E-commerce at Walmart: An uphill battle?

RetailWire panelists recently discussed some statistics pointing out that Walmart’s e-commerce business is growing at a slower pace than its competitors’ — and certainly slower than Amazon, too. The question raised is whether there are underlying issues with Walmart’s business and customer profile holding it back. Here’s my take:

Two observations in the article really resonate: First, the Walmart customer target and brand profile may not align with the demographics of more successful e-commerce operations. (In other words, too downscale.) Second, Walmart is in several commodity businesses where it can be out-assorted, out-priced and out-executed by Amazon.

It’s hard for any aspiring omnichannel retailer to grow the top line with these kinds of e-commerce sales trends. It’s even harder as Walmart continues to grapple with mature sales in its brick-and-mortar stores.

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