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Walmart app users spend 40pc more than average shopper

September 26, 2013

Walmart's mobile app

NEW YORK – A Walmart executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 conference said consumers who download the retailer’s application not only spend more, but also shop in-store twice as much as the average shopper.

The executive’s fireside chat during the “Push Your Creative Limits: Mobile Invites and Involves Consumers to Live in the Story” session gave attendees a look at how mobile plays a role in Walmart’s multichannel strategy. In particular, the session highlighted Walmart’s app as critical in the company’s initiatives going forward.

“We found, most importantly, those who have our app are making twice as many trips to Walmart, and their spend is 40 percent more,” said Wanda Young, vice president of media and digital marketing at Walmart, Bentonville, AR.

“It’s a great customer win because we’re giving them the tools that they’re asking for, but we’re helping them and allowing them to save time and money,” she said.

Save on mobile
Walmart’s strategy is all about getting the right product to the right consumer at the right time.

Ms. Young also pointed out that multicultural consumers over-index on gaming and social media, which gives the company a big opportunity with mobile marketing.

The time piece of this is a challenge though, and that is where multichannel marketing comes into play for the retailer.

Fifty-five percent of the retailer’s shoppers come into the store with a smartphone, which has paved the way for how Walmart uses its mobile app to connect with consumers in-store.

Walmart’s in-store mode within its mobile app not only helps consumers, but also helps employees since they are able to mix up the specials and offers that shoppers are served at a store-specific level.

The app also leverages geo-location to detect when a consumer is nearby to a store and automatically prompts the user to flip the app into store mode.

The strategy behind in-store mode is that consumers can save and budget their money better, per Ms. Young.

There is also a shopping list feature that lets consumers scan in-store bar codes or add products to their shopping lists. This is an example of how mobile bridges the in-store to online shopping experience.

“We are listening to what our customers are telling us, and that is making its way into the development of this app,” Ms. Young said.

Walmart’s mobile app

Business-facing app
Walmart also has an app called sparc that lets partners view data about their inventory and how it is selling on shelves to help brands make better estimates on how much product is necessary to stock in specific stores.

Walmart is also working with a number of different media partners to find new ways to leverage mobile creativity.

To move mobile investments forward, brands need better data and clear advertising standards, according to the Walmart executive.

“One of the realities of the industry is that so many brands are tied up in their marketing mix, and because the marketing mix is focused on data that is two years behind, it is stunting many of these brands’ ability to invest forward in this new, emerging space,” Ms. Young said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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