brand innovation

Walmart Acquires Big Data Startup in Latest Bid to Build E-Commerce

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2013 11:36 AM

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is acquiring Inkiru, a small startup focused on real-time predictive analysis in its latest effort to spur e-commerce.

"The similarities between Inkiru and @WalmartLabs are uncanny, with both having an innovative spirit and the ability to leverage big data to improve the customer experience," the company wrote in a blog post

Inkiru is joining @WalmartLabs in what Venture Beat describes as a "fairly straightforward 'manquisition,'" the latest move in a series of tech-centric acquisitions as the company looks to build upon its online sales prowess, which has already seen over a 30 percent increase in e-commerce in the first quarter. Determined to take competitors like Amazon head-on, Walmart CEO Mike Duke said the company expects online sales to hit $10 billion this year—an estimate that takes into account the recent purchase of Chinese online retailer Yihaodian.Continue reading...


Walmart Gobbles Up Digital Expertise but Still Struggles to Manage Logistics

Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 10:41 AM

Walmart is moving ahead with its future in e-commerce, but at the same time the chain is now having problems with one of the stalwart advantages of its glorious past: the stocking of its stores.

The chain has acquired two San Francisco Bay Area tech companies and plans to hire more than 150 engineers, technicians and developers for its growing @WalmartLabs tech lab. Walmart bought One Ops and Tasty Labs to help expand its cloud-computing technology and digital-shopping platforms to compete with e-commerce rival Amazon, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The effort is part of the same overall push by Walmart that also includes expanded integration with social networks such as Pinterest, mobile check-outs and its test of adding the option for shoppers to have purchases delivered same-day to their homes or to a nearby storage locker.Continue reading...

going mobile

Walmart and Apple Test Mobile Self-Checkouts

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2012 11:58 AM

Smartphones can do plenty of things. Now retailers are going to put them to work for them. Don’t feel like waiting in line at Walmart? Get yourself an iPhone.

The retail and technology giants have partnered up to create an app that is now being tested, one that will allow consumers to scan goods onto their iPhones and pay for them in a self checkout line, Reuters reports.

Walmart already offers a mobile app (at right) that can scan barcodes and check prices, along with a shopping list and basket, so self-checkouts are a natural extension as the mobile wallet business takes off, along with its @WalmartLabs R&D team exploring social and mobile commerce products and digital innovations such as semantic search.

The retailer promised earlier this year that it would put in more self checkout lanes into its stores as well as Sam’s Clubs, the wire service notes. If the test works out, the test will likely expand beyond Apple devices to Android and other mobile platforms. Apple's former retail chief is also bringing mobile self-checkouts to his new employer, JCPenney.Continue reading...


Walmart Crowdsources New Product Ideas

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2012 12:25 PM

For a small manufacturer, a spot on the shelves of Walmart or a pixel packet on can be transformational. That's why there is practically a cottage industry around Bentonville, Ark., just serving the needs of the thousands of would-be vendors who trek to Wal-Mart headquarters there every year in an attempt to lure or cajole one of the company's buyers into taking a flyer on the "next great product."

Now, Walmart wants to make it easier for some of these innovations to make their way onto its product list as well as, perhaps, land some hit merchandise that might never have made it through all the hoops before. So the company's @WalmartLabs R&D unit is launching an initiative to open its doors to great product ideas: Get on the Shelf, a program inviting would-be suppliers small and large to submit product ideas along with supporting videos in a campaign that unfolds in phases through April.

Consumers are invited to vote online on which products they'd like to see Walmart pick up, and the company will end up selling three of them online plus feature a grand prize winner on its home page and in some stores. Entrants will be free to get votes however they want — and, in the process, will demonstrate their marketing savvy to Walmart.Continue reading...

brand partners

Walmart’s Vudu, a Digital Contender

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2011 05:13 PM

Walmart is now the third largest retailer of digital movie downloads, ahead of Sony and Amazon, according to researcher IHS Inc.

The grandfather of big-box and the world's largest retailer, with $419 billion in annual sales, 9,600 stores in 28 nations and 10 billion customer visits annually, Walmart is suddenly reaping substantial revenue due to its acquisition of Vudu. Vudu offers digital versions of Hollywood movies for rental or purchase and was created to stream movies through its own set-top box, but switched gears when consumers chose other devices.

“The business we’re in today, offering first-run movies a la carte, is doing very well right now and has tripled so far this year,” said Vudu GM, Edward Lichty.Continue reading...

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