Walmart was started by Sam Walton in 1962. It was aimed at making a difference in customers lives by serving them at lower prices anywhere, anytime. The mission statement of the company is saving people money so they can live better. The mission is tantamount to the slogan of the company, Save money. Live better. By 1969, the company had 24 stores and officially incorporated as Walmart Stores Inc. In 1972, the company began its public trade on the New York Stock Exchange recording $78 million of sales. Due to the fast growth, Wal-Mart established more stores in 11 states. Thus, in the 90s, the company was the best retailer, forcing it to enter new markets such as Canada, China, and United Kingdom Market. Today, the company operate also in India, South Africa, and Chile.
Through innovation, Walmart is striving to develop a customer based experience, which integrates physical and digital shopping to save their customers time. Their digital presence include mobile commerce applications and e-commerce websites. Physical presence include motor and brick presence in the markets they operate. The major strategy of the company is to deliver great experience, be competitive on assortment, differentiate on access, and lead on price. In the fiscal year 2016, the company generated $485.9 billion revenues that includes net sales of $481.3 billion.
The section of customers the company plans to sell its products and services is called target market. The success and performance of the companys products are based on price, place, promotion and product. Target market can be grouped into customer attitudes, customer behavior, geography, demography and product. Walmart target customers of all ages, male and female, from urban and rural areas and from international and regional markets. Besides individuals from both middle class and low income households are the major target customers. Thus, the company stocks its outlets and stores to meet the tastes of its customers based on their, ages, class, education, income occupation and lifestyle. The people the company does not target are the wealthy because they do not sell products that such customer can consider high-end. Although the company is growing its online platform, online shoppers are considered to be those with higher household and personal incomes, it will be difficult to reframe Walmart customers mind.
Customers can literally get everything in Walmart stores around the world. Customers can get all kinds of products and services such as housing supplies, drugs, clothes, general merchandise and grocery products. In the United States, there are three Walmart divisions such as Walmart markets, supercenters and discount stores. Discount stores include, a cell phone store, a bank branch, a fast food outlet, optical center, a pharmacy, garden center and a photo processing lab. Walmart supercenters stock most of the things found in discount stores, including a full service supermarket including dairy products, baked goods, meat, poultry and sea food. The company also has pharmacy brands that sell drugs and healthy supplements and a white stag that sells womens jewelry, footwear and clothing.
Walmart continue to grow its private label options and it has recently added more in-house grocery brands such as Sam's Choice Italia. The private label brands include 40 items, such as salad dressings, sauces, gnocchi and risotto. The companys products life cycle is in the maturity stage. Its product labelling has attached the life cycle to products by providing shopping experience and provide better service to customers. Thus, the company has increased its product range, thereby improving its product life cycle. Walmart can be categorized as a convenience store because consumer prefers buying the most readily available brand of product because the store is readily available.
Location influences customers in a manner in which suppliers bring products and how customers go shopping. Walmart keep its stores close to each other in order to economize on shipping. This means that its logistics strategy is to have a network of dense stores to make it easier for customers and suppliers to buy and deliver products respectively. The location of the Walmart store is 4.3 miles in a shopping center making it the closest place for Americans to go shopping. This place is chosen because it close to highways that makes it easier for both customers and suppliers trucks to enter. Besides, with the big parking area makes it easier for customers shopping by a car.
Walmart has grown its online presence bringing its online offerings to 19 million. For example, Walmart uses a Go and Scan app for android that enable customers to scan items and add them in their carts and pay their bill through the app. The company is able to present a similar image across all its channels by consolidating its Omni-channel strategy through ecommerce and brick and mortar units. Suppliers only sell their products online to increase on Walmart.com. Therefore, the constant focus on Omni-channel has helped the company remain to be a major competitor in the sector.
The pricing strategy of the company is based on cost leadership. In the retail sector, Walmart offers the lowest cost of operation and lowest prices in the market. This is referred to as everyday low pricing strategy. It is also common for the company to offer discounts on products important on a daily basis. There are weekly deals where products are sold at great discounts. The company has been raising the prices of selected items on its online platform. The higher prices are particularly on household and grocery products. Research shows that Walmart prices are lower than Amazon, however the prices come close in baby products, outdoors and sports. Other promotion strategies include coupons where a customer is allowed to combine a product on everyday low prices. The frequent shopper program is the lowest price always. This means spending less money on particular products. This enable the company to see an upward in sales making an important tool that increases the company sales.
Walmart uses paid advertisements such as public relations, personal selling and public relations. The company also advertises on websites and newspapers. Through sales promotions in form of coupons, special deals and discounts the company is able to improve its ability to attract clients and build client recall or loyalty. The type of unpaid communication used by the company is through Facebook and Whattsapp. Walmart uses traditional vertical cooperative advertising programs that today have migrated online. In the US, many families get their weekly grocery circulars both in print and online.
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