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Please demonstrate critical thinking abilities. No fewer than 250 words for post. Do not summarize the post and/or course concept(s), but perhaps comment on concepts directly applicable to your workplace.
For this response, should outside sources be used to support the content within the postings, proper in-text citations and correctly formatted references should be prepared consistent with the APA (6th edition). The list of references should be physically positioned at the end of the postings.
Hello, thank you! Please use critical thinking, good grammar and do not plagiarized, thanks.
The problem at Wal-Mart is finding a way to grow sales and profits while remaining competitive in an environment where online retailers are continuously expanding into territory that had traditionally been dominated by Wal-Mart. By 1994, $60 billion worth of purchases were made from the home by telephone but a new technology allowed you to begin using a computer to make purchases as well (Tuttle, 2014, para. 3). Since 1994, the internet has given birth to retail giants such as Amazon which severely cut into the sales at Walmart stores. Internet retailers benefit from lower overhead costs stemming from the lack of brick and mortar storefronts.
Walmart should create a membership program that takes all the benefits of Amazon Prime membership and includes the advantages that a brick and mortar storefront can add to the mix. One possible name for this program would be “Welcome”. The word welcome is most often associated with “you’re welcome” and it immediately implies that a favor has been done. Other potential customers may imply that “Welcome” is speaking to them and they are welcome to join and share in the benefits of membership.
Since Amazon already has a strong foothold in the membership category, Walmart should select a pricing structure that encourages switching even at the cost of profits. Amazon Prime currently costs $99 a year for those that want to pay in one lump sum so “Welcome” should have an introductory price of $49 to show customers that Walmart is truly dedicated to everyday low prices and giving the customer the most value for their money (Sekar, 2015, para. 17). Walmart will have to show immediate value and equivalent benefits to entice customers to make the switch by including shipping, music streaming, e-book, and video entertainment content just like Amazon Prime contains (Sekar, 2015, para. 4). Besides the features already provided, Walmart’s membership program would allow members to shop in Sam’s Club warehouses which allow members to save even more when they make bulk purchases.
Bulk purchasing is a feature that is not likely to be replicated at Amazon due to the weight and size limitations of shipping products directly to the customer’s home. Walmart has a major opportunity to entice new clients to pay a single fee and reap the benefits of membership at 11,600 retail units in 28 countries (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2017a, para. 1). While many customers do not have the need or desire to buy hundreds of pounds of product at once, just having the option to do so if they desired could be enticing enough to get them to switch when paired with a lower annual membership fee.
Having the ability to have online purchases shipped to a physical storefront can increase the potential pickup locations beyond the member’s home address which adds both security from package theft and convenience. Customers that frequently travel will appreciate their membership benefits allowing them to receive deliveries quickly and securely at locations throughout the country instead of being limited to packages only delivered to their home or office. Adding value to the customer is key to any membership program as they are not receiving any physical goods for that annual membership fee and it needs to be abundantly clear to them why they should continue to pay a fee for the benefits.
If Walmart were to implement the “Welcome” membership program I believe they would become wildly successful. Anything that chips away at the strategic advantage of Amazon while simultaneously increasing the experience for Walmart’s customers is bound to have at least some success. Amazon Prime customers are very loyal to the company and that loyalty is rooted in the experience that they have had while being customers there. A new membership program is an opportunity to start fresh with a new generation of customers that may currently have limited experience with Walmart. Careful execution of the membership rollout is critical to its success in my opinion. “Welcome” cannot start with half the intended features with empty promises to add more later. Instead, the program must offer immediate and improved features over the current offerings of the competition. If implemented correctly Walmart can regain its edge over the internet giant Amazon has become.
The processes of strategic analysis, planning, and implementation are extremely important as they give direction and lead the company to a course of action to correct problems while mazimizing advantages. Walmart already incorporates strategic planning into their systems in order to drive down costs and continue to offer low proces to the consumer. By continueing to dedicate time to strategic planning, Walmart will remain a giant in the retail industry.
Sekar, A. (2015, October 7). What Is Amazon Prime? the benefits, the cost, and whether it’s worth it. NerdWallet. Retrieved from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/shopping/shopping-… to an external site.
Tuttle, B. (2014, August 14). 8 amazing things people said when online shopping was born 20 years ago. Time Money. Retrieved from http://time.com/money/3108995/online-shopping-hist… to an external site.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2017a). Our business. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Retrieved from http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/our-busines…