Walmart Argentina strengthen its commercial strategy through the development of online sales. This February, Walmart announced new alliances to profit to the fullest all benefits of this channel. The exploitation of already existent selling points, like pick up points, and the development and expansion of eCommerce through new alliances with Last Milers such as Glovo and Pedidos Ya will be key aspects of the action strategy. The final outcome expected is a global digital transformation where the online shopper can be incorporated to the decision-making process. Ariel Leiro, Walmart’s Processes and Operations Manager in Argentina shared in a recent interview the work methodology adopted and online sales future perspectives of the retail company.
Which are the eCommerce challenges for Walmart?
ECommerce is a mainstay in Walmart’s commercial strategy. Leiro affirmed that the company is going through a transformation and growth process. To meet all clients’ demands and needs -which are increasingly complex- is a constant challenge. Walmart tries to better understand its shoppers through focus groups and measurements. Within the principal findings, a need of shorter times and a wide range of options for delivery, that can also adjust to clients’ budgets and the kind of purchase made was detected.
One of the already existing services at Walmart is Pick Up: shoppers can acquire products online but pick them up at one of their 11 available pick up points, without even having to leave the driver’s seat. In order to improve this service, Walmart plans to expand it to every store.
The search for productivity improvements, making delivery times shorter and providing a personalized experience to clients, is not limited to the expansion of the Pick Up service. This February, Walmart announced an Alliance with Glovo and Pedidos Ya, two of the main Last Mile platforms that currently operate in Argentina. They arrived in Walmart to offer an efficient solution to all logistic challenges that grocery retail companies face.
On one hand, customers will be able to order directly from their mobile devices. Many studies indicate that more than half of users already choose to access to eCommerce platforms through this modality. Despite the allowed order size is limited since it has to fit the deliver box, Last Milers can provide an efficient and comfortable solution. Now it is possible to order groceries from a mobile phone, avoiding long lines and to receive it in less than 2hs with the possibility of real time monitoring.
On the other hand, apps will now be on charge of the delivery coordination and this will allow the expansion of the service to all Buenos Aires city. Dolores Fernandez Lobbe, Walmart Argentina’s Commercial Director, argued that this new alliance motivates the company to keep betting for innovation and the development of eCommerce. According to Fernandez Lobbe, this, along with a closer-to-the-client and competitive offer, will allow them to “win capillarity, coverage and immediacy in the delivery of more than the 10.000 products” that Walmart possess at stores.
The importance of the last mile
The last mile is the variable with more weigh for Walmart because of -according to Leiro- “three factors that are typical of grocery retails”. Firstly, a small order size, compared to other industries. Secondly, atomized customers that translate into longer delivery routes and orders that are scheduled in a time range that sometimes implies that the transporter vehicle is not exploited to the fullest.
It is worthy to note that retails evaluate these a many more factors before accepting and processing an order in an efficient way. On one hand, to have a small order size contributes to the possibility of being transported by Glovo’s and Pedidos Ya’s shopper. Nonetheless, the amount of unities that every operation can stand is a key aspect to evaluate and that can limit this possibility.
On the other hand, the geographical area is another key aspect. First, companies must decide in which regions operate and thus, delimit the limits within they can operate. Once these issues are solved, retails need to coordinate all orders that are schedule in different days and timetables with the availability and capability of transport vehicles in an efficient way.