Warc Blog

Walmart seeks online differentiation

13 February 2014
PALM SPRINGS: Walmart is doubling down on its commitment to become a leading online retailer by creating a contemporary, differentiated ecommerce experience.

Neil Ashe, Walmart's president/ceo of Global eCommerce, told delegates at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Annual Leadership Meeting that the company is continuing to develop its approach on the web.

"We're changing how the customer interacts with us. We're changing how we serve them. We're making ourselves different," he said. (For more, including how Walmart is tackling big data, read Warc's exclusive report: The ecommercialization of Walmart.)

"We're bringing all the capabilities and new tools of this new generation to bear to make that experience more contemporary than it has been in the past."

Achieving this goal, he suggested, primarily involves dealing with customers "where, when and how they'd like to be served".

Having assumed his current post in early 2012 after a stint as president of CBS Interactive, Ashe is able to bring a truly rounded perspective to driving online growth at Walmart.

"From where I sit now," he said, "I see a significantly broader view of customer connection. We see it all the way from 'I think' to 'I want' to 'I'm inspired' to 'If it's in my house, does it work for me?'"

While Walmart has pioneered many innovations in the bricks and mortar space, Ashe warned it is just this kind of excellence that threatens to hinder businesses from moving forward in new ways.

"The largest hurdle that we've had to overcome is that we're really, really good at what we do. But that's the biggest hurdle for change at most successful organisations," he said.

Drawing on its core values has helped the Bentonville-based company navigate this process, as has the flexibility of its key stakeholders.

"People have to be willing to change. Not everyone has the ability to invent, but everyone needs to have the willingness to change. If they don't, they may get run over by the change," said Ashe.

Data sourced from Warc

 
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