Underscoring grocery’s importance to its growth, Walmart is incorporating the Walmart Grocery app into the main Walmart mobile app.
Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Walmart announced the move yesterday. Plans call for the updated Walmart app with grocery functionality to roll out in phases and for the Walmart Grocery app to be deactivated this summer, she said.
Joining the two apps creates enhances the one-stop shopping experience at Walmart in the digital realm, according to Whiteside.
Janey Whiteside, Walmart's chief customer officer. (Photo courtesy of Walmart)
“For years, Walmart has had two mobile apps: the Walmart app and the Walmart Grocery app. Customers love both of our apps, but we know they would like an easier way to shop without having to switch between the two. Imagine making two trips to the store: one for groceries and one for all the other things you need. That would get really old, quite quickly,” she said in a blog post. “I’m excited to announce we’re adding Walmart Grocery to our flagship Walmart app. Now customers can access everything Walmart has to offer in one, definitive experience: the Walmart app.”
In the updated Walmart app, customers will be able to directly order fresh groceries, daily staple items and products from their local Walmart store for pickup or deliver. They also will be able to shop Walmart.com’s extended assortment of merchandise, including millions of items available for free next-day and two-day delivery, and access services like Walmart Pay and Item finder, among others.
“For a busy mom, this means she can do everything in one app,” said Whiteside. “She can order a last-minute birthday gift along with her groceries for same-day pickup or delivery. She can browse Walmart.com for millions of items and also manage her entire family’s prescriptions. All from the same app.”
Walmart Grocery also is being merged with Walmart’s other digital properties under a more uniform identity. Whiteside said grocery functionality will be added to the Walmart.com desktop and mobile web experiences in the coming weeks.
“So customers can easily shop between the two. Previously, customers shopped for groceries on our grocery website and everything else on Walmart.com. We’ll also be introducing a new look for Walmart Grocery to closely match that of Walmart.com,” she said in the blog. “We know customers want to shop Walmart in ways that help them save time and money, and we’re committed to simplifying their shopping experience. We’re excited for the experience one app will create for our customers and our business, and we look forward to introducing new features in the future.”
For its 2020 fiscal year ended Jan. 31, Walmart reported U.S. e-commerce sales growth of 30%, including a 35% gain in the fourth quarter. On a two-year stacked basis, Walmart U.S. comp sales were up 6% in the quarter, showing ongoing strength in food and consumables, the company said. Similarly, Walmart U.S. eCommerce generated strong growth in grocery pickup and delivery.
“Grocery is essential to the customer relationship,” Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said in a conference call last month on Walmart’s fiscal 2020 results. “We're delivering strong sales in grocery, and we're gaining market share. But to make it an even more quality experience, we're going to continue to focus on even lower prices, fresh innovation, private brands and then convenience.”
As of the fiscal year-end, Walmart U.S. had about 3,200 grocery pickup sites and more than 1,600 delivery locations.
“The U.S. team has built an impressive business with the same-day pickup operation. They've got high NPS scores,” Furner said in the call. “We're now in about 3,200 locations, and we'll be expanding to about another 500 locations this year.”
Delivery also is expanding, Furner added. “It's essentially the same process for delivery as it is for a pickup order; it's just the associate is putting the order in a delivery driver's truck instead of the customer's truck,” he said. “We're now offering same-day delivery in 1,600 stores, and we expect that to be in about half the fleet by the end of the year. In same-day delivery, that's what a lot of customers want, and we love our position there.”