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Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Autor:   •  December 2, 2018  •  6,947 Words (28 Pages)  •  4 Views

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can text the word “hi" to a posted number, and will get a reply from an associate to help them with whatever their need is.10 Walmart has been using all sizes of networks to help to improve their customer relations as well as to boost profits and sales numbers.

​Electronic Commerce: According to Neil Ashe, the CEO of the Walmart Global eCommerce, eCommerce accounted for thirteen billion in sales in 2014, which equated to three percent of total sales for that year.11 With Amazon in the forefront of the eCommerce industry, Walmart had to spend more to keep up with the competition. In 2012 they spent 300 million dollars on new tech firms while also hiring over 300 new engineers and code writers.12 Walmart allows customers to order online and offers both product pick-up and home delivery. One of the biggest impacts to their eCommerce sector is the new Walmart mobile application called the Savings Catcher. This application gives customers the opportunity to save by scanning their receipts. When customers scan the receipt, the Walmart application checks the products on the receipt and compares them to other competitors. If the competitor has a lower price Walmart will give the difference to the customer on a gift card.13 Walmart has found that sixty-five percent of its customers use smart phones, in which eighty percent is under the age of thirty-five.11 With this many smart phone users, it is a good idea for Walmart to increase its use of mobile applications. Walmart has a good handle on what it takes to be successful in the eCommerce industry, but need to keep striving to keep up with companies like Amazon.

​Security: Security of their employees and customers is of the utmost importance to Walmart. Walmart has employees who physically look for security concerns, such as theft, but it also has technology in place to watch out for these problems. RFID scanners at the doors check for items with tags in them, letting the store know when a customer is stealing an item. RFID are mostly used to help the shipping and inventory process for the merchandise but it can also be a big help in the security aspect of business. According to a former loss prevention executive for Walmart, Eric White, “The bottom line is that it is about immediately identifying loss and taking active measures to prevent further loss.”14 RFIDs can help to immediately alert an employee that a theft has taken place, instead of the theft being realized after Walmart has lost significant amounts of money and product.

​Maintenance and Technical Support: Walmart has a significant amount of maintenance employees for all of the technology that is needed for business. Everything from the self-checkout machines to the savings catcher app is in need of maintenance. The physical technology like the checkout machines and other everyday business technology does not take as much skill to maintain as the applications. The Walmart applications and software require more skill in order to keep them working properly. Applications develop bugs and other problems, which need professional fixing. Walmart also has a large technical support group for all of the products that they sell, and for products used in store. A customer can call the Walmart technical support number to be directed to an employee that will help them with their problem.

Evaluation of Opportunities and Threats:

​As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart has many opportunities to increase business and profits. Walmart must also face outside threats that will try to hinder Walmart’s business plan. Is the current technology doing enough to give Walmart the up-to-date, accurate information that they need, as well as provide it when they need it? This is a big question that upper management needs to address in order to recognize the opportunities and threats that face them. The Walmart shopping application as well as the Savings Catcher app, both bring a large amount of information into Walmart’s databases. The Savings Catcher app, lets Walmart know what people are buying, where they are buying it, and when they are buying it. It also gives Walmart an inside look into the pricing of other stores. With this information Walmart can evaluate which products other stores are selling for a lower price. The RFID technology provides Walmart to have up to the minute information for their entire inventory both in store and in transit. Walmart has the ability to find any product at any point in the shipping or selling process. They have a good hold on what information is necessary and how quickly they need it.

​Every company needs to think about scalability before it implements any technology. Walmart has implemented technologies that can be expanded as the company grows. RFID tags allow Walmart to expand their inventory and shipping by allowing them to track every product at all points of the shipping process. The RFID tags can increase the number of places that Walmart can ship their products to as well as increase their already large inventory. Walmart houses a database that is over 500 terabytes and growing.8 This large database allows them to increase usage online through their website as well as their applications. Online shopping helps with the expanding amount of customers, when the physical store cannot. Walmart’s technology is in a good place to expand with the growing number of customers and stores.

​Opportunities: Opportunities present themselves to Walmart every day, some will better build the business while others are too risky to incorporate. One opportunity that Walmart has is the increasing use of online shopping by the customers. If Walmart can take advantage of this huge market then they will not only be the largest physical retailer, but also the largest internet retailer. With over 4,000 physical stores, Walmart can offer customers the options of shipping products to their homes, or in store pickup.14 Online stores such as Amazon cannot offer this option to their customers, they only have the option to have the product shipped. Another opportunity for Walmart would be the increasing retail market in emerging markets.14 Technology can help by giving the information as to which markets Walmart should increase their presence in. Walmart online and the Walmart app are good indicators for which markets need to be tended to. Some emerging markets that Walmart is already a part of include Brazil, China and India.14

RFID tags will help with shipping to these markets, as well as keep track of inventory so far away from headquarters. Along with RFID the Retail Link system gives Walmart the ability to give suppliers, “up-to-date transparency access which can be used to better manage shipments and sales data.”15 Walmart can cut down on shipping costs and inventory costs by using both of these technologies. They

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