Walmart is looking to make commerce a bigger part of its business as the company tries to compete with Amazon.com Inc., which has grown from a modest retail operation to one of the largest e-commerce players in the world.
Walmart announced the launch of the first of two new online retail channels in March, a partnership with online-only company Target.
In July, it opened a partnership between it and retailer Best Buy Co. that lets shoppers buy goods from other Walmarts and other online retailers.
But its latest initiative is to make it easier to make business with Walmart online, by offering customers access to a more sophisticated platform, like a cloud-based platform that lets them shop anywhere and buy anywhere.
WalMart’s commerce team is working to build out its existing retail platforms in a way that allows customers to interact with the business as it moves through the fulfillment process, and to make their buying experience seamless.
Walter Isaacson, a partner with the venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners, has been tracking the pace of change in the e-tailer industry, and he says the new partnership with Target is a big step.
“They have been really open to embracing the platform and it will give us a big opportunity to really expand our reach and build a really strong relationship with them,” he said.
Wal-Mart said the new platform will let customers shop online without needing to purchase anything in-person.
The retailer is also developing its own platform that will allow customers to order products online and ship them in-store, similar to how Amazon does with its Prime subscription service.
Walmarts customers can also choose to shop with Target customers, and the company is also making it easier for customers to use other retailers’ payment systems, like Paypal and Apple Pay.
For example, if a customer has a Target membership, they can make a purchase at Target, use their Target card, and then pick up their merchandise at Walmart.
This lets shoppers get a much-needed kick in the pants from the retailer, even if they have never used a Target card.
In addition, Walmart has been experimenting with new payment methods that allow customers with multiple payment methods to shop in one place, like Walmart Pay.
The company said the technology will enable it to offer shoppers more options to make shopping easier, and also allow customers more control over how their shopping experience works.
Walton said it plans to expand its online business, adding new retail channels and expanding into new countries.
“It will allow us to make our way into the future,” Isaacson said.
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