Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has completely changed its online store so that it can feature more variety.
The move is one of the company’s competitive strategies so that it can compete more effectively against online retail giants such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY). Amazon is currently the most visited e-commerce site, and Walmart has so far managed to secure second place. The company is however determined to take the crown from Amazon has about 260 million visitors every month while Walmart enjoys 88 million visits on a monthly basis.
Walmart believes that expanding the variety of product it offers on its online retail site is the best strategy to gain more users. The company currently offers about 150,000 items while Amazon’s portfolio spans to 11 million different products. Walmart believes that this is a clear indicator of where it should divert its attention so that it can boost its online sales and while at the same time beating the competition. The recent overhaul of its website is aimed at offering more support to third-party sellers, providing more information to customers and more importantly, to support a wider variety of products.
Walmart’s decision to focus more on ecommerce is due to pressure from investors due to its slowing business. Third parties are a particular point of interest because the firm earns commission from third party sales and does not incur any shipping or warehousing costs. Expanding the marketplace will also allow the company to secure a large piece of the ecommerce pie as the industry grows. Analysts believe that the ecommerce industry will reach $684 billion in sales in the next four years.
The firm seems to be on the right path according to ChannelAdvisor, which claims that Walmart is growing at a faster rate than its rivals. If the company maintains the positive trend, it could start attracting more customers, especially from Amazon Prime. The move might also have a positive influence on the company’s physical stores.