CEO: Mobile is the future

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Wal-Mart backs Web tracking
Wal-Mart backs Web tracking

Walmart plans to further integrate mobile e-commerce into its in-store experiences during the next couple of years, said president and CEO Joel Anderson during his June 6 address at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

“I can't overstate how mobile is changing how we interact with our consumers,” Anderson said, citing that just last year, U.S. shoppers spent $195 billion online.

“We have to embrace these changes,” Anderson said of evolving mobile and tablet technologies. “What we have to do is provide anytime, anywhere access. The customer is demanding that.” If that isn't taken seriously, Anderson said, online retailers will become irrelevant.

Anderson said that at Walmart, the marketing and e-commerce teams take an integrated approach. “The lines are blurring between the online and in-store experience,” he said.

For example, Anderson said steak — which is rarely, if ever, ordered online by Walmart customers — frequently appears on's homepage. That's because that consumer engages with them both in-store and online, he said, and the company wants to create a seamless experience.

During his presentation, Anderson showed a video titled “Ellie's Sweet 16,” which was set in 2014. The mother in the video used her mobile phone for everything to plan the party — ordering the cake through, telling the bakers what to write on it, ordering party clothes in her daughter's size (her local Walmart was out of smalls), and for scanning all of the items she purchased in-store to process with mobile checkout.

Anderson stated that the scenario depicted in the video is the future of e-commerce, one in which every interaction will be mobile. The “Ellie's Sweet 16” video is not yet posted online.

Above: CEO Joel Anderson

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