“There’s a lot of the toy volume up for grabs,” said Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer on Wednesday at Walmart’s Shareholders Meeting in Arkansas. To capture a greater share of those sales this holiday, the retailer plans to buy up more inventory and enlarge the store space it is allocating to the category in the second half of the year.
The omnichannel-focused move in the toy market is in line with the retailer’s broader efforts aimed at linking together its online and offline channels.
“We want the customer to choose Walmart, but once they do so, we’re channel agnostic after that,” he said.
Key to the retailer’s success is Walmart’s ability to make it easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for, said Scott Hilton, chief revenue officer, Walmart U.S. eCommerce. “We want to serve shoppers however they want to shop,” he said. “It’s important to have the right products but we also need to enable consumers to find what they’re looking for, regardless of whether they’re browsing [a store] or shopping [online].”
The retailer’s recent website redesign is in line with those initiatives. The site has a heavy focus on personalization; it shows shoppers items that are popular in their area, tailors products and content to their previous on-site actions, as well as aims to drive consumers to order groceries online that can be picked up in a nearby store.
“The framework of the site is set up to help consumers with all modes of shopping,” Hilton said, noting that different consumers shop in different ways based on what they’re looking for, when they’re looking at items and what device they’re using.
Hilton pointed to the home category: A consumer might, for example, be looking to make a quick purchase of an item such as a pillow. Or, they might just be starting to look at an item such as patio furniture. To foster those multiple modes of shopping, Walmart is revamping the way it organizes the categories on its site to the various ways it has observed consumers shop and browse. For instance, the home category, which launched last month, enables consumers to shop by style since brands aren’t as important as style.
While Walmart is focused on rolling out a number of omnichannel initiatives, the vast majority of Walmart customers just want to shop the retailer’s stores, Bratspies said.
For Walmart, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, to thrive it needs to offer shoppers a valuable experience, regardless of where or how they’re shopping, said said CEO Doug McMillon. “Our purpose is to help people save money and live better, and our strategy gives us priorities for how we do that,” he said. “The first objective is to make everybody easier for busy families. We’re focused on making shopping easy at Walmart, fast, friendly and fun. We want to save customers not only money but time, and that’s why we’re creating seamless shopping with a great in-store experience, easy pickup, fast delivery and apps and websites that are simple to use.”Favorite