Transcript of "WARC: How walmarts mobileled_strategy_drives_a_seamless_shopper_experience May 2013"
How Walmarts mobile-led strategy drives a seamlessshopper experienceGeoffrey PrecourtEvent Reportsad:tech San Francisco, May 2013
How Walmarts mobile-led strategy drives a seamless shopperexperienceGeoffrey PrecourtWarcAlso see Walmart.com in 2016: How imagination created a holistic customer experience, another report on Walmart fromad:tech San Francisco.A key component of Walmarts strategy, according to Wendy Bergh, its senior director/mobile and digital strategy in theretailers global ecommerce group, is delivering seamless access to customers across channels."Our customers dont tell their friends, Hey, I shopped at a Walmart store today or I shopped at Walmart.com today. They talkabout shopping with Walmart. So when we serve them with different channels, we need to make sure theyre getting a veryholistic experience," she told an audience at the 2013 ad:tech San Francisco conference.Appearing on a "Moving on Mobile" panel discussion, Bergh shared pieces of a three-part Walmart interactive merchandisingprogram that focused on hand-held devices and "delivered as great customer experiences."Its three phases focused on: mobilising .com (i.e. Walmarts digital experience), mobilising stores (offering in-store mobiletools) and accelerating multi-channel opportunities.Mobilising .comThis initial stage was about delivering an "optimised version" of a Walmart digital experience available to consumers at homeor in store – "anytime, anyplace," said Bergh.The foundational piece "really is just giving customers the opportunity to shop with us through their smartphones and tablets."Describing it as "a necessary part of anyones retail strategy," Bergh explained "its table stakes. Its what customers expectnowadays. If you dont have it, youre not serving them well."Mobilising stores Title: How Walmarts mobile-led strategy drives a seamless shopper experience Author(s): Geoffrey Precourt Source: Event Reports Issue: ad:tech San Francisco, May 2013 Downloaded from warc.com 2
Stage two is a critical "point of differentiation" shared by Walmarts 4,000 U.S. retail stores: create "indispensable in-storeshopping tools – shopping lists, aisle-to-aisle guidance in the large-box shopping environment, and alerts to special deals thatalign with past shopper interests, barcode scanning, check-out assistance, eReceipts, and interactive local digital advertising."The "mobilising" effort, Bergh explained to the ad:tech audience, "is all about giving shoppers the ability to help themselves –tools that will help them save more time and more money in the stores and make it a more convenient experience."Accelerating multi-channel opportunitiesStages 1 and 2, Bergh explained, "naturally leads" to the third phase: a customer-focused effort that is aimed at delivering aseamless experience across iPads, iPhones, Android apps, on the Internet and through SMS texting."The biggest focus for us really is in mobilising stores," Bergh continued. Walmarts aggressive pursuit of the mobile-focusedcustomer has strong financial underpinnings, as Bergh cited a Deloitte "The Dawn of the Mobile Influence" story that revealedthat mobile customers used their hand-held devices to influence $158 billion in 2012 retail expenditures (about 5% of total in-store retail) – an impressive figure thats anticipated to grow to $689 billion – or 20% of in-store retail – by the end of 2016."Its a huge opportunity for us, with more than 140 million people walking into our [U.S.] stores every week – 200 millionglobally. We want to make sure those customers have a great experience…. And mobile is a way to enhance that experiencewithin the stores."To that end, "Weve really looked at how the customer shops with us," Bergh told the San Francisco ad:tech assembly, aprocess that has spanned their pre-planning of shopping, their arrival at the store and their check out experience.Pre-PlanningBergh revealed that 90% of shoppers create shopping lists before they get to a Walmart store, so the companys goal is tomake that a "more seamless, easier, digital experience." For the retailer, shopping lists are not just a random list of items.Theyre also a customers budgeting tool that shapes the in-store shopping experience in the comfort of an at-homeenvironment.With a Walmart shopping-list app, not only can customers record a want list, but they can see the price at their local store, the Downloaded from warc.com 3
quantity in stock and its aisle location. "It helps them manage their budget before they go to the store and tell them where to goonce they get to the store.WelcomeWhen a shopper arrives at a Walmart location and has a Welcome app open, they are asked if they want to enter StoreMode. This provides them with a set of digital tools that includes interactive online advertising about whats on special offerthat week, a QR code scanner and a bar-code scanner for price and product information, as well as access to the shoppinglists they created at home.Check OutThe last stage of the Walmart mobile expedition ends at the check out. The retailer has a Scan & Go program currently in a200-store test in 14 regions that allows shoppers to scan items as they shop and simply transfer baskets at check-out. "Morethan 50% of the customers who have used it have come back and used it again," said Bergh.The company is also testing consumer response to providing e-Receipts in a secure locker, an offering that would take thepaper stream out of the last step in shopping.While Walmart doesnt need interactive-industry accolades as evidence of its force as a retail innovator, Bergh revealed that itused a number of ways to improve and measure levels of customer engagement.Since 2011, Walmart has worked to make its apps work faster and improve the shoppers in-store experiences, to give them"access to the brands they loved," as Bergh put it, even as it facilitated access to local stores."We re-platformed all of our [mobile] experiences," said Bergh, and by the end of 2012 in the U.S., Mobile Commerce Dailyawarded it both the "Mobile App of the Year" and "Mobile Retailer of the Year" honors. Equally, in the U.K., it walked homewith the Mumsnet "Best" award and was rated the top retail app in the Apple App Store.To drive the mobile success, Bergh added, "We had to make sure that different teams across the organisation were aligned ongoals. The mobile team played a huge part in that." But the organisations "Anywhere, Anytime" philosophy demanded newexpertise – skill sets that the company developed within its organisation.That capability enabled full integration into Walmarts existing online groups, its various store organisations, and its human-resource groups. "For instance", said Bergh, "when we launched Scan & Go, there was a huge amount of training involved inthat [effort]… [and] in marketing, we had to make sure that our customers understood these new tools that we were offering Downloaded from warc.com 4
and have access to them."An implicit advantage of Walmarts innovation in these areas is its global scalability. Said Bergh: "As we go to more bannersaround the world, we dont have to start from scratch."And, indeed, even though the new Walmart mobile strategy is designed to work in the Americas, its development is beingtargeted for expansion to Western Europe and Japan.About the authorGeoffrey Precourt is the US Editor of Warc.You can read all his papers and reports from recent marketing events at www.warc.com/precourt. All rights reserved including database rights. This electronic file is for the personal use of authorised users based at the subscribing companys office location. It may not be reproduced, posted on intranets, extranetsor the internet, e-mailed, archived or shared electronically either within the purchaser’s organisation or externally without express written permission from Warc. Downloaded from warc.com 5