NEW YORK: Walmart, the retail giant, is leveraging digital tools and solutions to help people save time, having learned this outcome is even more important to many consumers than saving money alone.

Tony Rogers, Walmart’s CMO, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Masters of Marketing Conference.

And he reported that the rise of digital technology has often shifted consumers’ top priority for retailers away from price and towards expediting elements of the shopping process.

“When we asked our customers, ‘What does your favourite retailer do for you?’, for the first time ever, the number-one answer wasn’t, ‘Saving money’,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Walmart seeks to evolve in the giant online shadow of Amazon.)

Drilling down into this topic, Rogers revealed that “Saves me time” claimed the leading position, ahead of “Makes life more affordable” and “Makes my life easier”.

So, alongside its famous pricing pledge, Walmart has placed another consideration at the forefront of its thinking. “Now, we have to evolve to make shopping quicker and easier,” he said.

“We have to do both – and that means fitting seamlessly into our customers’ lives, wherever, whenever, and however they want to shop.”

Coupled with thousands of stores across the US, Walmart’s website offers 67 million items. It also acquired, an online retail platform, last year to bolster its capabilities in the digital space.

“What’s clear to us is that the future of retail is not going to be won by a pure-player; it’s not going to be won by somebody who’s just brick and mortar or just online,” said Rogers.

“The future of retail will be won by the retailer that brings the two together – online and offline – to make life easy for the customer.”

One example of this idea in action is online grocery pickup, where consumers can place an order on, then pick a convenient time to collect their goods at a physical store.

This service rates very well in terms of its Net Promoter Scores (NPS), said Rogers, and is “maybe the best thing we’ve ever done, [because] it takes the friction out of traditional grocery shopping”.

Data sourced from WARC