Walmart restructures to boost e-commerce

Walmart E-Commerce

Check the internet about the company you chose. Check the websites as well. How is e-commerce applied in the organization?

E-commerce is applied in Walmart by restructuring to attract the people who wouldn’t buy their products in store. The people who choose to shop in-store are those with large families and don’t mind spending the time at Walmart. However, the online shoppers have a more expendable income, want to save time, and are technologically savvy. Walmart was pretty late into the game of e-commerce but has realized the trends and patterns of how customers are shopping nowadays. Not too long ago, in February 2010, Walmart has created a technology group known as WalmartLabs, which will increase the company’s social and mobile offerings by merging with their current resources. The purpose of WalmartLabs is to bring what the company does in stores and translate that online. Moreover, research has shown the company that a majority of consumers choose to research electronics online before making the purchase. This has increased the company’s incentive to push the envelope for delving into the world of e-commerce. However, online, Walmart has allowed consumers a number of services, for example, select replacement tires and have them installed at a local store. As well, one can place an order for medication and pick it up at the Walmart pharmacy, along with being able to view his or her prescription history and set up reminders for refills. In addition, Walmart has a large inventory online so if an item is out of stock in store, it is a large possibility it is available on their website. Slowly but surely, Walmart is catching up and making strides in the world of e-commerce.

2) How can e-commerce provide competitive advantage for that organization?

E-commerce provides a competitive advantage for Walmart by being able to expand and attract customers on a wider market. The company is expanding globally, which was reported in January 2011. Walmart has launched websites in Latin America and China, where the former has included Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. In the latter country, it has expanded to Beijing, Shanhai, and the Shenzhen region. In total, the company has launched e-commerce in fourteen countries outside the United States, and has made great progress. For example, e-commerce in Chile has the highest level of e-commerce activity and credit card use in Latin America while in Argentina, the focus is grocery home delivery. Furthermore, Walmart’s e-commerce in China has become one of the largest online electronics retailers. Therefore, e-commerce has helped Walmart reach places on an international level, which might not have taken place.

3) Relate to the former IBM chairman Louis Gerstner’s comment “all about cycle time, speed, globalization, enhanced productivity, reaching new customers, and sharing knowledge across institutions for competitive advantage.” Can you relate what you have learned in this module to the function of e-commerce in the organization?

Today, technology is always changing and in order to flourish as a company, it is important to keep up with how consumers are acting in terms of their purchasing behavior and how they do most of their shopping, and what they value most – whether it is time or reduced prices. It is about time and speed in order to increase productivity and shipping products out of warehouses in a quick manner to reach consumers. Walmart is a successful in-store company but online, it is in the back of the pack since it began e-commerce in July 1996. In comparison to companies like Amazon, Ebay, Barnes and Noble, and MSN and Yahoo Shopping, Walmart has a long way to go. Overall, it is significant for companies to be able to adapt to change and go with the trends and not stuck in the old times in order to create growth and profit.


Birchall, J. (2011, January 5). / Companies / Retail – Walmart in global online sales expansion. FT-Financial Times. Retrieved April 26, 2011, from

Maguire, J. (2002, November 15). Case Study: — ECommerce-Guide to News, Reviews and Technology Solutions – ECommerce-Guide. Retrieved April 26, 2011, from

McKeefery, K. (2010, February 15). Walmart restructures to boost e-commerce – Direct Marketing News. Direct Marketing News. Retrieved April 26, 2011, from

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