Magazines Archives - 2007 June
Wal-Mart goes nationwide with Site-to-Store service to boost cross-channel sales
WAL-MART STORES INC launched the first phase of its Site-to-Store rollout in March this year in what has been described as an ambitious initiative to provide a truly multi-channel service for its customers in the US.
With the new service, Wal-Marts US customers can now purchase products at Walmart.com and have them shipped to its stores for free. Tens of thousands of online products are available through the retailers Site-to-Store service. The range complements the assortment of merchandise found in Wal-Mart stores, especially electronics, home products, sports gear, and baby items and toys.
Items arrive at the store of choice within seven to 10 days after the order is processed. The customer is informed via automated e-mail that the order is ready for pick-up. Since the pilot scheme started in a limited number of stores in 2004, Wal-Marts Site-to-Store sales are said to have more than tripled.
Said Walmart.com CEO Raul Vazquez: Our extensive testing of the Site-to-Store service has allowed us to create a multi-channel shopping experience that brings [greater] assortment, convenience and value to our customers. We found that nearly two-thirds of the cutomers who use the trial service also shop in Wal-Mart stores on a weekly basis.
Site-to-Store not only offers these customers access to thousands of additional online products, but also gives them the added convenience of picking up those items ... during their weekly trips [to the store] without paying for shipping.
The Site-to-Store service also supports Wal-Marts sustainability efforts. Transportation efficiencies have been realised by consolidating individual shipments into pallets and fewer trucks. Also, system upgrades allow participating suppliers to consolidate multiple items in an order into single cartons, minimising the total number of boxes needed.
The service, which was made available in the first phase to over 750 stores across 12 states, will be rolled out by next month to more than 3,300 stores nationwide with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.
Mike Smith, Walmart.coms director of store integration, noted: The key advantage ... is the ability to offer a much larger assortment of products through our virtual shelf space, [along with] our offline channels key strengths that include our nationwide footprint... and a world-class logistics network capable of efficiently delivering online products to customers at our stores. Site-to-Store leverages each of these strengths to provide customers with a robust multi-channel shopping experience.