Walmart recently revealed plans to invest between $1.2 to $1.5 billion in its ecommerce and digital operations for fiscal year 2016. Subsequently, its in-store investments are taking a temporary hit. In its capital expenditure plans, Walmart notes a “moderation of large format store growth" in order to test pharmacy-and-convenience-store models of Neighborhood Markets.
While Walmart expects its global ecommerce sales to grow 25% by 2016 – there’s still an elephant in the room: Amazon. But Walmart’s online sales growth rate recently surpassed Amazon’s for the first time in 10 years.
Walmart’s $466 billion retail engine includes a collection of tech developed (or acquired) through the @WalmartLabs accelerator whose capabilities include search optimization, predictive analytics and product recommendations.
According to Brian Monahan, VP of marketing for Walmart.com, a team of 100 @WalmartLabs engineers supports the store’s internal marketing efforts.
Walmart’s relationships with the world’s largest brands and manufacturers – its suppliers – also spurred the development of digital media buying and optimization platform Walmart Exchange (WMX).
Monahan, who joined the retailer roughly a year and half ago after spending 20 years working in agencies, spoke with AdExchanger about Walmart’s digital growth spurt, WMX and the future of shopper media.