Walmart’s story began as a single discount store many years ago. They tried to sell goods at prices close to wholesale (About Us, 2021). The principal areas of trade were food and manufactured goods. Nowadays, the business expanded so much, that it became the owner of many other small companies that carry out various activities unrelated to the planned trade. Furthermore, the organization has achieved its leadership position in the implementation of technology in business processes.
It was one of the first to use e-commerce, which makes the sector exciting and complex. Another factor is expanding through strategic logistics planning, which led to reduced shipping and storage costs, decreased inventory, and lucrative supplier contracts (Lu, 2018). Walmart currently has 220 million customers, $559 billion in revenue, and 2.3 million partners worldwide.
Walmart is a customer-oriented modern company that is interested in implementing modern management strategies. Company’s success begins with the right approach of educated leaders. In the electronic realm, this is especially important since rulers need to “build relationships with multiple and disparate stakeholders and focus on enabling collaborative processes in complex settings, while addressing pressing ethical issues” (Cortellazzo, 2019). The second key concept is a risk, because it is directly related to any change.
Risks are assessed in terms of available knowledge and probable uncertainty. The coronavirus situation is an example of serendipity. Usually, people do not think that something like this could happen, so companies had to adapt quickly. However, Walmart adheres to high-quality standards of the corporate culture, which allowed professionals to be aware of possible hazards, maintain a high level of standards by improving the skills of employees, and quickly respond to changes in the external environment, and amend plans.
eCommerce previous Business Model
When the opportunity arose, the Walmart company began to introduce e-commerce into its activities (ECommerce, 2021). Online shopping is gaining momentum every year. To improve its competitiveness, the company has implemented the following aspects: unified applications, express delivery, special promotions in the application, and interaction with customers on social networks.
Suitable applications are handy in establishing the image as a brand name. The innovation of Walmart express delivery is the use of drones. (Frechtenberg, E. 2019). Mobile promotion these days is one of the most effective ways to convince a person to buy one or another product. (Shankar, 2016). Social media support creates a sense of security and confidence in the seller. Walmart ensures a high speed of service and tries to improve its quality every day.
Coronavirus is a contagious disease that began to spread at the end of 2019. It is a severe respiratory infection that can lead to death, which is why restrictive social distancing measures were harsh and urgent. Offline non-essential stores were temporarily closed. However, the online industry has increased because of an urgent need. (How COVID-19 Triggered, 2021).
People could no longer go to stores, so online support for businesses had to work hard to ensure high-quality service and customer satisfaction. The actions by the authorities were rational; they tried to help with payments and settle the general panic. However, society was apprehensive about the economic downturn and a possible production shortage, so there was a public panic (Loxton et al., 2020). Because of the closure of most stores and factories and the unforeseen allocation of funds to meet needs, there was an economic downturn.
eCommerce additional Business Model
Since most of the purchases went online, sales of certain goods, such as household appliances, groceries, and others, have increased. Walmart is the leading supplier of these commodities, so online shopping has taken to the next level. Offline stores were still open. However, due to security concerns and calls from the state to stay at home, many began to use online services. To meet the demand, the company hired more staff to process orders and strengthened security by delivering goods by drones whenever possible. A particular panic began in social networks. There were many different opinions regarding the dangers of the coronavirus. Some believed that this was all fiction. Others worried about their lives and their loved ones. Walmart is an authoritative organization whose opinion is listened to by society; therefore, it was essential to express the idea of the leaders about the desired behavior of the community.
Walmart eCommerce Unit changes. Porter’s Five Forces
With any changes forced or planned, there are certain risks; therefore, it is crucial to assess the risks and the component when something can go wrong as planned. Porter’s Five Forces model allows an organization to evaluate competitiveness before making changes (Porter’s Five Forces, 2020). For the presented case, it necessary to consider three components in which an organization may not be a winner. They are the rivalry among existing competitors, the threat of substitution of goods or services, the bargaining power of suppliers. Going online is not a new strategy for Walmart’s business; however, there are competitors in this area that focus only on online sales and have their audience, which may not accept the Walmart online format. The second criterion is product orientation. Because the store’s assortment was compiled in a normal life situation, society can turn to competitors for a cheaper alternative after the onset of the crisis. Walmart specializes in low prices but may not have a specific product in stock. Suppliers may raise prices because of the current situation, as they understand the need to meet the increased demand for some products.
Walmart is currently one of the merchants that are starting to lift restrictions on the vaccinated population and employees of offline stores. (Seidman and Campa, 2021). They offer their own vaccination methods, which are reported in offline stores and websites. Buyers have to go through several steps that the software reminds them of. Some consider this step inappropriate since no one knows whether people in the supermarket have been vaccinated or not (Helsel, 2021). Many people continue to shop online, which continues to receive increased attention in this area. As mentioned earlier, the company may need to expand its assortment to meet the needs of most buyers. Because of the rapid transition, the e-commerce industry is unstable.
It leads to disruptions in work, which require a lot of work with people, training, technical skills, and others. Leaders should discuss new technology implementation ideas with employees or ask their opinion on a current issue. Also, it is worth creating a community for planning emergencies such as coronavirus and be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. The situation with coronaviruse has shown how difficult it can be for companies, even large ones, to change their business processes and continue sustainable development.
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