Doug McMillon has always been consistent with his messaging regarding the experience of the shopper and how that overall shopping experience needs to be one of convenience. Convenience is the end goal that all retail action should move towards, beyond making a sale. Retailers should always be asking, “How easy can we make it for the shopper to purchase a product?”
After all, the shopper, within the retail experience, cares only for themselves and what they want. To them it doesn’t matter how they look at a product, what they know about it, or how they get it. All they know is that they want it.
What Doug McMillon is saying is obvious. People want continuous access to information, and this desire has created a paradigm shift in the way everyone shops. Social status has become irrelevant in the shopping experience because people across all segments of the market want this ease of access to information. As technology continues to accelerate, the quality of the information needs to keep up.
It is difficult to see these changes coming to fruition, but if we look back to when the iPhone first entered the market, we realize that even though we cannot see the change, we know how great of an impact these changes can have. As such, people cannot clearly see the outlines of the omnichannel experience and everyone is asking how Walmart is going to meet the omnichannel challenge.
Again, it all comes down to how easy we can make it for the shopper to make a purchase. This is why data and content is so important. Today we have a shopper that is empowered by technology to find the information they want, anytime, anywhere, via a plethora of devices and channels. It is the responsibility of the manufacturers to provide the shopper with the information they desire. We know that the shopper will make choices based on the information provided to them, so providing them with that rich content and data is essential.
Walmart is the greatest supply chain and logistical company in the world, they already have the infrastructure in place to facilitate an omnichannel future, giving them a huge advantage over their competition. In my opinion, they will most likely win the omnichannel race.
Once manufacturers provide that rich content and data, they can fully utilize Walmart’s supply chain and technological infrastructure. When manufacturers provide premium information, everyone will prosper. Everyone from Walmart to the shopper will benefit from an enhanced omnichannel shopping experience.