March 22, 2023
One of the world's largest retailers launches a new B2B eCommerce website, targeting mid-size and small businesses. A smart move to diversify revenue by expanding greater share of business customers.
The newest ecommerce site called Walmart Business is intended to provide a one-stop shop for office supplies, furniture, food and electronics. For busy purchasing managers this means more convenience, visibility and hassle free shopping. The B2B website is tailored to the needs of notably small to mid-size organizations and nonprofits. This will not only help to recruit new business customers but also help serve existing customers by streamlining purchasing.
With the expertise and knowledge in B2C ecommerce, Walmart took on the B2B eCommerce project progressively and softly launched their business.wallmart.com without the big splash. Walmart used several months to understand the needs of smaller and mid-sized businesses and nonprofits before rolling out the red carpet. Based on extensive customer and user feedback, Walmart launched in January 2023 and is now looking to accelerate growth with their new B2B site.
The website now includes more than 100.000 items for B2B buyers looking to buy equipment, restock supplies and feed employees. Walmart Business offers multi-user accounts with the ability to add up to 5 users to a single account. Customers can also share information, order history and purchase admission across teams.These key features for B2B eCommerce allows better process visibility, transparency and productivity for customers.
One of the advantages with modern B2B eCommerce is the ability to help customers save time, money and in any way make the online experience delightful and simple.
According to Ashley Habka, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Walmart Business, the B2B site was “built to leverage the very best of Walmart” and with the “focus to remove any complexity in purchasing”. Building on Walmart’s best practice with DC network and store, the B2B eCommerce solution includes the proximity of its store and distribution network, its ecommerce, fulfillment and delivery technologies.
With a B2C like experience, the Walmart Business homepage shows a visitor’s ZIP code and a link to their nearest Walmart with the question: "How do you want your items?” Three icons are shown for “shipping”, “pickup” and “delivery”. With a visual display of images across “Top categories” and product categories, Walmart is taking advantage of the B2C like experience in B2B eCommerce.
During the coronavirus pandemic, giants such as Amazon, Costco and Staples stepped up efforts to attract smaller businesses. Walmart is now playing catch up with small to medium sized businesses. According to Wall Street analysts, the key challenge for the large “hypermarket” franchise faces a huge challenge in identifying uncharted markets and finding new sources of demand. Despite a 17% revenue growth acceleration in Q4, analysts are still pessimistic about Walmart, at least in terms of stock price. They believe Walmart will remain a slow growing behemoth over the long term.
Large franchisors are starting to be more aware of diversifying revenue in challenging times of inflation and supply chain. As the market evolves towards digital demands, businesses must adapt and react to these changes before it’s too late.
Walmart takes the leap into B2B eCommerce by facilitating and simplifying the buying journey for purchasers. According to Walmart, the B2B site initiative will benefit the company as a whole as they believe “there is a sizable market”.
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Sources: Walmart Business, Bloomberg, Digital Commerce 360°