How Walmart is Integrating Digital and Physical Retail

Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2014

June 06, 2014

Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2014

Remarks as Prepared for Neil Ashe

Thank you for that great introduction, Colleen. And thanks to all of you.

I’m excited to be here today. The energy in this building always reminds me what has made Walmart so great. And it is what will make us great in the future – millions of associates working together to serve our customers in new ways. Walmart has a history of changing, but one thing has always stayed the same: our commitment to helping customers save money and live better.

Today I want to talk to you about how Walmart is serving our customers by integrating digital and physical retail.

You hear a lot these days about cool and interesting companies in Silicon Valley. Let me tell you about one - a tech business.

This business does a lot of inventing. In the past two years, it has filed for more than 300 patents.

Some of the best technologists in the world are joining this business. Almost a thousand joined last year: in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Bangalore, and other cool places around the world.

This business is growing. Last year, its sales reached $10 billion.

This year, it's forecasting sales to reach $13 billion, which is similar to the size of Visa or Nordstrom.

This business is also expanding around the world. In Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Now it might surprise you to hear that this business … is Walmart. That's right. Walmart is one of the fastest growing eCommerce businesses in the world. In the first quarter of this year, eCommerce sales grew 27%. And on Walmart.com, we now offer 7 million products, which is four times as many as we offered just 18 months ago.

How did we accomplish this? By bringing our online and mobile technologies together with our stores and our supply chain, by hiring some of the best technologists in the world, and by always looking through the eyes of the customer. And make no mistake, our customer is changing, especially when it comes to using technology to shop.

65% of our U.S. customers now have smartphones -- 85% of customers under the age of 35 -- and I'm pretty sure it will soon be all of them.

In the U.K., one-third of online sales for Asda are coming from smartphones.

And customers who shop the combination of Walmart's stores, website and mobile apps happen to be great customers. In fact, they spend twice as much inside our stores as customers who aren't using our website and apps.  

We are integrating digital retail and physical retail to create one seamless, customer-driven Walmart experience. This is providing our shoppers with more value, more time, and greater access.

As for value, we know customers love our low prices, and for a long time we've promised to match prices from other stores' printed ads. Now, we're going much further.  In some stores today, after customers check out, they can enter their receipts into a tool on their phones or computers that actively searches local advertisements for lower prices on items they bought, and then gives the savings on an e-gift card. In the U.S. we call it "Savings Catcher." And later this summer we'll be rolling it out across the country!  In the UK, where we've been doing it for a while, we call it Asda price match guarantee. 

Automatically making sure you get the lowest price? That's real innovation.

We're saving customers time. With our Walmart Pharmacy app, customers are now able to refill Walmart prescriptions from their phones by simply taking a picture of the label. Customer response has been very positive. The early returns show that most of our more than 4,000 U.S. pharmacies had a mobile refill within the first month of launch. We are also seeing many of those same customers use the app a second time.

And we're giving customers access. Check out these cool pictures from China. Only in a city like Shanghai do you come across one housing complex with 20,000 apartments and 80,000 people. That's more than the population here in Fayetteville.

The closest hypermarket is a kilometer away, and in busy Shanghai, that might as well BE in Fayetteville! So we put a delivery point in this complex, which gives customers access to almost everything available in the hypermarket.

They order products through their smartphones, then we deliver them. Customers are able to scan QR codes to see what the daily special is. And they can even use the app to vote on what they would like the special to be tomorrow. Because of Walmart's vast global supply chain, we are able to give these customers access to valuable products at great prices – like imported milk and juice.

And let me close by telling you what this means for just one customer. Last month, a man stopped by the grand opening of our new Walmart Express store in Oriental, North Carolina. This man said he loves to be out on the water, but having a boat can be expensive – in fact, he was paying $24 for his motor oil. He shopped at a kiosk in our new store that showed lots of products that weren't in that Express store, but that we could deliver quickly. Lo and behold, he found his same $24 motor oil. For 12 bucks! We happened to have a photographer at the grand opening who captured this great moment. He literally shed a tear.

At the end of the day, this is really what Walmart is all about. We helped a customer save money so he could spend a couple more hours on the water – doing what he loves to do.

Whether it's a fisherman in North Carolina, a mum in the U.K., an accountant in Shanghai, or our Walmart mom blogger Colleen, we are helping people save money in new and convenient ways so they can live a better life. And we're doing it by bringing together the best of eCommerce and the best of retail. After all, our customers only see one Walmart – and that is YOUR Walmart. Thank you!