The aim of this research paper is to analyse the marketing strategies and marketing analysis of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is one of the Asia’s largest companies in the retailing sector in the world. In the contemporary world, marketing strategies and related other aspects are very important for the survival of the company in an intensive competition of retailing industry. The research investigated different dimension of the company in which market it is operating its functions (Wal-Mart, 2017). Furthermore, the study is discussing about the details of the Wal-Mart describing the mission, values and statement of the company to approach the market. This research is mainly facilitating the direction and orientation towards the marketing of Wal-Mart. In addition to this, it provides the insight of products that are offered to the customers and marketing strategies used to capture the competitive market. In addition to this, 5C’s market analysis comprising of company, customers, collaboration, competitors and context for the organisation is also being elaborated. A brief detail has been made on the competitor’s analysis of Wal-Mart along with the marketing strategies and position (Jolibert et al., 2012). The 5C’s been analysed in details and illustrated with specific justification and recommendation on the marketing analysis. Similarly, market strategy, market potential and position is being analysed in the research to enhance the study on marketing strategies of the Wal-Mart. Lastly, recommendation and new strategies are being introduced to develop and plan for the growth of Wal-Mart operations and business management aspects worldwide.
Wal-Mart stores Inc. is an American retailer store chain which is operated in different forms like supermarkets, discount department stores and hypermarkets. It’s headquarter is in Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S. The founder of Wal-Mart is Sam Walton in 1962 which is a public sector company (Wal-Mart, 2017). The company has 2.3 million employees worldwide and about 11695 stores around the world. The revenue of Wal-Mart in 2017 is 485.873 billion and profit is 13.643 billion. The current CEO of the company is C. Douglas McMillon and company uses many strategies to expand in the world with best customer service and in low prices. Mission statement of the organisation is ‘saving people money so they can live better’. Saving money is done with the help of offering low prices quality services and facilities to the customers for better life (Jin and Lin, 2012). The company focuses on the five essential values to direct the Wal-Mart’s strategies and business operation in the right direction that is integrity, opportunity, purpose, responsibility plus family and community. The company has a vision statement as ‘to be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of customers and employees’. Wal-Mart emphasis to be the best retailers and top position in the people’s heat and mind (Wal-Mart, 2017). The company focuses to provide the financial benefits to the employees along with the low prices facilities in Wal-Mart services to make the position in heart.
The company has different marketing orientation such as production in large scale with efficiency and according to the customers’ needs (Marketing Management, 2000). The demand of the product is also created by supply in the market. Good quality and innovative in features is the focus of production management. Additionally, selling and marketing is also exhibited to maintain the competitive advantage in the market in an efficient way. Socially responsibility marketing is also an important feature that focuses on the image and reputation created by the organisation. Electronic items, jewellery, sporting goods and fitness products, movies and music related products, auto, party supplies, grocery, home and furnishing products, toys and health and beauty products are products offered by the Wal-Mart in the market (Marketing Management, 2000). Furthermore, Wal-Mart pay, pickup today, Wal-Mart money card, Wal-Mart 2 Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart pay are the services provided by Wal-Mart.
The marketing strategy of Wal-Mart is based on the low prices strategy as a price leadership and offering their services in various divisions with diversification helps the company in growing its business and increasing its revenues. ‘Everyday Low cost’ is the most popular strategy that company uses as a marketing strategy (Wal-Mart, 2017). Furthermore, the main focus of Wal-Mart is to provide the products and services to the customer according to their want and in a way as they want their products. The valuable and quality services with low prices give the easy access and affordability to the customer. Brand name of the company is very strong that establishes a different image of the organisation and helps in increasing its sale even in low market conditions over its competitors (Jolibert et al., 2012). The company also deals in both online/offline sale of products for marketing benefits and uses brand image for its product selling offline. Thus, it focuses on improving the online and offline shopping experience of its customers successfully.
5C’s analysis of Wal-Mart
- Company -Wal-Mart is a well known brand in the retailing industry worldwide. The company has a very strong and effective supply chain management. Moreover, the organisation culture is based on values and ethics precisely (Wal-Mart, 2017). The employees are very trained and skilful. Wal-Mart has achieved a very low cost through large scale production and supply chain management with high quality and customer oriented products. The company has a very strong support of its suppliers and partners in its growth along with this; it has a sound financial support because of diversified approach of products and division. Plus, integration of advanced information system all over its branches is an essential resource in the company. On the other hand, there are several sustainable market leaders in the market such as Tesco and Carrere-Four. There are various tax related hurdles that has been faced by the company when it expands its business in other countries (Reading, 2004). Local retailers, different cultures, rules and regulation, traditions and political challenges are strong threats for the company.
- Customers- there are no particular segment of customers that has been targeted by the company. All the customers are equally important for the company (Mason and Evans, 2015). No age, gender, occupation, religion and any other classification is used to target the group of people. Wal-Mart simply targets every customer without any diversification. Furthermore, the company also ignores the middle man and supplies direct to the customers. With the globalisation and increasing popularity of ecommerce in retailing market is also been followed by the company and all of these market positioning techniques are achieved by the Wal-Mart (Mason and Evans, 2015).
- Collaborators- the company’s suppliers, distributors and other partners that help in supply chain management are based on strategic partnership with long term relations (Hutt and Speh, 2012). Company prefers to rely on direct manufacturers rather than any of the local suppliers or producer. Along with this, company has various divisions in same geographical area. The supply chain system is based on information technology and integrated with hi tech approach of HRM system, smart tag and RFID that strengthens the supply chain management of the company and helps in attaining the competitive edge to the Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart, 2017). The company is not flexible in negotiating and does not compromise in bargaining from the suppliers and partners to achieve lowest cost in the market. It does not compromise in the quality and environmental friendly product supplied by the partners and suppliers. In last, it has a very effective transportation system that helps the company in maintaining low cost and fast deliver to achieve competitive advantage (Hutt and Speh, 2012).
- Competitors - main competitors of the company are Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Amazon.com, Dollar General Corporation, Kohl’s Corporation, Sears Holding Corporation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Macy’s, Inc (Wal-Mart, 2017). Target Corporation and many more competitors are there in the market. Moreover, new competitors of Wal-Mart can hold a strong position in front of Wal-Mart as the cast of capital and development cost is moderate. Along with this, market entry, speciality, customers preferences and convenience, locations are the factors that affects the new entry of any firm in retailing business. Otherwise, there is a high competition with the potential and current competitors in the market because of intense competition, large number of competitors and aggressive approach of low prices orientation by the new and potential opponents (Jolibert et al., 2012).
- Context- food safety regulation complying with international standards and quality standards are being faced and adopted by the organisation (Harrison and St. John, 2009). The unemployment issues and higher turnover of employees are the major issues in the company among human resources management. Changing scenario of laws and reforms with declining financial conditions are other legal concerns of the organisation. Wal-Mart incorporates automation and high end information technology to perform the operations and different functions in the organisation. Company also has online portal and mobile application that helps technology aids to increase the sale of Wal-Mart. In case of political aspects, globalisation has lead to imposition of many international rules and regulation which has to be followed according to each of the company’s government (Harrison and St. John, 2009). Supportive political environment helps Wal-Mart in stability and better opportunities.
Market research for 5C’s is being done by the annual reports and other reports maintained by the organisation. Market intelligence and market study in the company is being done with the market and share holding positions (Jolibert et al., 2012). Research source and customers desire are being studies with several questionnaire and regular surveys. Competitors that draw a threat are Tesla and Amazon in e commerce sector. Companies are now changing strategies to cover more area and satisfy more customers. Companies are considering more on the customer’s needs and requirement and its position is lowering down due to other global retailers that also have good position in the market. Role of collaborators defines that the company uses its partner as strategic business entity. The cost is the major concern in the partnership and no compromised is made in relation to the quality. The sustainability and long term partnership makes the technological friendly and reliability association (Jolibert et al., 2012). The company also uses good delivery system that improves the transportation of products directly in the hypermarkets and stores.
Retail industry is highly competitive intense. This industry is one of the most challenging and competitive industries. Easy entrance and exit is the prominent feature of retail industry. The competitive advantage is being achieved by Wal-Mart through cost leadership and economies of scale in terms of incorporating advanced information technology. Therefore, higher profits are being achieved by cost optimisation in Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart, 2017). The macro environment of the company is highly competitive and large number of retailers comes in this industry. The potential market segment for the organisation is high price and luxurious products that can be offered to the urban population. The high prices products with advanced and good quality can be change the prospects of the organisation. The company has very small segment of own brand products, thus it can also initiate and improve the research and development for its own products including all ranges (Leahy, 2012). The target market of the company in future can be the Asian and Chinese market. More collaboration and partnership can help the company in introducing the products successfully in the market.
Recommendation for to capture the market strategically are that the company needs to expand its business in new markets as well as focused on strong position holders in the local market and popular international brand and organisations (Jolibert et al., 2012). It can further expand with leadership position in the retailing industry for growth and expansion in future.
Marketing tactics of the company includes the strategies like everyday low price and introduction of information technology in every business function (Hutt and Speh, 2012). The technology and automation has provided various benefits in implementation the effective information technology that helps the company in cost cutting. The supply chain management and delivery of products with advanced technology is also being taken care of by the company to minimise the cost of the organisation (Hutt and Speh, 2012). 4P’s that are used to analyse the market position of the company and internal strategies are as follows:
The market mix including prices strategy entails the allowance, discounts, credits and payment terms as different option. Furthermore products are less costly and utility items have good quality are popular among people and encourage them to buy products. Products of the company is highly diversified as well as determined in its own label with different price and features. Thus, various options entice the customers for shopping (Leahy, 2012). Place is next concern which has aspects like location, transportation and inventory that are managed with the help of big retailers strategy with different types of stores. Last is promotion, in which Wal-Mart uses direct marketing, public relations, sales promotion and effective ways to advertise in public.
Recommendation for the 4P’s improvement is as followed:
- Suburban area’s stores can be used as leverage and modified as express stores. The Wal-Mart can use the brand name more in suburban areas and expand its operations (Leahy, 2012).
- Wal-Mart should capture more geographical area by international expansion via strategic collaboration with other partners. The strategic collaboration will help the company in cognition of culture and tradition of local area. The main point is to expand the business in emerging economic countries.
- By integrating the ERP management and information system will help the company in cost saving. Thus, imposing advance technology the lowest cost can be achieved by the company.
- The company has vast opportunities in the grocery division which is already a very popular division of Wal-Mart. Thus, the groceries retailing stores can be advantaged in worldwide as a pioneer (Leahy, 2012).
- The American based products of the Wal-Mart are hi-end product and are of superior quality. Therefore, in local market company can deliver and offer these high quality American products that are localised and globalised thru this.
In the above discussion, it can be inferred that Wal-Mart is a very popular and largest retail chain based in America and has worldwide establishment. The company integrates low prices strategy as cost leadership as well as determined in using the differentiation strategy of products. Diversified products are major feature of the company and also cater its own label brand. It deals in almost every segment and sector. The cost saving is done with incorporating the information technology use in the organisations operation.
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