Target and Walmart Tackle the E-Commerce World Quite Differently

Target

The Star Tribune contrasts how Target and Walmart presented themselves at last week’s Shoptalk conference:

Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell told the audience he is doubling down on stores, envisioning them as “shoppable distribution centers” where people can come in and browse core products such as apparel and accessories or grab an online order and some food to go.

About 20 minutes later, ­Marc Lore, Wal-Mart’s e-commerce chief, described a company making big investments in online as it looks to take on Amazon.com directly.

So what you will about Walmart’s current online strategy, and I am as sceptical as they come, but Walmart’s approach makes more sense than what Target is doing.

The majority of shopping will continue to be done in stores for the foreseeable future, Cornell said. And Target sees stores as a key to digital growth since they already fill about 55 percent of online orders through in-store pickup or ship-from-store ­capabilities. […]

We already use horses. Lots of them. So we’re going to keep putting horses in front of our carriages, even if some of them happen to be those new-fangled “automobiles”.

“In this new era of retail, stores need to be multidimensional showrooms — they have to be destinations for services, and more and more we’re positioning ours to function as guest-facing hubs in a smart network,” he said. “Think of a Target store of the future as being a hyper local, shoppable distribution center.”

So essentially, Target’s stores will more and more be (unefficient) warehouses as well, sort of.

Why not real warehouses then? Because you already have stores? I see. How convenient that your existing cost structures are exactly what you need for the future. What a happy coincidence.

More from Code Commerce and Shoptalk 2017:

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