It’s no secret that Walmart has been going toe-to-toe with Amazon for the last 18 months. From their acquisition of Jet.com to their recent foray into in-home delivery, America’s largest brick and mortar retailer has been pulled out the stops in their holistic approach to retail. There is a lot to learn from Walmart’s strategy to challenge Amazon.
Marc Lore, former CEO of Jet.com, ex-Amazon employee, and current head of e-commerce for Walmart, recently disclosed what he thinks of as Walmart’s unique advantage over Amazon: their physical stores.
Lore reasons that, with 90% of the US population within 10 miles of one of Walmart’s 4,700+ stores, the company has a clear advantage in its ability to deploy inventory. They’ve already begun leveraging their physical footprint with experiments in employee-sourced delivery, kiosk pick-ups, and a recent pilot program with Deliv.
The practice of using brick and mortar locations as fulfillment centers—allowing retailers to dramatically decrease delivery time and keep pace with consumer expectations—has been one of the most important innovations in the retail industry in the past decade. The omnichannel approach is able to improve both the in-store and online experience for consumers, creating a positive feedback loop of habit and loyalty.
Amazon recently addressed their lack of brick and mortar locations with their acquisition of Whole Foods, reinforcing the idea that physical storefronts are still a valuable asset in an increasingly online world.
What this means for retailers
Even without thousands of physical stores and decades of brand building, retailers of any size can take a page from Walmart’s book and begin making the most of their brick and mortar stores.
With nearly 56% of millennial shoppers expecting same day delivery as an option, it’s never been more important for retailers to be offering shopping experience that customers are beginning to expect. Marc Lore makes this point as well, conceding that Amazon’s overall experience—the choice and convenience that they’re able to offer at such a large scale—is currently first in class.
Partnering with a delivery service provider and offering same-day delivery by fulfilling e-commerce orders from a network of stores has never been easier to do—and consumers notice. Our partners have seen an increase in both volume and conversion rates when offering same day delivery.
For pure-play e-commerce companies, who by definition operate without physical locations, partnering with distributed warehousing provider can effectively keep their inventory closer to consumers and reap the benefits of expedited shipping.
How Deliv helps leverage brick and mortar stores
Rather than making the costly time and capital investment of developing in-house delivery routes, Deliv allows companies to seamlessly plug into a scalable network of delivery drivers. Without any setup costs or fees, retailers only pay on a per delivery basis.