Another consumer-friendly move
Walmart (WMT) has been successfully adapting to the changing needs and preferences of consumers. Recently, the company has taken several innovative customer-friendly moves that haven’t just resulted in accelerating sales growth but have also solidified its competitive position against online giant Amazon.com (AMZN).
Adding to its array of services that save customers time and money, Walmart announced yesterday that it’s expanding its online grocery pickup service to EBT (or electronic benefit transfer) customers. Thus, people who receive government assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) will be able to save time by ordering groceries online and picking them up from Walmart stores besides having the benefit of paying for them using food stamps.
Mike Turner, Walmart’s vice president of e-commerce operations, in a blog post stated that the company initially rolled out this service in five stores including one in Houston and four around Boise. Walmart will gradually expand the service to other stores in coming months.
What does it mean?
The company’s latest move will generate incremental sales by attracting value-driven customers to its stores. Moreover, this also positions Walmart well against Amazon, which earlier reduced its Prime membership fee for EBT customers.
The move is also significant because offering convenience and ease of shopping to low-income shoppers will differentiate Walmart from other grocery retailers. Walmart is facing intense competition in the grocery space from deep discounters including Aldi and Lidl. Meanwhile, Target (TGT) and Kroger (KR) have announced price cuts to drive store traffic. Walmart already offers low prices, and with the expansion of payment options, Walmart is expected to gain market share at an accelerated pace and maintain its dominant position in the grocery segment.