Walmart Tumbles After Slowing Online Growth Jolts Investors
Comment of the Day

February 20 2018

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Walmart Tumbles After Slowing Online Growth Jolts Investors

This article by Matthew Boyle for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

At the same time, Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon is trying to convert the company’s brick-and-mortar shoppers into online customers, who spend almost twice as much overall and seek out higher-priced items.

At Walmart’s e-commerce unit, sales rose 23 percent last quarter. That’s less than half the pace of previous periods. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company had been getting a tailwind from its acquisition of, an online upstart that it bought in 2016. Still, the company maintained its full-year forecast for online sales growth of about 40 percent.

The company needs to widen its e-commerce base, especially among younger and professional demographics, said Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData Retail.

Eoin Treacy's view

Wal-Mart is spending a lot of money on its ecommerce platform but the cold reality is that its backend is antiquated compared to that offered by Amazon, eBay or Etsy. Maybe it is focusing on selling its own products over those of third party sellers but if that is the case one has to question why it has been marketing to Amazon sellers so aggressively.
The third-party seller backend only accepts batch CSV file uploads which require manual tinkering, so a product can be listed. There is no app which gives sellers notifications when an item is sold so you have to constantly log in. The login screen doesn’t even remember your password and Wal-Mart doesn’t have a shipping option which means that third party shipping apps need to be used to print labels. These are all inhibiting factors to sellers supporting the platform and it therefore reduces both the price competitiveness and the range of products available.
The share is now unwinding its overbought condition relative to the trend mean and will need to demonstrate support in the region of $90 if medium-term scope for continued higher to lateral ranging is to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile Amazon is back testing its highs near $1500 and a clear downward dynamic will be required to check momentum.

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