How Walmart Found Its Footing in the Amazon Era | AdAge

The price/convenience equation

Walmart’s vaunted lower prices have made life harder for such rivals as Target, Kroger and Dollar General, even if the primary intended targets were Amazon and hard discounters like Aldi and Lidl. In a presentation to corporate officers in May, Rogers outlined Walmart’s marketing strategy, but emphasized this point: “None of this matters unless we have price leadership. We’re always maniacal about not letting people get distracted from price.”

But price is a game no retailer wins all the time. Avoiding the fate of failed retailers rests at least as heavily on delivering the second half of Walmart’s slogan, “Save Money. Live Better,” with a bigger focus on convenience and quality.

“I don’t know that they have a solid response yet to Lidl and Aldi,” says Leon Nicholas, senior VP for retail insights at Kantar Retail.

This group is “a little higher-income than we’ve defined our customer in the past,” Rogers adds. But that doesn’t mean Walmart is going upscale as much as it’s targeting a segment that’s more suburban and multicultural than its prior core.

“They’ve found the right balance between promotion and everyday low price,” says Don Stuart, managing partner of Cadent Consulting Group. The company has removed some of the clutter of bargain-bin store-floor displays, for example, but hasn’t done away with them entirely. Most shoppers give Walmart credit for having the lowest prices most of the time, Stuart says—or at least being close enough that it’s not worth the effort to shop around.

Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran, an Australian who joined McMillon’s team early on, was accustomed to operating in a duopoly market down under, with less price competition and more significance to the store experience, says Fletcher, of Bernstein Research. So Foran is focused on making sure checkout lines aren’t longer than three deep and generally keeping the store experience “clean, fast and friendly.” Walmart has improved customer satisfaction as a result, according to its own measures and external sources such as the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which tracked a major lift this year.

Add to clean-fast-friendly the three-legged stool of price-convenience-quality. Winning on those last three is key for Walmart to succeed across the biggest customer base in America, as Rogers sees it.

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How Walmart Found Its Footing in the Amazon Era | CMO Strategy – AdAge.