The world’s biggest retailer, Walmart Inc., reported recently that its e-commerce sales grew by 33 percent in the first quarter of the year. The strong Walmart e-commerce growth is an encouraging sign even as the firm revealed that its gross margin had fallen for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Walmart’s e-commerce sale in the first quarter of 2018 was 10 percent higher than the growth posted in the previous quarter. It is noteworthy to mention that the firm’s e-commerce sector was down in the crucial holiday quarter of 2017 which led to a $31-billion market capitalization loss.
Contributing factors to Walmart e-commerce growth
In an interview, Walmart chief financial officer Brett Briggs said Walmart e-commerce growth continued to accelerate in 2018 with new e-commerce brands driving it such as the firm’s partnership with Lord and Taylor. The official also acknowledged that the firm’s two-day shipping contributed to the growth and that the redesign of the Walmart.com website may have also been a factor as well.
E-commerce boss Marc Lore meanwhile said that the redesign of the Walmart.com website contributed to a 10 percent increase in the company’s online grocery business.
Walmart e-commerce plans
The firm has also been looking at boosting its international business portfolio. It recently announced a 77-percent stake acquisition in Indian e-commerce Flipkart. The deal worth $16 billion is the largest ever for Walmart and represents its boldest move yet to compete with e-commerce leader Amazon.com.
Walmart is eyeing a 40 percent increase in its e-commerce business this year. In a recent press conference, president and CEO Doug McMillon bared that the company is targeting US consumers who shop online and in-store by opening up more online grocery pickup locations this year.
The firm is also bent on introducing the smart cart technology which became a fixture on Jet.com. Said feature gives shoppers lower prices if they
pack more purchases in a box or when they use a debit card when paying for their purchases.