- Investments in stores and fulfillment centers have improved Walmart’s ability to serve customers how and when they want, company officials said on a Q3 2024 earnings call on last week. Net promoter scores for both pickup and delivery are on the rise, and the company reported 4.9% comparable sales growth during the quarter.
- The retailer is embracing generative AI to refine the digital experience with improved search. The upgrade is currently available to select customers using the Walmart app on iOS, with plans to roll it out to more users in the coming months.
- “Our financial results clearly demonstrate that our omnichannel strategy is winning,” said EVP and CFO John David Rainey during the call. “We're growing our share across categories [and] deepening customer engagement across channels while investing in areas to widen our competitive advantage.”
Walmart, like rival Target, is fighting back against Americans’ gloomy feelings about the economy with investments that will pay off in the long term. While Target is doubling down on holiday cheer to build loyalty, Walmart is pushing convenience as the differentiator to stand out in the crowded retail arena.
“I think our value proposition resonates more than ever when the consumer is pressured,” Rainey said. “And we've seen this year that they not only are coming to us for the value that we provide but also for the convenience, and these are areas that we're investing in.”
Walmart remodeled 197 stores in late October and November alone, widening aisles and making improvements to their pickup and delivery capabilities, according to John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S.
The remodels incurred some costs, but Walmart sees these as valuable investments in its long-term strategy, according to Furner.
Walmart’s work is paying off. Its “perfect orders” metric, which measures how often customers get exactly what they ordered exactly when they expect it, has been improving, according to Furner.
The retailer was also able to fulfill Halloween orders through 6 p.m. on the day of the holiday for the first time ever, according to Furner. Walmart will continue to emphasize flexibility and accuracy as the busy season reaches its peak.
“There's still a long way between here and the holidays,” said CEO Doug McMillon. “We have a good plan. Our people are ready, our inventory is in position — so we're ready for our customers.”