22 July, 2014
Multi-Channel Retail: Where Big Box Meets Big Data
This is the second article of a two part series on the rise of multi-channel retailing and how traditional retailers can and are leveraging technology to maintain and/or increase market share.
The first article discussed the rise of ecommerce and looked at how traditional retailers, like Walmart, could leverage their existing investments in data warehousing tools, infrastructure, and distribution to secure their places in the retail markets of today and the future. Using existing strengths in distribution and production coordination, Walmart’s continued investment in ecommerce — $2.5 billion in 2014 and $2.9 billion in 2013 — should continue to reap considerable rewards for the world’s largest retailer, whose annual revenue reached nearly half a trillion dollars last year, or around as much as the entire countries of Belgium, Norway, or Sweden. Walmart.com’s 5 million unique products were $10.4 billion — or around .2 percent of that total. To grow that number, Walmart, and other brick-and-mortar retailers looking to grow their multi-channel distribution efforts, must innovate, just as their competition is doing.