoppers will be able to save money on 1 million products if they order online and pick them up at one of the chain’s 4,700 U.S. stores, where it’s cheaper for the company to deliver.

Crowning the entire strategy is an acquisition spree: buying middling e-commerce startups such as Shoebuy.com ($70 million), fashion retailer ModCloth ($75 million), and outdoor apparel seller MooseJaw ($51 million); installing their founders as his deputies; and selling their products on Walmart.com, where the selection still lags far behind Amazon’s. Later this spring, Lore is also likely to announce Wal-Mart’s reported $300 million acquisition of Bonobos Inc., a decade-old menswear website that offers well-fitting pants and a team of enthusiastic customer service people—Bonobos calls them “ninjas”—that wouldn’t normally be associated with a giant like Wal-Mart."
Can Wal-Mart’s Expensive New E-Commerce Operation Compete With Amazon? - Bloomberg
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