Agile, fast and customer-focused: How Walmart Canada plans to win in e-commerce

By Laurent Duray, SVP E-commerce, Walmart Canada

Canadians’ relationship with online shopping has changed forever – and so has ours.

With lockdowns and restrictions gripping the country, the early stages of the pandemic were the first time many people shopped online. As a trusted and essential retailer, Walmart Canada was suddenly facing a surge. We needed to act.

In true Walmart fashion, and thanks to our amazing associates, we pivoted, adapted and invested.

Our goal is to be the #1 one-stop shop to save busy families money and help them live better – and we’re well on our way.

Grocery – And More – In Four Hours Or Less
We’ve invested heavily in our online experience – especially throughout the pandemic – to make sure we’re constantly improving on speed and offering more product choices. And we’re doing it all while being relentlessly focused on price, ensuring our customers have access to the products they love at our trusted, everyday low prices.

Since February 2020, we’ve doubled the number of stores offering online pickup, and it will be available at 99% of all Walmart Canada Supercentres will by the end of 2021. Our service speeds are increasing too, with pickup now available in under four hours.

We’ve also made it possible to add nearly 30,000 general merchandise items to online grocery orders. This means that, along with ingredients for that new recipe they’re trying, customers can now add a frying pan and outdoor tabletop items to their grocery order and pick them up together – quickly. It’s never been easier to shop online with Walmart.

Investing in Infrastructure and People
We’re investing in our stores, our infrastructure and our people to best serve our customers in a rapidly changing retail environment. This is part of our major $3.5 billion investment we announced last summer (here) to make the online and in-store shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient for our customers.

We’re using some our stores differently today too, carving out space where we can fulfil online orders for pickup or delivery. For example, some locations feature a store-within-a-store in the back room, where associates can quickly access the most popular online products to fill customers’ orders.

Across the country, our fulfilment centres are also becoming more plentiful and more advanced to increase speed and efficiency. This allows customers to receive their online orders for delivery faster than ever.

At the same time, we’re investing in our people. We’ve welcomed thousands more associates to work on our online business in our stores, distribution centres and Store Support Centre (head office). We’re hiring the best and brightest - you can find out more by visiting: walmart.ca/careers.

What’s Next?
We’re going to continue providing a faster, easier and trusted shopping experience at our everyday low prices – plus access to an even richer selection of products. And we’re going to keep using the latest technology, from robotics to artificial intelligence, to get us there. Technology will continue improving our customer experience. As we deepen that customer relationship and knowledge, we want to be able to anticipate our customers’ needs and deliver their order in the most convenient way for them.

We see Walmart as a technology company and are making strides towards a future where our customers can have a more personalized, fast, and convenient experience unlike any other.

The journey is just beginning.

E-commerce Update, Laurent Duray