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Is Walmart Canada positioned to lead e-commerce?

What strategies are being implemented by Walmart Canada in order to beat their competitors?

What is the online business model of Walmart Canada?

Challenges in E-commerce

E-Commerce

Electronic commerce is the process of buying and selling services and products through computer channels such as email and internet. E-commerce has acquired popularity since the invention of computers and other programs (Ruiz-Martínez, 2015, p 347). In this era of business, many businesses are investing more in online presence that relies on the use of internet, however, the use of other forms of e commerce types such as subscription to newsletters and mobile notifications. Expanding the market and popularity is the main purpose of E-commerce. Scholars suggest that electronic commerce is the preferable way forward in selling the items of a company, either on international or national level. All that is needed is decision to go online and pursuing the appropriate steps to build a competitive site.

What makes internet advantageous is the traffic it holds daily. Besides, it is a forum that is very convenient where clients can make purchase from the comfort of their homes. Concurrently, it provides opportunity for consumers to look through the different options available, and select on the most appropriate. Before settling on what to purchase, end-users need content, which is majorly borrowed from the website of a company (Hitpass & Astudillo, 2018, p. 18). The assumption here is that the relevance and quality of the information offered is basically influential and essential to the end-user. Moreover, the easiness of using and assessing such information is vital. While building an online site for an organization, it is essential to consider such things.

An organization that utilizes online forums and resources to advertise benefits more than the one that uses e-commerce partially. Many companies have experiences success through online marketing. There are organizations who rely entirely on the internet for survival and income. Many firms are now operating online to advertise their goods and manage an extensive share of the market.

Every firm entering the online site faces competition and thus each firm considers the actions of its rivals. There are methods that every organization applies to become successful on the internet. By evaluating the weaknesses and strengths of such methods, a company can successfully develop an excellent business online (McGee, 2018, p. 98). Customer satisfaction is another thing to consider which is associated with the general trends of business. Understanding what end-users need is essential. In developing the online carts and information for items, an organization considers the best search words that the end-user will probably use online. Another vital factor of success that online marketing needs is the customer care. Sometimes an end-user can get stuck for one reason or the other.

Despite the many benefits associated with e-commerce, there are challenges than can make a business to fail. One of the challenge is lack of privacy, where individual details offered over the internet is accessed by unapproved individuals (LeCavalier, 2010). In this era when automation and computerization is uncontrollable, each opportunity a company is introduced to for success is used. In the scenario, customers’ personal information such as phone numbers and emails is valued as means of enlarging the market via direct contacts.

Walmart-Canada

Security is a main issue online. Insecurities occur in form of hackers and viruses. The different nature of people dictates that individuals will carry out operations either to hinder the success of others or benefit themselves. It is something that the world of technology faces every day. Experts of computer may be used by other group to interfere with the websites of other firms. Some managers of a company use time and resources in an attempt of making other organizations appear inefficient to clients (Lee, et al. 2012, p. 269). It is conducted through developed systems of feedback, where unknown feedbacks are continued in negative lights. Critiques are done negatively, thus pushing away visitors from that site.

Nevertheless, there exist ways of handling the negative e-commerce aspects. For example, the utilization of strong antivirus software and security settings always functions to protect against unwanted elements. A powerful policy of privacy also makes sure that customers are confident when offering their personal information.                

Introduction

As much focus has been concentrated on Whole foods takeover by Amazon, and later the price reduction at the locations of organic grocers, Wal-Mart Canada has been elevating its provisions, especially online. Following some reports, the company, which has been broadening its delivery and click-and-collect options in the market, officially declared that it was bringing third-party sellers Wal-Mart marketplace to its electronic commerce website of Canada. The move will efficiently double its online store (Ciuriak, 2012). The Marketplace of Wal-Mart has been operating south of border for some years, with sellers of third-party getting charged a commission fee by Wal-Mart, differing depending on group, for referral traffic. Technology and electronic commerce EVP of Wal-Mart Canada, Rick Neuman, illustrated why the marketplace shift is great deal and his view on other things to come.

The motivation to bring the shopping-place offering to Canada: the motivation was focusing on what their clients were searching for, product-wise and assortment-wise. Even with the increasing expanded opening assortments on Walmart.ca and many varieties in their outlets, customers visited the site hoping to find a lot of things but still were unable to. As such, the company wanted to ensure that if a client chooses Wal-Mart, he or she was able to finish their entire shop with them. It is an essential piece for their long-term strategy (Yan, et al., 2013). The ability of having the appropriate combination to serve the client is an important thing. The company needs to drop the conversation of assortment for a while and concentrate on their strengths, on constantly leveraging their physical products and offering great price.

Benefits of the model to the Walmart itself and sellers: sellers acquire access to the customers and traffic that comes to Walmart for groceries, weekly shop, cleaning supplies, among other products that the company is known for. As such, sellers will be able to participate in a space where it is challenging to get traffic and that type of attention, particularly in the online space. It is very costly to transfer it to one’s site. From the perspective of Wal-Mart, it permits them to serve clients the full basket, as such, they do not need to have same store position or incur other additional expenses such as warehouses.

Positive and consistent customer experience regarding fulfillment: Walmart has collaborated with other best sellers that have confirmed worthwhile on the Marketplace of Walmart.com.  The company will constantly work with their sellers to ensure they are offering the appropriate experience to their clients. Where inappropriate, the company will make strategic choices, but currently, they are confident with their partners (Zhou et al., 2018). The challenging part of introducing a marketplace is how it connects into other systems of sellers. It is the ability of sellers to list SKUs with the company, price those SKUs and control their varieties inside the store of the company. Therefore, Wal-Mart possess a sell center, an opening where sellers can enter and control their entire assortment with few involvements from the company’s team and so that they can participate in a strategic way, versus the basic parts of operating a site. That permitted them to move faster and permit their sellers the authority they need to take dominion and offer them the assortment that their clients are searching for.

Beside the Marketplace, Walmart declared a collaboration with U.S. Google Express. Google Express, the fundamental channel, does not exist in Canada, and Google has not yet introduced it to market. Voice in Canada is in its infancy and many channel of voice have been opened recently or does not exist. But understanding how it operates in U.S. and the ability to leverage some of the collaborations that they have generated gives the company a good opportunity. Therefore, the company works with Google daily to pull competence to serve the Canadians. The company anticipates for many partnership opportunities with Google in future. The company finds Voice to be interesting and they are confident that it will reach Canada in a great way and they believe that it will be an important portion of their strategy. However, it depends on the readiness of the customers and them as well on the supplying side to make sure they offer the appropriate experiences. Walmart is lucky to have a company moving into such a space, in united states and other markets.

Penetration of Canada’s Electronic commerce lags other markets. Wal-Mart Canada states that Electronic commerce portrayed around 2% of all Canada’s retail sales as compared to 7% in the united states (Stankevi?i?t?, Grunda & Bartkus, 2012). However, the company sees opportunity as it expects the e-commerce of Canada to double. Besides, management says that no actual winners have appeared yet in Canada

As it examines a new concept of Supercenter, Wal-Mart is broadening its e-commerce service of grocery to six outlets in the Edmonton region.

Cautious ecommerce expansion approach

Walmart opened its online pickup service of grocery at 11 outlets in Ottawa, before increasing it to 12 outlets in the Toronto region (Yan et al., 2018, p. 911). The company has adopted a stable approach to activation, concentrating on establishing a profitability pathway and improving its processes, with the service available in about 50 locations. It comprises of three main apartment buildings in Toronto as the company concentrates on increasing convenience of the shopper. At the same time, Loblaw has increased its pickup service to approximately 100 locations, with the company also deciding to be inactive with activation, reflecting the general speed of shopper demand and development of the platform.

All best grocery business testing or operating grocery e-commerce

Although Loblaw and Walmart are new members to the platform, some developments have commenced. Longo’s, which manages 30 outlets in the Toronto region, was among the first into the platform with its Grocery Gateway acquisition (Chatterjee, 2017, p. 22). Over the past few years, the company has been devoted in the service, including starting a committed fulfillment center. In Quebec, Sobeys provides online services at about 250 outlets, British Columbia has planned to develop position of leadership through providing home delivery and in-store pickup. Besides, Metro started its first examination of grocery e-commerce in the market of Montreal. Although the platform depicts sales of less than 1 percent, it is anticipated to rise fast.

Insufficient opportunities for more Supercenters

Apart from investing in electronic commerce, Walmart Canada will invest in restructuring several of its current outlets, while planning to only open few stores. With more than 400 outlets across Canada, there are insufficient opportunities for more network expansion through its existing format (Taillie, Ng & Popkin, 2016, p. 173). Having developed the portfolio at a fast speed over the past years, through store acquisitions and conversions, the company has been striving to develop a new Supercenter vision. It could be a major element of the growth of the retailer in future.

Establishing a new vision for its big format outlets

It includes delivering value proposition and greater price, improving its fresh food varieties and investing in groupings such as health, clothing and beauty. It reflects a courageous, new plan for the company, but one which will allow it to diversify as the market constantly splits towards fresh and discount-led formats (Ken, 2014, p. 27). Featuring lower heights of shelfs, new perimeter signage and simplified layouts of category, the format concentrates on demonstrating the value credentials of the retailer, boosting the easy to shop and increasing efficiencies of in-store. Three outlets have been transformed as part of the progressive examination, with additional improvements expected before a detailed restructure program is carried out. Besides, the new idea is expected to influence development of layout in other markets, with the company concentrating on re-thinking its big format outlets in the US, Brazil and UK.

Current and Future E-commerce Model

Over the years Walmart Canada have gotten a significant share of the online market through numerous marketing strategies. The company has created a user friendly platform where customers can order, negotiate, and pay for the products over the internet and thereafter the products are delivered to the address under which the customer provided during the purchase (Li, & Yang, 2014). If a customer has a complaint or a query, there is a portal on the website that is dedicated solely to handling customer issues and making clarifications. Customers can find the company contact details on the website including telephone numbers and direct mail. There is a form available for customers to fill in to say whether or not they are satisfied. However, it is important to note that the company is planning to expand it online activities to a wider audience.

Objectives

The core objective for continuous online existence for Walmart Canada is increasing the customer base in the market thus increasing sales. The presence of other competing entities within the e-commerce sector calls for more abrasive steps (Almousa, 2013, p. 67). Gaining advantage, through the use of search engine optimization so as to ensure the company’s items appear as top results when customers search for them, will lead to increased popularity of the company.

Strategy

Web design should be the key factor to consider, where expertise and broad computer knowledge will come in handy. Firstly, recognizing the size of the item portfolio, in terms of various products models and other items, will play a crucial role to the coming up of an autonomous and inclusive site (Mo, et al., 2015). The information to be displayed in every category is consolidated and edited for it to be clear and precise to the point.

Lastly, the overall look and arrangement of sub titles in the site should be catchy (Fang, & Zhou, 2012, p. 87). A consumer will naturally be attracted when they first set their eyes on the site, prior to reading the content. The availability of the site should be within a few clicks, a potential client will easily see the items they are interested in. Having wide computer knowledge and dedicated professionals in the IT sector, Walmart Canada can conveniently achieve this.

Ease of the payment channels should be considered. The popular modes of payment, if not all, should be consolidated within the company systems. This leads to a secure, fast and reliable method for the customer to carry out any transactions.

Walmart Canada offers unique products that are of advantage to the customers. In order to compete effectively the company should highlight the advantages and the reasons why the customers should choose their products over other brands (Klatt, 2013, p. 207). There are also other additional valuable electronics that are sold by the company to the online portfolio. The potential of the company to sell has been high due to the increase in population and the use of e-commerce. The use of e-commerce has been encouraged by not only the environments related organizations but also most governments as a way of preserving the environment. Due to this it becomes an great advantage to the company.

There should clarity when it comes to defining the services offered during and after selling products and also the means by which the product reaches the owner i.e. mode of delivery.   Selling directly to the customer is one of Walmart Canada uses. This shows that delivering is part of its major functions (Asosheh, et al., 2012, p. 144). This should be clear how to transport and also insurance costs. It should also define the time and location at which the responsibility passes to the owner. To make it clear, any extra charges that may come with the order apart from the actual price should be made clear to the customer (Lin, 2017). There should also clarity on the specific after sale services including warranties and refund procedures.

Walmart Canada has been successful in e-commerce and this success has been propelled by various factors. Customer care is one among the many key performance appraisal (Chen, et al., 2018, p. 840). Customer becomes satisfied by the seller and feels good if all the information required is provided and clarified in a more professional and customer friendly way. This will make the customer come back in case he/she is in need of anything else or even direct friends. Secondly, privacy when one is online is important for transactions to be carried out (Guo, 2016, p. 132). Each and every customer needs to feel secured, also companies needs security because it prevents loses and interference of the company.

When a customer is searching for particular products online it would be critical for the company to ensure that the products appear among the first in the search results. For this to happen, the company would be compelled to pay the search engine companies so as to prioritize their products (Chou, 2013, p. 679). New clients find it easy to interact with websites that are user friendly like that of Walmart.

Conclusion

Walmart has been in operation for quite some time and thus have created an online presence. Nevertheless, it is important to point out that there are several things that the company can do to improve its operational efficiency and the advantages attached with it.  By utilizing developed assessments, concepts, and techniques, commencing online marketing would be a simple task for Walmart Canada where its products and services can be taken to every corner of the globe. A well-developed, comprehensive informational system can help in a great way to achieve and boost sales for the company.  Walmart can easily override competitors’ strategies in competitive and developing industries by effectively creating effective marketing strategies and customer service.

References

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Asosheh, A., Shahidi-Nejad, H. and Khodkari, H. (2012). A Model of a Localized Cross-Border E-Commerce. iBusiness, 04(02), pp.136-145.

Chatterjee, S. (2017). Two efficiency-driven networks on a collision course: ALDI’s innovative grocery business model vs Walmart. Strategy & Leadership, 45(5), pp.18-25.

Chen, J., Tang, Y. and Yang, J. (2018). A Survey of System Dynamics in B2C E-Commerce Business Model. Modern Economy, 09(04), pp.830-852.

Chou, C. (2013). Factors Affecting Brand Identification and Loyalty in Online Community. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 03(08), pp.674-680.

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Guo, Z. (2016). A Literature Review of Representation Models of E-Business Models from the Perspective of Value Creation. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 06(02), pp.129-135.

Hitpass, B. and Astudillo, H. (2018). Industry 4.0 Challenges for Business Process Management and Electronic-Commerce. Journal of theoretical and applied electronic commerce research, 14(1), pp.14-27.

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