Free An E-Business Analysis Of Wal-Mart Essay Sample
Wal-Mart Stores is an American company with its headquarters based in Bentonville, Arkansas. It is a retail chain store that specializes in a variety of merchandise with a philosophy of offering low prices in the market. It has stores across the United States and in Canada although it also operates its stores in other parts of the world that include China, India and Japan (Zook & Graham, 2006).
The operations of the company are run under the brand Walmart organized into three basic operational divisions majorly; Walmart stores, Sam’s Club and Walmart International. Its operations are conductedin a number of different retail formats that include general merchandise stores, supercenters, cash and carry stores soft discount stores, apparel stores and restaurants although these are not entirely exhaustive of the company’s establishments (Walmart, 2010).
The company topped the 2014 list of the Fortune Global 500 as the biggest private employer in the world providing employment to over two million employees that makes it one of the world’s most valuable companies. Since it was founded in 1962 Walmart has grown to be one of the most respected companies that are 50% owned by the Walton family. Its mark on worldwide business is a force to reckon with serving as inspiration for small and medium size business owners across the globe(Hayes, 1990).
The e-Commerce section of Walmart is instrumental in the development of online business for the franchise. With its headquarters based in San Francisco, California, the e-Commerce division is responsible for the provision of all online related retailing solutions for Walmart and its affiliate stores such as ASDA UK and other international brands in different countries all over the world. The objective of the e-Commerce unit is to establish a platform that offers quality and efficient customer service experience through websites affiliated to the Walmart stores. These include www.wal-martchina.com. www.asda.com, and www.walmart.ca among others. Operations of the e-Commerce division are run or operated from its headquarters in San Francisco although other subsidiaries of management devolution can be found in Bangalore in India, and Shanghai in China (Walmart, 2010).
E-Marketing for Walmart has developed the advantage of service provision to clientele who have neither the time nor the means to access the many stores of the company that is distributed in various locations around the world. Essentially, through e-Commerce, Walmart is capable of ensuring that customers can do their shopping online and make orders for deliveries in the locations that they are in. This not only enhances service delivery to clientele but also expands the horizons of the firm in terms of its customer base. Initially taping customers who visit or frequent Walmart outlets, e-Commerce has enabled the reach to potential customers who would otherwise not have been reached (Harris & Rae, 2010).
Harris and Rae (2010) add that the advantage of e-Marketing also lies in the development of social networks through which the business can enhance its service deliverables to its clientele. In this regard, Walmart has been able to connect with customers at an individual and intimate level where personalization is achievable. Hence, through e-Commerce, Walmart can ensure that clients receive services and goods that are tailored to their specific needs. What is more e-Marketing has ensured that client’s issues can be tackled and follow-up procedures to gain the success or failure of meeting customer’s expectations in regard to their level of satisfaction evaluated. Ultimately, e-Commerce has enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery at Walmart.
The commitment of Walmart to e-Commerce has been fruitful as it accounts for a marginal three-fifths of its net business earnings. In this respect, projections are that the company will have attained the target of $9 billion by the end of the financial year ending 2014. Customer engagement through social media platforms such as Facebook are seen to greatly contribute to the achievement of this objective (Cheng, 2012). Further e-Commerce has been on the agenda of the management at Walmart, which led to the appointment of various managers to head e-Marketing initiatives for the company in the US, UK, Canada, India, Japan in what is termed as an integration of retail stores with an online business platform. This move is seen as a step in the right direction given the potential in boosting net sales achievable through the enhancement of the solutions available on the online platform (Bustillo, 2011).
One of the downsides of the e-Marketing approach as experienced by Walmart is that it gives too much of control and power to the customer who has the effect of jeopardizing the reputation of the company especially in situations of embarrassment or public relations misgivings (Harris & Rae, 2010). However as Raymond (2011) explains gaining control and monitoring the power that e-Marketing gives to the consumer requires that the firm in itself invests more in the delivery of high quality services to the clientele.
The standard of service delivery serves to retain customers as well helping the management at Walmart to learn new and innovative means of ensuring customer satisfaction. Essentially, the service offered. In this regard, the management at Walmart is committed to customer follow ups by storing information of customers who shop through the online shopping platforms available. Through this approach, the company can address concerns and respond to issues in a timely manner to provide quality services to the clientele and ensure that they are satisfied with the services offered by the company. Ultimately, they are able to win and sustain customers in the business through e-Marketing solutions (Raymond, 2011).
Walmart is a multibillion dollar franchise that provides employment opportunities to over two million people worldwide (Hayes, 1990), but this is not the only notable fact about the business. As a matter of fact, its success in recent times can be traced to its e-Marketing strategy which is customer focused and result oriented. This strategy ensures that the business is in intimate contact with its clients online that has enhanced the development of a sustainable and reliable customer base. This is majorly because the profits realized by the company are not purely made of winning new customers and conquering new markets across the globe. Of greater importance is the maintenance of the customers that the company already has as it strives to win more and conquer new markets. Through the online based platform, the company has been able to ensure that it makes follow-up services on clients through its e-Marketing solutions. In this regard, the company has been able to pursue and deliver the highest quality of customer services in turn enhancing customer satisfaction. Ultimately, the business has gained tremendously where the fruits born are such that there has been a significant marginal increase in the amount of sales realized by the business from its e-Marketing initiatives. Hence, the evaluation finds that e-Marketing presents advantageous implications for the future success and profitability of Walmart.
Bustillo, M. (2011, August 13). Wal-Mart Shakes Up Its Online Business. The Wall Street journal. Retrieved 7 3, 2014, from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053111903918104576504553154765550
Cheng, A. (2012, October 10). Walmart Outlines Strategy. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 3, 2014, from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443749204578048842451207454
Harris , L., & Rae , A. (2010). The online connection: transforming marketing strategy for small businesses. Journal of Business Strategy, 4 – 12. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02756661011025017
Hayes, T. C. (1990, Febuary 28). Company News; Wal-Mart Net jumps By 31.8%. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 3, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/28/business/company-news-wal-mart-net-jumps-by-31.8.html
Raymond, J. (2011). Introduction to E-Marketing. Journal of Global Marketing, 23(1), 5 – 15. Retrieved 7 3, 2014, from www.researchgate.net/WALMARTSTRATEGIES/32bfe50fbfe066..
Walmart. (2010). Walmart 2010 Annual Report. Retrieved 7 3, 2014, from http://cdn.walmartstores.com/sites/AnnualReport/2010/PDF/WMT_2010AR_FINAL.pdf
Zook , M., & Graham , M. (2006). Wal-Mart Nation: Maping the Reach of a Retail Colossus. In S. D. Brunn, Wal-MArt World: The World’s Biggest Corporation in the Global Economy (pp. 15 – 25). Routledge. doi: ISBN 978-0-415-95137-1.