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Digital Commerce in a Competitive Landscape

June 20, 2020


Perhaps the largest disruption to the retail industry in recent years has been the massive boom in e-commerce and online shopping. Rather than visiting traditional brick and mortar locations, consumers increasingly prefer to do their shopping through the web where they enjoy flexibility, convenience, and a quick turnaround. As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Alibaba continue to dominate the market both in terms of profitability and size. In response to the monolithic presence of these established online retailers, many traditional brick and mortar retailers have been left with the difficult task of breaking into a highly competitive marketplace.

Having established itself as the largest traditional retailer in the world, Walmart has now turned its attention to securing a strong online presence to compete with the likes of Amazon. The company has been steadily building up its online presence over the past few years with the result being an online store that is visited by over 120 million people each month. Although the company still lags far behind Amazon in terms of market share, they continue to grow and position themselves as a serious competitor within the online retail space.

Most recently, Walmart has partnered with Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify in a bid to diversify the offerings on the Walmart online store. As a part of the partnership, over 1200 Shopify merchants located in the United States will have access to Walmart’s massive online user base. While the partnership creates a broader offering for Walmart customers, it also provides smaller e-commerce businesses that have traditionally used Shopify with a huge opportunity to scale their business. As more and more brick and mortar retailers face closures due to dwindling sales, an online presence has become even more essential for businesses of all sizes.

In addition to their recent partnership with Walmart, Shopify has also recently partnered with Facebook to develop a comprehensive e-commerce platform for the largest social media platform in the world. The platform, known as Facebook Shop, will allow businesses to create a virtual storefront within the social media platform that can be accessed by Facebook users looking for goods. These two moves come in the midst of one of the most widespread global pandemics in recent history and in a time where shoppers are increasingly looking to get their goods without having to visit crowded stores. For traditional retailers, the ability to pivot and use technology to maintain and enhance their competitiveness is critical to their future success.

Author: Aryan Pour-Bahreini


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