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Walmart exec: Our biggest mobile opportunity is connecting with in-store customers.By Rimma Kats
SAN FRANCISCO – A Walmart executive at the ad:tech 2013 conference said that mobile helps build loyalty between the company and its customers and opens an array of opportunities to deliver a unique shopping experience.
During the “Moving on Mobile: Understanding User Behavior and Taking Advantage of New Paradigms” session, the Walmart executive discussed the big role that mobile is playing in the company’s day-to-day strategy. Over the past years, Walmart has implemented a mobile-first mentality to reach its new and existing consumers.
“A key piece of Walmart’s strategy is providing anytime, anywhere access to our customers,” said Wendy Bergh, vice president at Walmart Global eCommerce, San Bruno, CA.
“When we serve them through the different channels, we want to tie those channels together to one holistic experience,” she said.
Walmart has a dedicated approach when it comes to delivering a seamless customer experience.
The first is mobilizing its content and delivering an optimized version of the .com experience. This helps build on its anytime and anywhere approach.
Secondly, Walmart has mobilized its stores and created a variety of in-store shopping tools to further make the overall experience easy.
Finally, a multichannel approach is key for Walmart and making sure they are available across each platform is essential.
Currently, the company is available across Android, iPad, iPhone devices. Walmart also has a mobile site and an SMS program.
Additionally, the retailer is leveraging different types of technology, such as bar code scanning and its Scan & Go app to bolster the in-store shopping experience.
“Mobile is a huge opportunity for us,” Ms. Bergh said. “We’re using mobile to enhance the experience in the stores.
“We’re building innovative mobile tools to help in-store shoppers,” she said.
As part of its ongoing strategy, Walmart looks at the planning process.
Firstly, there is pre-planning, where consumers begin to do their research before they dive into the shopping process.
Therefore, Walmart created a mobile shopping list where customers can add items to their list.
The mobile shopping list helps consumers manage their budget and get a good idea of where they need to go in the store.
Then, there is the decision-making process. With that, Walmart created its In-store Mode feature. Consumers can enter a Walmart location, open their mobile app and are asked if they want to enter store mode.
From there, consumers are able to browse an interactive local ad, where they can view specific items, access the bar code scanner and get to their shopping list.
Finally, there is the checkout process – where the company’s Scan and Go mobile app comes into play.
The app lets consumers scan and buy products. The app also includes an eReceipts feature, which is currently in beta.
“There are key ingredients that bring our vision to life,” Ms. Bergh said. “It’s a combination of mobile talent, store operations, store systems, marketing and online services.
“Our plan is to create products that people love,” she said. “We want to innovate without reinventing the wheel.
“Customers will love and have more loyalty to Walmart overtime thanks to the experiences we’re delivering to them.”
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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