Seeking to offer "seamless, safe and convenient" shopping experiences for customers across the world, Walmart is making major investments in assorted e-commerce initiatives globally, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said Dec. 9.
In a new post on the company's website, Jeff Loafman, VP of Walmart international distribution and supply chain, detailed the e-commerce and omnichannel outlays being made in such markets as China, Mexico, Chile and Canada.
In Canada, for example, $110 million of Walmart's planned $3.5 billion investment in that market over the next five years is going toward bolstering omnichannel efforts this year—pickup expansion, improved delivery accessibility, store renovations and more, according to Loafman. Walmart in Chile recently announced a new hybrid supermarket and distribution center, Omnicentro. And in China, an expansion of delivery services with Walmart partner JD Jaojia, a logistics and e-commerce platform provider, means that all of Walmart's 400-plus stores in the country now offer one-hour delivery, Loafman writes.
The one-hour delivery milestone "is a truly remarkable achievement by our associates and partners, meeting the increased customer demand for convenience," Loafman says.
Everything from customer shopping preferences in individual markets to physical infrastructure affects the kinds of omnichannel investments that are made, according to the company. In Mexico, because many consumers prefer to place orders online but pick them up from a local bodega on the way home from work, Loafman writes, Walmart recently opened a $42 million omnichannel distribution center in the city of Merida that will offer home delivery as well as delivery to bodegas. Customers in Chile have access to basic necessities within a 90-minute delivery window through six microfulfillment centers.
"Whether by building innovative distribution center formats to deliver products faster or by launching our shopping apps in new languages to enable more people to access them, Walmart is continuing to make investments to serve our customers in international markets," Loafman writes.
In 2020, Walmart International has seen a 97% increase in e-commerce sales, the post notes. In the U.S., for just the most recently ended quarter, Walmart e-commerce sales climbed 79%.