Mobile

Don’t worry. Even Walmart is trying to figure out how to maximize mobile

Above: Loren Simon, right,

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

SAN FRANCISCO — Walmart has been committing serious resources to e-commerce — just take a look at Walmart’s growing list of technology acquisitions — but the retailing behemoth still plenty of work to do. That’s especially true when it comes to marketing to customers and increasing sales through mobile apps.

“We all know that’s where the world is heading,” Loren Simon, Walmart’s senior director of online marketing, said yesterday at VentureBeat’s 2014 GrowthBeat conference. “I think any retailer that’s out there now in the space is struggling a bit … .”

Traffic is evolving to mobile web and native apps, where conversion rates tend to be lower, he said. Now it’s incumbent on Walmart and other retail giants to figure out how to maintain revenue growth even under those conditions.

Walmart has been coming up with many new features for its mobile apps while also not neglecting its desktop website, which received a major makeover earlier this week. Meanwhile it’s built up a hefty collection of data, which can help with marketing, the smart product promotion, and other work. But it’s interesting to hear that Walmart is under pressure to figure out the whole mobile thing.

E-commerce giant Amazon.com chose to build its own mobile device, the Fire Phone. Now the mobile front could be more urgent for Walmart than ever.

Improving the in-store experience — and making trips more efficient with mobile devices has been a priority. And it’s improved mobile marketing and capabilities. Those advances are great, but Walmart wants to get more advanced.

“We don’t have all the features we’d like to have yet, but we’re getting there,” Simon said.

More information:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 9,700 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1... read more »

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