With the trend toward ecommerce, it can be tough for brick and mortar businesses. This year, longtime established retailers Sears and Payless filed for bankruptcy, while Toys-R-Us shut its doors for good. All three businesses have contributed their demises to the rise of ecommerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay. It begs the question, how is it possible to make the transition from brick and mortar to ecommerce? What role does customer loyalty play in this transition? And how was Walmart able to do it so seamlessly?
As of January 31st, 2019 Walmart has 5,355 brick and mortar stores in the United States and boasted revenues of $514.4 this past fiscal year. With all that overhead, they were still able to enter and thrive in the ecommerce market while maintaining those store locations. This is because Walmart understands the importance of customer loyalty and adapting to the consumers’ needs.
“We’re excited about the work we’re doing to reach customers in a more digitally-connected way. Our commitment to the customer is clear- we’ll be there when, where, and how they want to shop and deliver new, convenient, experiences that are uniquely Walmart,” -Doug McMillion, President and CEO of Walmart
It’s so important to keep up with the demand of other loyal customers for new and improved shopping experiences. Retailers unwilling to transition to ecommerce as well are not serving all customers promptly. Walmart made a timely adoption and has definitely been a difference maker.
In 2017, as a response to Amazon.com, Walmart overhauled it’s website and launched free 2-day shipping on more than 2 million items, with no membership requirement. The user-friendly site boasts many features to ensure a seamless shopping experience for both new customers and longtime consumers. For example each week an online circular is published with digital coupons that can be applied online or used for in-store purchases.
Consumers can save products, review products, create shopping lists, and locate products in physical stores. The site also offers a wide selection of groceries with free two-hour pickup. The availability of groceries has been integral to the success of Walmart’s ability to sustain both brick and mortar locales and a flourishing ecommerce platform.
“Walmart U.S. eCommerce continued to benefit from the expansion of grocery pickup and delivery and a broader assortment on Walmart.com.” Groceries have long been a part of the success of Walmart stores and it has been essential that groceries remain a part of that model. Keeping groceries even with the transition to ecommerce shows loyalty to the consumers’ needs.”
Walmart understands the power of brand loyalty. It boasts several exclusive Walmart brands with their own loyal following. However, Walmart knows there are many other more established brands on the market with large loyal customer bases. That’s why Walmart has begun offering established brands on its site in hopes of bringing brand loyalist to companies such as Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban, and Marc Jacobs onto Walmart.com for their shopping needs.
Another key to Walmart’s success is that it understands that loyalty does not just apply to items, but also extends to people. That’s why Walmart has teamed up with celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, and Kristen Bell. These celebrities have their own loyal fan bases which offer a huge market of potential consumers. They create exclusive products for Walmart prompting fans to head to Walmart or walmart.com to get their hands on their favorite celebrities’ new products. These all add to the brand experience Walmart is looking to portray.
Walmart does not have a traditional rewards card. However, they did launch a hybrid credit card/loyalty program called the 3.2.1 Save Rewards. This card earns consumers serious cash-back; 3% at walmart.com, 2% at any Walmart gas station, and 1% on any other purchases where the card is accepted. This program applies not only to their credit card but is also offered on Walmart Pre-paid cash cards.
“We are excited about this program as it also recognizes the increasing shift toward online and mobile shopping and is the first credit card program designed to offer Walmart cardholders even greater savings on their online purchases,” -Tom Quindlen of Synchrony Bank
The Pre-paid Walmart Money Card allows users to transfer their cash to a Walmart card. This card seamlessly integrates with the Walmart Mobile App and acts as a bank account. Users have the ability to purchase items through Walmart.com, can track their available funds 24/7, direct deposit checks to the card, and even pay bills. They can also withdraw money and leverage many other enhanced features all while earning cash back bonuses. Money Card users are even eligible to win money from Walmart.
“Helping our customers save money is what we do here at Walmart. That’s why we teamed up with Green Dot and Commonwealth a little more than two years ago to create the first national, prize-linked savings program on a retailer’s prepaid card in the U.S,” -Daniel Eckert, Senior Vice President, Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration
The Stash feature on the app allows users to place aside money in the “vault.” Each time money Is placed in the vault users are entered for a chance to win a cash prize of up to $500 each month.
Walmart has been brilliant in its execution to ecommerce and many other larger brands are following that model. Feeling inspired by Walmart’s multi-faceted approaches to brand loyalty? Whatever your needs, Annex Cloud can help find the best solutions for building loyalty among your consumer base. Talk to us today and our consultants will find the right loyalty solution for you!