Asda has reported double-digit growth in online sales, according to parent company Walmart’s latest results.
Britain’s third largest supermarket, behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s, has been rolling out the Click & Collect service to more Asda superstores and collection sites to cater for the growth in online sales. Click & Collect is a popular channel for retailers looking to bridge their online and physical store presence.
While it did not provide a breakdown of the level of online sales growth in the UK in its second quarter results ending 31 July, Walmart said that its global e-commerce sales grew 24 percent.
As the world’s largest supermarket, Walmart is continuing to invest in improving its e-commerce capabilities.
“Our investments in e-commerce and mobile are very important, as the lines between digital and physical retail continue to blur. Our customers expect a seamless experience, and we’re working to deliver that for them around the world,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores.
New global tech platform
In the US, Walmart said that it has recently started the rollout of a new global technology platform to improve customers’ online experience. The company described the implementation as a “top-to-bottom rebuild of everything that powers our e-commerce sites and businesses around the world.”
“The major highlight [in the US business] was that we started to roll out a new walmart.com site experience. To the consumer it’s simpler, it’s faster and it’s easier shopping experience,” said Neil Ashe, global ecommerce head at Walmart.
“It also represents a major technical feat that involves a top-to-bottom rebuild of our entire global technology platform.”
The new technology platform also gives the company greater speed and flexibility. Changes to the website can now be made in minutes, instead of days, so that it can innovate, test, iterate and deploy new capabilities “in real time”.
“The site has much more personalisation, and each customer’s experience is always changing with fresh content that helps them discover new items. We’ve built our own personalisation engine to customise the experience,” Ashe said.
This means that customers now receive relevant options and recommendations while they are on the site, as well as via email and text messages.
Ashe added: “Given that more than half of traffic to walmart.com is coming from moblie devices, we designed the site to adapt to any size device, particularly tablets.”
Walmart is also investing in big data. Last week, it said, it rolled out Savings Catcher across the US business, which uses data analytics to automatically match competitors’ ads.
To support its e-commerce development, Walmart created a new chief operating officer role for its global e-commerce division. This role is now filled by Michael Bender, former president of the West for Walmart US.