Walmart.com – Makes omnichannel experience a reality


Walmart, the famous American multi-national retailer doesn’t need an introduction to anyone, but probably their app / wamart.com needs one ūüôā

While everyone is still figuring out their customer journey maps to provide a true omnichannel experience, Walmart seems to be one step ahead of all, leading this space leveraging its great offline assets (physical stores) and growing online presence(walmart.com)

Omnichannel is a jargon for “Seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store” ūüôā

For many of you who are not aware of Walmart’s online presence, it may be interesting to know that they stand No. 3 in e-retailing in the¬†USA and do business¬†worth ~$15 Billion annually.

Here are things I like about Walmart’s omnichannel experience.

  • You can place an order online / app and pick the product from one of the retail stores or get it delivered at home (basics)
  • Any product shipped to your home or picked from the store can be returned to any Walmart store and all purchase from online to offline adhere to the standard return policy of 90 days
  • You can walk-in to a store and if you like a product but don’t find your sizesimply scan¬†the bar code in your app and look for your size in walmart.com universe to get it shipped to your home right in the store.
  • Load your credit card in your app, scan the QR code displayed in POS machine before billing starts and make the bill payment with the card stored in your mobile and do the purchase without taking your wallet¬†to the nearby Walmart store
  • The receipt of the offline purchase (along with other online) is in your mobile for your ready reference for an exchange¬†/ refund anytime in future and no hassles of searching around for bills to exchange / refund
  • Receive store pick-up notifications on online orders as and when the status change from Ordered to “ready for pickup”
  • Find out the nearest store in your app, set the one you like as your home store and get to know all info about the store from phone number to operation timings.

It is interesting to see how great technologies are converging to make true CX a reality.

I read in a recent article that Walmart is making a huge CAPEX investments in their offline assets and intend to leverage their true omnichannel experience to beat the number 1, you all aware of…

I would call this¬†as a “Strategy” to build sustainable competitive advantage ūüôā

Image Courtesy : http://www.mytotalretail.com/

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Product Strategy – For an aspiring Service Centric Organization


stablished service-centric organizations keen to diversify¬†into product space struggle to put together a product strategy. I am picking here specifically“Established Service Organizations”, the¬†reason being Organizations that¬†genesis as a Product company generally know what they intend to focus on from day one¬†(Typically aligned to founders passion) and align internally (hire talents) and externally in-line to it (focus on suitable markets, domains, verticals etc)….

But service Organizations trying to figure out their space in due course have challenges as they are typically bounded by various constraints. The constraints could be internal in terms of people’s capability / skill-set they accumulated as a service organization or service focus like a domain (CRM, ERP etc) or vertical (Banking, Manufacturing) they specialize in.

I believe the effective options to them are limited

Either leverage their expertise (Domain, Vertical etc) that they have built as a service Organization over a period of time and solve an unaddressed customer issuewith a product (Blue Ocean)

(or)

Choose a product space in their area of expertise that is proven to have an established market  and build a product that can compete at its own Price / Value position(Red Ocean)

Both of them have their own pros and cons and i don’t think one is superior than¬†the other but the success lies on below critical success factors

  • Quickly choose one or other
  • Execute it quicker and better
  • and Sustain it with incremental releases that push¬†your product¬†up the price / value quadrant

Most of the Organizations typically spend too much time in (1 – Choose one over the other and they are always biased to Blue Ocean) and by that time they decide more “Blue Oceans” get converted to “Red Oceans” ¬†or “Red Oceans” gets more and more saturated….

So I believe time & execution are essence here, rest may not really matter ….

Image Courtesy : http://www.igloo-design.com/