Currently Walmart is utilizing all the benefits of e-commerce. The corporation has its own website, launched in 2000 (Bidgoli, 2002), and since that time it has managed to use the website as the means of attracting customers, creating a larger customer interest. At the same time, the company managed to provide a unique online shopping experience for the customers: Walmart online portal allows to do shopping very easily, save time and costs of traveling to a local store and to get the item delivered directly to the customer. Besides convenient shopping facilities, Walmart offers a number of online services which facilitate shopping and let customers share their opinions about the product. At walmart.com each of registered customers has a personal login and password, and can review and rate products sold at Walmart. Moreover, Walmart has an online rating platform where customers can share their opinions (Bidgoli, 2002), and can express dissatisfaction about the product, or the quality of service in their local store. Walmart quickly reacts to such reviews, and in this way online facilities help the whole corporation to improve its operations.
In addition to customer reviews and feedback, Walmart offers an online possibility to select a closest local Walmart store and to find out which goods are available there. Customers can also purchase Walmart stocks online and trace their dynamics (Parsons & Oja, 2009).
Walmart has very successfully established its online presence; it managed to attract a large group of customers: approximately 60% of Walmart purchases are done online (Parsons & Oja, 2009). The corporation managed to make contact with its customers, and has determined tactics of product redressal and metrics of product development basing on online customer reviews (Bidgoli, 2002). Walmart uses e-commerce as additional market where they have dominance among retailers, and is moving into other areas; for example, purchasing books online at Walmart is similar to Amazon. Walmart has made the e-commerce a separate source of revenue, and a source of creating competitive advantage.
3) Relate to the former IBM chairman Louis Gerstner ‘s comment “all about cycle time, speed, globalization, enhanced productivity, reaching new customers, and sharing knowledge across institutions for competitive advantage.” Can you relate what you have learned in this module to the function of e-commerce in the organization?
It is evident that Walmart Stores Inc. has greatly benefited from e-commerce; the corporation managed to use its online presence as an advertising channel, a facility for communicating with customers, getting feedback and shaping the strategy of the corporation; also, Walmart uses its online store as a general source of revenue, and even as a source of investments (price of stocks and possibilities of online purchasing). Thus, it is possible to see that Walmart shortened cycle time by getting in touch with the customers without the presence of third parties. The corporation also managed to enhance its outreach and improve global presence with launching a website, as well as managed to reach new customers. Improved productivity of Walmart network is achieved due to customer reviews presented online. The function of sharing knowledge was also realized by Walmart online presence, since customers have received the ability to know more about the product they purchase and may share opinions. To make a conclusion, Walmart has utilized virtually every advantage of e-commerce.