Walmart (NYSE: WMT) saw Web sales growth beat out Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) for the first time in a decade, an important win for the retailer in its race to beat Amazon at its own game.
Walmart reported Web sales rose by 30 percent to $10 billion, during the year ended Jan. 31, beating Amazon's 20 percent sales growth during the year ended Dec. 31, according to data from Internet Retailer.
Walmart is picking up steam in its quest to conquer e-commerce with several Web expansions and launches in recent months. The retailer has made 12 e-commerce acquisitions over the past three years. Most recently, Walmart Labs said Tuesday that it acquired Adchemy, a product search and e-commerce firm, in a move that is rumored to help the world's largest retailer catch up with Amazon's advanced Web search features. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Adchemy buy follows Walmart's earlier acquisition of Yumprint, a network of published recipes for food blogs. That technology will be incorporated into the Walmart To Go grocery delivery service. Yumprint runs both a mobile app and website which posts more than 15 million recipes each month curated from over 2,000 food blogs. The technology helps users understand recipe semantics, match ingredients to advertisements, calculate nutritional information and prepare shopping lists for recipes.
In order to support its growing Web business, Walmart has invested $500 million into its e-commerce division. The company opened three new online fulfillment centers in Texas, Pennsylvania and Brazil and hired 1,000 employees in Silicon Valley, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Walmart had been late to the e-commerce game, and its initial efforts were slow to catch on, leading the company to launch its @WalmartLabs division three years ago. The Silicon Valley-based lab solely focuses on digital initiatives and building Web capabilities in-house.
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