Walmart Posts E-Commerce Sales Spike of 97%

The surge comes as Walmart invests in digital-first initiatives such as its third-party marketplace and subscription service.

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Need to Know 

  • Walmart has posted its massive second-quarter earnings, highlighted by a surge in e-commerce sales by 97%.
  • Overall, the major retailer earned $137.74 billion in revenue this quarter.
  • Walmart’s spike in sales can be credited to its investment in digital services and curbside pickup and delivery since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysis

After reporting its second-quarter earnings, Walmart has seen its biggest earnings surprise in thirty-one years: a surge in e-commerce sales of 97%

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walmart has invested in e-commerce and digital innovation to boost sales. And while in-store sales continued to climb by 9.3%, e-commerce sales have surged by almost 100%. 

The retail giant has managed to pivot successfully since the pandemic interrupted the world’s status quo. To stay ahead, Walmart hired over 400,000 new employees to fill online orders, invested in curbside pickup and delivery, and expanded its in-home grocery delivery service.

“Before this crisis, we were already seeing robust adoption of online pickup and delivery,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO, in May. “As this crisis created a need for social distancing and required people to stay at home, customers embraced pickup and delivery even more. Pickup and delivery are attracting greater numbers of new customers. The number of new customers trying pickup and delivery has increased four times since mid-March.” 

Overall, in this year’s second fiscal quarter, Walmart earned $137.74 billion in revenue. 

Next up? The launch of Walmart’s membership program, Walmart+, which is intended to “speed up deliveries for customers through curbside pickup and delivery, strengthen relationships with them and collect valuable data.”

In recent months, Walmart has invested heavily in technology in other areas, too. The major retailer announced in July a partnership with Shopify, launching Walmart Marketplace, a platform that allows third-party vendors to sell goods online. 

They have also expanded their voice technology assistant to over 5,000 stores in the U.S., an effort that will help employees answer questions related to price lookups, store maps, product locations, and more. 

And in Canada, Walmart has invested $3.5 billion in “stores of the future”, which will include modernizing its existing stores and building more distribution centres. 

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