Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been getting a lot of ink about out-of-the-norm innovations when it comes to eCommerce, like having employees deliver orders – even to a customer’s refrigerator.
But where the retailers has made leaps and bounds – 40% year over year growth in online sales – has investors upbeat about the company’s outlook.
During the company’s investor meeting held Oct. 10, Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S. said the company plans to offer grocery pickup at more than 2,000 locations, and grocery will help the company reach more general merchandise shoppers.
“If you could offer fresh produce and consumables at the best possible price, with a really good experience, whether it be pick up or delivery, then you have a good chance to build a long standing relationship that you can then leverage to sell the rest of general merchandise,” Lore said, during the meeting.
With stores 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, Wal-Mart believes it is well positioned to move forward with initiatives like grocery delivery and pick up on a larger scale.
Grocery shoppers are of particular interest, said CEO Doug McMillon.
“Customers who shop in store and become eCommerce customers spend nearly twice as much overall,” he said, during the presentation. “When we convert store-only customers to be eCommerce customers, they spend in stores, but online grocery pickup customers spend the most overall.”
McMillion says Wal-Mart believes the future of retail is a combination of digital and physical retail, but the conversion away from physical retail will be a slow one.
“The vast majority of grocery volume will be done by customers in store for a long time to come,” he said.