Walmart

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Press Scan - Walmart

Some recent and unique articles surrounding Walmart and the brands they carry include articles on Walmart's launch of voice shopping on Apple, its unveiling of MoDRN, piloting of AV with Gatik AI, Capital One/Walmart credit cards, the return of the Scoop brand, selling NFL gears, partnering with Kidbox, and Lord & Taylor, launch of Earth to Skin and ModCloth expanding its Fitshops. These have been explained below.

1. Walmart Launches Voice Shopping on Apple

  • Recently, Walmart, in partnership with Apple, launched "Siri shortcut for online grocery." This allows customers to talk to Siri with a view to adding items to their grocery cart. Customers are required to use the Walmart grocery app then select "voice shopping." Upon completing that step, customers would then say "add to Walmart."
  • Some players in the retail industry are of the view that voice shopping is still new to the market and has not gained the full attention of customers as yet. In fact, some customers still prefer to sit in front of their computers and make their orders.

2. Walmart Unveils MoDRN

  • One of the furniture brands carried by Walmart is MoDRN. This was unveiled in early 2019 and includes three categories, refined industrial, retro glam and Scandinavian minimal. MoDRN will carry 650 items ranging from $20 to $899. The items will be available on the websites of Jet, Walmart and Hayneedle.
  • Some believe that this move by Walmart demonstrates that the brand has been focusing on its e-commerce arm. It is also the view that focusing on home furnishings has been front and center for major retailers as some now offer private labels. Therefore, Walmart is following in that trend.

3. Walmart Begins Pilot with Gatik

  • Walmart has entered into a partnership with Gatik AI. The autonomous vehicle startup has been approved by the Arkansas Highway Patrol to provide a commercial service to Walmart who is now delivering online grocery orders to Walmart customers. The AV brand has agreed to travel every day on a route that is two miles long with a view to providing Walmart with data to help them incorporate AVs into their stores.
  • According to Retail Dive, "autonomous B2B deliveries could be a major operational advantage." This will help Walmart transport their groceries between stores and warehouses.

4. Capital One and Walmart Credit Cards

  • Capital One and Walmart have recently announced and launched two new credit cards branded by both companies. The credit cards have no annual fee and will provide 5% cashback on purchases made on Walmart's website. One of the cards is a Rewards Mastercard and the other is a rewards card.
  • Retail Dive is of the view that the partnership is in an effort to keep up with consumer expectations and behaviors. They believe that this move by Walmart could grab consumers who usually spend with the cards. However, they are uncertain about how this partnership will attract younger shoppers.

5. Walmart brings back the Scoop Brand

  • Walmart announced its intentions to bring back, as its own, the NYC fashion brand, Scoop. The new Walmart "in-house" brand will build on the company's plans for the fashion sector. Walmart will sell over 100 fashion pieces under this brand at more affordable prices and in various sizes.

6. Walmart sells NFL Gears

  • Since January 2019, Walmart has begun selling Fanatics gears. These are primarily available on its website and include NFL jerseys, merchandise from Nike, NBA T-Shirts and other sportswear.
  • The Retail Dive is of the view that partnering with Fanatics is a great way to reach a vast number of customers. However, Fanatics has contracts with major players such as Nike and the National Footbal League, therefore, its loyalty is not with Walmart.

7. Walmart Partners with Kidbox

  • Walmart announced its partnership with Kidbox in April 2019. In this deal, Kidbox will provide children's fashion items in a box to Walmart's online shoppers. These items will generally cost $48 or half of its bundled retail prices and will range from size 0 to 14 for girls and 0 to 16 for boys.
  • For Retail Dive, it is not easy to tell which is less like the Walmart brand, the inefficient "box-based subscription service" or the premium brands sold through the service. They believe that these kinds of service do not have a healthy track record as almost 40% of subscribers of this or any other service usually cancel.

8. Walmart and Lord & Taylor Partnership

  • Approximately 18 months ago, Walmart partnered with Lord & Taylor. The aim was to attract high-end shoppers to Walmart online and new customers to both brands. In this deal, Lord & Taylor had the ability to ship purchases under its name and sell its brand in Walmart stores at the same prices.
  • According to Forbes, it has been puzzling to many why Walmart would open a Lord & Taylor Flagship store on its website. They are of the view that the move made no sense in 2018 when they first made the announcement and certainly not now that they have gone ahead with the pans.
  • For them, there were flaws such as the fact that people do not buy things digitally the same way they do physically, and the L&T brand was losing its relevance. Forbes notes that shoppers on the Walmart website will not just wonder over to the L&T online store while they are on Walmart's page.

9. Walmart Launched Skincare Line

  • Dubbed Earth to Skin, is Walmart's recently launched private label in skincare, which includes toners, cleansers, serums, and creams. The line includes four collections such as super greens, super fruits'bee infused, and tea time. This line is touted as being free of parabens, mineral oils, petrolatum, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, and animal testing.
  • Retail Dive believes that this is a strategic move on the part of Walmart as the skincare category has been very active recently with brands such Birchbox and FabFitFun creating new products and department stores changing their beauty departments.
  • Based on one customer's review, they had no expectation of the skincare line given the price. However, having worn the product for a week, their skin feels more moisturized and brighter.

10. ModCloth expands "Fitshop"

  • The Walmart-owned brand is expanding its "Fitshop" stores from two to five and then to eight. This will mean that places such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and San Francisco will have one by the end of 2019.
  • According to Retail Dive, this showroom model is a "win-win" for customers and retailers. Since there is reduced inventory, there is the opportunity to lease smaller spaces which would be useful in major urban areas. They are of the view that more space can be used as lounge areas and dedicated to services as they help to build relationships with customers.

Research Strategy

For this research, we did extensive searching for suitable news articles from Walmart. We reviewed each article this ensuring that they were recent, and surrounded the brands they carry, deals done, offerings provided, and included actions taken by the company in the last 12-18 months. We then dug deeper into each article, looking for sentiments from players in the industry whether consumers, marketers or critics. All areas of the research have been addressed.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Walmart - Direction and Strategy: United States

In 2019, Walmart funded Level Home, a smart home products manufacturer to boost its sales growth by acquiring smart technology and home automation products.

Investments

  • In 2019, Walmart funded Level Home, a smart home products manufacturer.
  • The investment was aimed to boost Walmart's sales growth by selling smart technology and home automation products.
  • Walmart partnered with Level Home and launched the "InHome grocery delivery, a membership program that is being rolled out at an introductory price of $19.95 a month. It requires shoppers to purchase a $49.95 smart door lock kit or smart garage door kit, which comes with free installation and one month of free unlimited grocery delivery to put groceries right in the fridge of customers".
  • Walmart is also investing heavily in its grocery segment and recently launched Delivery Unlimited membership, where customers can choose to pay a subscription to have an unlimited number of grocery deliveries to their home.
  • Walmart announced the relaunch of trendy brand Scoop NYC in 2019 to offer the brand's women's fashion at more accessible price points though still on the higher end for a usual Walmart customer.
  • The relaunch of Scoop will add to Walmart’s growing portfolio of fashion labels and partnerships.
  • Walmart invested $3 million in Girls Who Code organization to provide computer science programs for girls in rural areas, where fewer girls have access to computer science education and the support necessary to make sure they persist in the field.

Growing Categories/Business Segments of Walmart

  • According to Walmart's CEO Doug McMillion, Walmart was gaining market share in food and called out its various grocery programs, including free online grocery pickup, unlimited grocery delivery for a fee, and the new InHome program.
  • In 2019, Walmart's e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter grew by 43%, just ahead of the 40% year-over-year growth.
  • In 2018, Walmart’s CPG e-commerce sales in food accounted for 53% change vs prior year.

Acquisitions of Walmart

  • Walmart acquired Technology and Assets of Polymorph Labs for an undisclosed amount to expand its In-House Ad Technology, which includes a high-speed ad server, a self-serve interface, and a server-side header bidding.
  • The acquisition of Polymorph Labs will make advertising with Walmart easier for thousands of brands while delivering more relevant digital ads to consumers.
  • Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart U.S. e-commerce says that “Walmart plans to integrate Bare Necessities assortment onto Walmart.com and Jet.com”.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Walmart - Demographics: United States

After an exhaustive search through credible sources, it appears that information on the demographics of Walmart shoppers purchasing baby gear, adult and feminine care, and paper is unavailable in the public domain. However, a general demographic profile of the typical Walmart shopper in the United States is a female aged 51 that generates an annual household income of around $56,482.


General Demographic Profile of Walmart Shoppers

Age

  • According to a Numerator report, individuals aged 24 and younger are most likely to shop at Walmart with an index of 105, followed by 55-64 year olds (104 index) and 45-54 years olds (103 index).
  • According to a Kantar Retail report, the average age of a Walmart shopper is about 51 years old.

Gender

  • According to a Numerator report, 88% of Walmart shoppers are female, with an index of 110.
  • Consumers with kids are more likely to shop at Walmart (103 index) than those without children (97 index).

Income Level

  • Consumers with an income level of $20,000-$40,000 are most likely to shop at Walmart with an index of 120. This group is followed by those that generate less than $20,000 (117 index), between $40,000-$60,000 (108 index), and between $60,000-$80,000 (102 index).
  • Meanwhile, the average annual household income of a Walmart shopper is about $56,482.

Education Level

  • Consumers without a college education level are most likely to shop at Walmart with an index of 122. Those with college and advanced degree levels are less likely to shop there, with indexes of 100 and 78, respectively.

Marital Status

  • Around 63% of Walmart shoppers are married and have an index of 116.

Regional Geographic Data

  • More than half (52%) of Walmart shoppers are based on suburban regions and have an index of 128.


Research Strategy:

During our research, we were unable to find the demographics of current Walmart shoppers in the U.S. that purchase baby gear, adult and feminine care products, as well as paper products. We searched for pre-compiled reports, employed a triangulation approach, and broadened our search to find specific demographic data for buyers in the three categories. We used research and intelligence sources such as CoreSight Research, Deloitte, Gallup, Numerator, Kantar Retail, Packaged Facts, and Research Methodology, among others. Additionally, we consulted trade industry associations such as the National Grocers Association and industry sources such as Progressive Grocer and Retail Dive, among others. However, we only found general demographic information on Walmart shoppers and decided to expand our scope.

Our research began by searching for general demographic information on Walmart shoppers in the U.S. in market intelligence sources such as Kantar Retail, Packaged Facts, Deloitte, and Numerator, etc., along with media sources like Business Insider and Forbes, among others. We also explored industry sources such as Civic Science and BigCommerce. We found demographic information, including age, gender, income level, education level, marital status, and regional geographic data. The Numerator Retailer Snapshot report for Walmart used "index" data to determine this information.

We then searched Numerator's website for the definition of "index." However, we were unable to find an exact description. We did find their definition of product affinity index and basket affinity index, which states that an index with more than 100 values mean more likely, while those with less than 100 values indicate less likely. We then used these definitions and applied it to the demographic data of Walmart's shoppers. We assumed that indexes of more than 100 represent those that are more likely to shop there, while those with less than 100 are less likely to shop at Walmart.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Walmart - Psychographics: United States

A Walmart consumer is likely to review pricing information while shopping, to prefer convenient shopping experiences and are attracted to low prices. They are slightly more likely to vote for a Republican candidate and to support efforts to reduce climate change. The following information presents details about this group.

Habits & Hobbies

  • Walmart shoppers are more prone to be obese, according to a study conducted in 2015.
  • The company’s consumers are adopting technology at higher rates than before. They are increasingly shopping digitally, in an “Omni fashion.”
  • Walmart shoppers are more engaged in a wide range of e-commerce behaviors than Amazon shoppers. They are likely to research product information online but buying it at a brick-and-mortar store.
  • They are also likely to review pricing information online before buying, buy something and picked it up in-store, and to review information on mobile while shopping in a physical store.
  • Among Walmart shoppers surveyed, 20% owned an Alexa and 19% owned an Echo. Regarding what they shop, Walmart beats Amazon for paper products, personal care, household cleaning products, and groceries.
  • The best-selling items in the “Hobby” category were related to arts & crafts, cars, cooking, trains, and knitting.

Spending Habits

  • Walmart’s consumers are looking for a convenient shopping experience. They want one-stop stores that offer a variety of goods; they visit the store to stock their pantries not to buy just a few items.
  • As previously reported, Walmart’s consumers have limited budgets; therefore, they aim to save money whenever and wherever they can. The company attracts its consumers by offering low prices and a wide variety of options.
  • They like to look up past purchases and find helpful information online or via app. Trust is a significant factor for this group, they trust Walmart.
  • Easy to make returns, easy to make purchases, incentives, easy to access information, convenience, and overall positive shopping experience are some of the reasons they choose to shop at Walmart.
  • According to Arun Jain, professor of marketing research at the State University of New York at Buffalo, shopping at Walmart is a cultural experience for lower and middle-income shoppers.

Values

  • Morning Consult asked shoppers what would make them less likely to shop at Walmart and 34% said they would be less likely to buy at Walmart if the company donated to a Democratic candidate (versus 29% who would be more likely).
  • Thirty-five percent said they would be more likely to buy at the store if it supported gay marriage, as opposed to 31% who would be less likely. Nevertheless, 41% said they would be less likely to stay with the brand if it supported transgender individual’s usage of the bathroom of their choice (28% said they would be more likely).
  • Thirty-two percent are favorable to building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border versus 38% who oppose. Thirty-eight percent would be less likely to buy at the store if it donates to charities that offer legal aid to undocumented immigrants (versus 33%).
  • Regarding climate change, 47% would be more likely to buy if Walmart supported efforts to reduce climate change, as opposed to 21% who would be less likely.
  • When asked what could persuade them not to vote for a candidate, 30.6% said negative advertisements, followed by misleading facts about themselves (25.7%), misleading facts about their opponents (19.5%), and positive advertisements (11.8%).
  • Someone shopping for baby gear is likely to be a millennial. Millennial moms, in particular, value identity and feel misunderstood by brands that put them in a box, as they want to be perceived as more than just mothers,
  • They feel pressured to present a perfect life on social media, and to be involved mothers while remaining physically attractive as well. They are very likely to cite reviews, online favorability of brands as deciding factors when shopping.
  • An adult purchasing incontinence related products is likely to be a Baby Boomer or their caretaker, a Gen X woman. Both generations feel ignored by beauty and grooming product makers; in fact, 77% of surveyed women over 40 said they want to see more perimenopausal and menopausal beauty and personal grooming products.
  • Sixty-four percent of Gen X women and 74% of Boomer women stated they feel older adults are underrepresented in advertising, and over 7 in 10 women in both age groups said they are more inclined to purchase products from brands that portray people of a variety of ages in their ads.

Media Consumption

  • A recent survey asked shoppers, 60% of whom buy at Walmart, where they get information about holiday sales and 47.2% said TV ads, followed by online deals and coupon sites (42.3%), newspaper ads (39.7%), Facebook (34.3%), local news (21.7%), mobile ads (26.9%), and YouTube (20.3%).
  • Advertising has some influence (53.3%) on their purchasing decisions. When asked about video reviews, 45.4% said it had some influence, 34.9% said no influence, while 19.7% are highly influenced by it.
  • Good Morning America was the show they watch the most to get holiday ideas (23.3%), followed by local news morning shows (19.2%), Today Show (17.9%), Fox and Friends (13.9%), CBS This Morning (13.6%), and The View (10.3%).
  • Most of them prefer to pay using a credit card (39.1%) or cash (36.9%). Smartphones are the number one choice to look for gift ideas (56.6%) and also the most used to shop for gifts (49.5%).
  • When asked which network or cable news offers the best upcoming election coverage, 26.4% said Fox News, while 20.4% said CNN. However, when asked which one provides the worst coverage, 33.1% said Fox News and 23.1% said CNN.
  • Lester Holt is their favorite network news reporter, followed by David Muir and Jeff Glor. Anderson Cooper is their favorite cable news reporter (21.3%), followed by Sean Hannity (9.2%) and Rachel Maddow (9%). Michael Strahan (11.7%), Al Roker (10.7%), and Robin Roberts (8.1%) are the favorite morning show hosts.

Research strategy

To present a psychographic profile of the current Walmart shopper in the U.S., the research team leveraged information from surveys, reports, studies, and news articles to compose a detailed portrayal. We initially focused on the consumers of baby gear, adult & feminine care and paper; however, extensive research across various types of sources generated no information about consumers who specifically buy these products. We have, however, provided a summary of our findings regarding these groups, Walmart’s sheer size and scale mean “its shopper profile typically mirrors that of the overall U.S. shopper.Next, we expanded our scope to encompass all Walmart consumers. There are plenty of resources that address this group, yet they mostly present demographic data. For this reason, we expanded our date scope to four years, instead of our standard of 2 years, to incorporate data not available in more recent sources. For hobbies, we relied on Walmart's best-selling items of the category to present some insights, given that quantitative information was not readily available.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Level Home, a smart home products manufacturer, has received $71 million in funding through investments by Walmart, home builder Lennar Homes and investment firm Hut 8 Ventures."
  • "Walmart said investing in the company provides the retailer with another avenue for future sales growth."
Quotes
  • "Grocery sales have been a key driver of sales and traffic for the world’s largest retailer in recent years, representing more than 55% of its total sales. "
Quotes
  • "The $3 million commitment will support the organization’s first-ever Summer Immersion Programs in Northwest Arkansas, Clubs across the U.S. and in rural areas, and College Loops, university-level networks for women studying computer science"