Will smaller retailers pay to use Walmart’s tech and transform their own businesses?
Walmart is officially a technology vendor — for other retailers. The company announced today that it is making available for sale some of the same tech that it has used in recent years to transform its own business.
The retailer is partnering with Adobe to integrate its Marketplace online and in-store fulfillment and pickup technology with Adobe Commerce. Walmart appears to have made the decision that it is better served monetizing its own proprietary technology since other retailers will likely find and acquire alternatives elsewhere.
“We’ve built new capabilities to serve the evolving needs of our own customers, and we have a unique opportunity to use our experience to help other businesses do the same,” said John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S., in a statement. “Commercializing our technologies and capabilities helps us sustainably reinvest back into our customer value proposition.”
Anshu Bhardwaj, vice president of technology strategy and commercialization at Walmart Global Technology, told CNBC that a strategic decision last year by CEO Doug McMillon to expand the retailer’s focus from serving shareholders to serving stakeholders was also behind the decision.
Businesses using Walmart’s cloud-based technology will be able to offer access to information to help:
- Provide customers with available pickup times and stores offering the service;
- Provide customers with multiple pickup options, such as curbside and in-store;
- Give store associates mobile tools to cut down on time picking items, handling multiple orders and managing substitutions;
- Enhance the customer experience with order pickup communications, check-in options at the store, accurate customer arrival estimation and identification upon arrival.
Consumer-direct brands and retailers will also be able to gain access to Walmart’s online marketplace, potentially exposing them to large numbers of new customers and offering features such as two-day nationwide shipping.
“The core mission of helping people save money and live better is at the heart of every idea including Scan & Go and checkout technologies, AI-powered smart substitutions and pickup and delivery,” said Suresh Kumar, chief technology officer and chief development officer of Walmart Inc.
- Walmart To Offer Technologies and Capabilities To Help Other Businesses Navigate Their Own Digital Transformation – Walmart
- Adobe and Walmart partner to integrate Walmart’s omni-channel fulfillment technologies and Marketplace with Adobe Commerce – Adobe
- Walmart’s latest business: Selling its e-commerce tech to other retailers – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think there will be a big market among retailers and consumer-direct brands for access to Walmart’s technology via Adobe Commerce? Is this a smart move on Walmart’s part?