Walmart's omnichannel holiday strategy

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) kicks of holiday shopping on Sunday Nov. 1 with eight weeks of savings as the retailer promotes everyday low prices and mobile capabilities, summing up its holiday plans as "easier shopping every day."

The eight weeks of sales start the day after Halloween, and Walmart is emphasizing the many digital initiatives developed this year.

The retailer expects more than 210 million visits to its app in November and December, up from 18 million in 2013. It will be the most digitally integrated holiday for Walmart and all retailers, many of whom are making sure that shoppers know about the new and improved omnichannel capabilities.

"I want customers to be in awe when they see what we have to offer as they walk into our stores or click around our site," said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer, Walmart U.S. "Our managers have made a lot of progress to improve the shopping experience before the holidays and our merchants made sure we have the right products in stock. We're delivering the prices customers expect, but we've taken it up a notch. Our supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and will be a powerful combination for customers this holiday season."

Walmart is promising rollback prices that last at least 90 days and fewer specials offered for a single weekend. Prices will be backed by the retailer's ad match guarantee and online price matching.

Mobile will play a big role this holiday for shoppers and retailers alike. Nearly 75 percent of traffic to Walmart's website is expected to come from a mobile device this season, and in-store pickup is expected to be heavily utilized. Walmart has opened in-store pickup areas and shoppers can now check in from their phones when they arrive, a program tested in Sam's Club stores this year.

For the first time, shoppers can also scan items to a wish or gift list using the Walmart app.

Walmart's holiday initiative is the culmination of a year's work "to accelerate digital innovation, bridge in-store and online shopping, improve inventory management, and make Walmart stores cleaner, faster and friendlier," according to a company statement.

Buy online and pick up in store, curbside delivery of groceries in some markets, price matching and mobile check-in were all developed and tested throughout the year. But the holidays are the true test.

For more:
-See this Walmart announcement
-See this blog post by COO Judith McKenna

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