Walmart online sales jump 63% year on year

By Dan Wilson May 18, 2017 - 8:41 pm

US retailer Walmart, who also run a successful marketplace service for third-party sellers, has reported stunning results for the first quarter of 2017. The period saw a 63% leap in online sales over the period year on year. The total value of sales increased 69% on the same terms.

But what’s not clear from the results is how these figures relate to marketplace sales and whether they are fuelling this growth. But it seems likely that the doubling of the number of products available to shoppers is partly fuelled by independent merchants. The Walmart website now offers 50 million items up from 10 million a year ago. By any measure, these are amazing numbers and more proof, should you be tempted, that Walmart has a real potential for sellers.

Two key initiatives have been key to the online expansion. Firstly, two day shipping is now free on all orders over $35. Previously shoppers needed to be part of the ShippingPass programme to receive that service and that cost $49 a year. Obviously that was similar to Amazon Prime but without the Prime perks of music and video and the like.

Secondly, Walmart has embraced click & collect. Needless to say, the company already has a formidable footprint in the USA with a mighty fulfilment network and thousands of stores. They’re calling it the Pickup Discount. If you go and grab your goods in store, you get a saving. At launch in April, this service included 10k products involved but the company has revealed they expect to include 1 million lines by the end of year.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon says: “Our stores are located within 10 miles of nearly 90% of the U.S. population, so this is convenient for many of our customers, and also saves them money when they order online and pick it up during their visit to our stores.”

Now, obviously, Amazon continues to motor ahead but Walmart isn’t slouching and continues to be a crucial player in American ecommerce.

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