Marc Lore: My Retail Hero and Mastermind of the Walmart Miracle

 

Here’s proof positive that one strong, motivated person with a clear vision for the future can have a HUGE impact on any business – and in a surprisingly short period of time.

  • Marc Lore, President and CEO of U.S. e-commerce at Walmart was just named Executive of the Year by Retail Dive.
  • And Jeff Bezos may finally have met his match.
  • Too early to say this with any certainty but as someone who has shopped both brands, I see Amazon starting to lag while Walmart feels completely energized.

Read on below for more on my firsthand experiences with the Walmart turnaround since Marc Lore has been at the helm.

PLUS info on a retail concept Amazon is currently testing in NYC, the Calvin Klein x Amazon pop up.

 

I’ve shopped walmart.com for almost ten years, spending $100 or more per month. It’s always been a miserable, frustrating experience. Everything has been challenging: from placing my order on their clunky website to getting my delivery in one piece.

Why torture myself, you ask? The pricing! Walmart.com is often 50% less than amazon.com, on identical products/assortments.

But over the last 4 months I’ve noticed a big change at walmart:

  • Navigation, ordering and the checkout process have been streamlined. Not quite up to par with some of the best, but massive improvement.
  • The merchandise mix is much better and more diverse
  • The delivery boxes are appropriately sized for my order (which means items arrive in one piece vs. a hundred broken pieces). The boxes also look better with a cool design motif.
  • The only downside: prices now seem more closely aligned with Amazon’s. They’re being tricky about it (as is Amazon) with odd-sized assortments that make it more difficult to do side-by-side comparisons. Their algorithms for pricing must be working in overdrive (btw – see more on Amazon’s dynamic pricing experiment below).

Not only is Walmart willing to embrace change, it’s seeing results:

  • In its most recent quarter, Walmart’s e-commerce jumped 60%.
  • The online merchandise assortment increased six-fold and now includes 67 million SKUs, thanks to growth in the number of online marketplace sellers — in a move to compete head-to-head with Amazon.

Additional Walmart news:

 Walmart is partnering with BuzzFeed’s Tasty app to reach foodie millennials

  • Tasty has 91 million Facebook followers, and its recipe videos have gotten 65 billion views
  • As of mid-December, Tasty’s step-by-step recipe videos contained links to buy products featured in the videos – such as pots and pans, bakeware, and other kitchen tools – directly on Walmart.com and Jet.com.
  • Links to purchase recipe ingredients on both sites will also shortly be added to Tasty’s videos, which are highly shareable.
  • This could grow Walmart’s user base as well as their overall online grocery business.

 

And now for the latest Amazon retail news – only one more day to check this out:

CALVIN KLEIN x AMAZON POP-UPS IN NYC & LA

Amazon teamed up with Calvin Klein to open holiday-themed pop-up stores in New York City and Los Angeles. The pop up itself is merely OK but the technology Amazon is testing is noteworthy:

  • Dynamic pricing technology:  None of the items in the store include a price. However, when you scan the barcode on any item using the Amazon shopping app on your phone, the lowest current price for that item anywhere in the Amazon ecosystem will pop up. I was told prices generally change once a day.
  • Dressing room party vibe: THIS WAS THE BEST. Each dressing room comes with an Alexa with instructions on how to turn your room into party central. It’s very well done, and has been showing up all over instagram. Watch my video below.
  • Items can be personalized. Any saying/quote can be embroidered on your item (up to a certain number of characters). Quite a few people had used this service.

NYC address: 545 Broadway. Open through December 29.

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