We’re right in the middle of fiscal-year-budget-setting season. Everyone is figuring out where they want to spend money to grow in 2015. And, we’re noticing a trend: big box retailers are investing heavily in technology that improves the eCommerce, retail, and customer experience operations. This week we’ve got four articles (and you could find many more) that highlight this trend.
You may not have a Walmart-sized budget, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take notice of what these brands are doing. At all levels retail, from the local store to the big box retailer, companies are making investments to win. If you aren’t thinking about doing the same, it’s time to start.
Walmart saw their eCommerce revenue jump 22% last year, and the biggest chunk of that came from the holiday season. (They set records on Cyber Monday.) Through the next fiscal year, they are investing $1.2 billion into their digital and eCommerce business.
Just like Walmart, Nordstrom sees the growth opportunity in eCommerce. They’ve decided to increase revenue by more than 50% by 2020, and they’ve determined that increasing the 18% of their sales that come from eCommerce is the way to do that. They’re also dropping $1.2 billion into their eCommerce strategy this year.
Target just lowered their free shipping minimum to $25. That’s not the same as a declaration of x dollars into eCommerce, but it’s certainly an investment. It means they are continuing to invest in the infrastructure to fulfill orders effectively and affordably. That’s the only way free shipping is possible.
Ace Hardware is jumping on the shipping wagon, too. They’ve begun to test same-day delivery service to bolster their customer experience. Here’s the thing about same-day delivery: you can’t promise a local delivery today, then find out the local store doesn’t have the item. It means Ace Hardware is investing in the technology to manage inventory (across all their sales channels) with pinpoint accuracy.