E-commerce chief expects Walmart to ‘crush it’ over next two years
Bigger is better when it comes to online sales and operations. That was one of the messages delivered by Marc Lore, chief of Walmart’s e-commerce business in the U.S., at The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live technology conference earlier this week.
Mr. Lore said Walmart is reimagining what retail and e-commerce will look like in the years ahead and making investments on a wide scale to own that future.
“E-commerce is a scale game,” Mr. Lore told the Journal. “We’re looking at a lot of different things right now, everything, in every sector.”
Walmart has made a splash over the past year-plus with acquisitions that include Mr. Lore’s Jet.com, Bonobos, ModCloth, Moosejaw and ShoeBuy. It has also upped its omnichannel efforts with expanded in-store pickup efforts as well as pilots in home delivery using Uber and its own associates. Walmart recently announced the acquisition of Parcel, a same-day delivery service based in Brooklyn, NY.
The retailer has also engaged with Google to enable customers to order products by speaking to their Google Home device or a mobile phone that uses Google Assistant. Walmart’s customers will need to link their accounts with the retailer to Google Express to take advantage of voice ordering.
“People use it [voice activated tech] for weather, use it for transportation, a little bit of shopping,” Mr. Lore told CNET. “And I think many people are writing it off, saying it’s kind of clunky [or] I don’t think I’m going to shop that way.”
Mr. Lore does, however, see advancements in artificial intelligence over the next five to 10 years dramatically changing people’s attitudes about voice tech.
“You’re going to be able to talk to your car, your home, your phone in a very conversational way,” he said. When ordering, consumers will be able to talk with digital assistants similarly to how they would speak with a sales associate on the floor of a retail store.
Mr. Lore is bullish on his company’s prospects. He told attendees, according to TechCrunch, to expect the retailer to “crush it over the next two years,” adding that he “wouldn’t trade our position with anyone right now.”
- Wal-Mart Sees ‘’Second-Mover Advantage’ in E-Commerce – The Wall Street Journal
- Walmart sees a shopping future filled with VR, AI and chatbots – CNET
- Walmart says it will acquire more startups – TechCrunch
- Walmart deal shows it’s serious about same-day delivery – RetailWire
- Will the Walmart/Google voice deal give Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How important is scale to e-commerce success? What technology or other developments do you think will have the biggest impact on e-commerce operations over the next five to 10 years?