Walmart provides new breed of savings

4 September 2014

CHICAGO: Walmart, the US retailer, is actively seeking to help its customers save energy – be it mental, physical or emotional – as well as saving them money.

The company has long been associated with selling products at everyday low prices, a promise encapsulated by the "Save money. Live better" tagline it introduced in 2007.

David Guenthner, its senior director/global customer insights and analytics, told delegates at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) Omnichannel Retail event that it is supplementing this benefit in various ways.

The motivation behind this strategy draws on the fact today's shoppers are not solely interested in reducing their outgoings. "They also want to save energy," he said. (For more, including details of how Walmart is integrating physical and digital retail, read Warc's exclusive report: Walmart simplifies the shopper experience.)

One means of assisting consumers in achieving that goal is by providing tools – like the firm's mobile app – to simplify the in-store experience, and thus reduce the amount of "physical energy" expended.

"I think everybody can kind of relate to this: how do you navigate a 300,000-square-foot Walmart Super Center without perhaps getting a little bit tired … particularly if you have to shop all sorts of sections in there, from automotive to produce, for example," he said.

Building on this, the firm is addressing the "mental aspect" of the path to purchase – such as when it comes to finding the best available deal on products, which became a very common habit once the financial crisis began.

"It's not only enabled by technology and online, but it's also been enabled by the recession itself, and much of the crash course that our shopping base had to go through," said Guenthner.

"So there's this mental aspect that people are going through, where they are having to figure out how to save money – and that takes energy."

Walmart's online "Savings Catcher" tackles this issue by allowing customers to upload receipts, and automatically receive the difference if a cheaper price has been advertised elsewhere.

A third priority is identifying and redressing any points of "negative energy" – for instance, by ensuring that in-store associates are able to help consumers with their queries quickly and efficiently.

Data sourced from Warc