The following is a write up on Walmart and its global marketing strategy. Its aim is to predict chances that if Walmart embarks on a global expansion program, it will succeed.
Walmart is the largest seller of grocery in the US and the largest corporation by revenue. Most of its stores are located in Canada, America and Mexico. To expand globally, an analysis of the targets markets is imminent.
An overview of the company
Walmart has remained the largest corporation in the Fortune List from 2002 with revenues of $220 billion and $6.7 billion as profits. Currently, it is comprised of more than 4200 stores and more than 650000 workers in fifteen countries outside the US, making it the largest private employer in Mexico and the US. In UK, Canada, Brazil and Argentina, there are wholly owned operations. Its division sales in 2010 were $100 billion. Wal-Mart’s leadership includes 15-member Board of Directors elected annually by shareholders. Chairman of the BOD is Robson Walton, the eldest son of its founder, Sam Walton, who serves as the Board chairman. Other notable members of the BOD include Hillary Clinton (1985-92), who left the Board before ’92's US presidential elections.
Any corporation has a mission statement that lays out its overall objectives. It should be the highest priority for any employee who is evaluating a strategic decision. Wal-Mart’s mission statement is, ‘To Give the Ordinary Folk the Chance to Buy the Same Thing as the Rich People.’
Being a superstore, Walmart has facilities the world over and is a popular, friendly neighbor store, though until recently, it has found itself a bit unfriendly, while still battling unfair labor practices. It has been accused by an employee who works for Walmart New York store of unfair labor practices. This suit got filed in a state court, in New York, on behalf of 20000 past and current employees of more than 80 New York Sam club and Walmart stores. It comes amid claims of employees’ underpayment and long working hours Some employees have also been made to attend seminars and training during their off-days without pay. Walmart has also been accused in Kansas City of attempting to block Union activities, through coercing, interfering and interrogating employees and engaging in workers surveillance.
Walmart hosts a wide range of products regarding movies, electronics, music, furniture, books, all types of wear, health care products, sports items, pharmaceutical products, jewelry, toys, grocery, photography and more. They provide safe shipping and online shopping coupled with a very reliable warranted system to customers buying any types of goods directly or online.
It has very tempting and attractive prices to customers explaining its huge network. Apart from being the largest retailer, Walmart is an economic force and runs the pricing policy successfully offering customers with the lowest prices. Such is the basic standing in which the Walmart’s vast empire stands.
Walmart is working in three divisions namely; Walmart stores, Sam’s club and Walmart international. Its outlets are marketed in varied names in Japan, Mexico, Brazil, India, Canada, China, UK and S. America. These outlets are huge edifices covering about 197,000square feet. 38 mega stores work in different names with almost 1500 employees at their service.
Placing shipment to the desired place through online orders is the major source of revenue. Walmart has an efficiently working website and a database designed to facilitate transactions. Wal mart has routine, seasonal discount offers also bulk discount offers with products being fixed at low price sometimes for a limited duration.
Walmart and technology
Concerning its use of information technology, the company has a core competence to support its international logistics system. IT supports its efficient procurement and monitoring how individual products are performing country wide. Through IT, Walmart has employed diverse workforce hence its competency in service delivery. This is done through training and recruitment with advertisements being put online for a vacancy in the company. E-commerce involves carrying out transactions online. This is where customers buy goods online. Walmart has not an elaborate e-commerce system despite its success in normal retailing.
Walmart’s marketing opportunities
Walmart is still looking forward to expanding its sales to include designer clothes such as Old navy while building its new stores that have a capacity to offer more groceries. The company has an elaborate marketing system with 90 million copies of ad circular being mailed per month.
Culture is a considerable factor in understanding an industry, since for any organization to operate effectively it ought to some extent have a general set of assumptions and believe on how culture will affect the success and the productivity or failure of any company. Cultural environment is one of the vital principles that have an influence on the organization. There are four dimensions that distinguishes cultures at a national level (individualism-collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity-femininity), which assist to understand that people get into organizations with their own national culture and heritage. Wal-Mart’s management sees to it that they value the opinion of their employees regardless of their nationality. Since, the company is globally competitive; it cannot be denied that they require employees from varied cultures to be in the company to assist in the decision-making. Positive relationships have to be created between international and local managers coupled with fair treatment of employees. As Walmart gets into the Chinese market, they have to be wary of the sensitivity of the locals to their national heritage and culture.
In China ethics are highly upheld by the people and the government and an attempt to play foul can lead to business closure and prosecution. Chinese regulations on food products are also very strict. The value life highly and anything that is deemed life threatening in the least of ways can expect dire lack of sales. Walmart’s products are favorable to the Chinese and Indian markets because these countries have very big populations and are so dedicated to their careers such that such a one stop joint like Walmart would be a blessing to them. Chinese have been known to be the most hard-working, and they would be interested in a retailer who saves their time by having almost everything under one roof. Walmart can achieve that like it has done in other countries like US and Mexico. Culture may not be controllable, but if one is able to offer appealing and high quality products, Chinese people usually do things en masse. The fact that Walmart is an American company adds to the appeal. Basically American is seen as the hub of everything and locals usually prefer foreign and usually American products to domestic ones.
Demographics and psychographics are also important when marketing a product globally. India and China are known to have the largest populations in the world and have a high-purchasing power. Products like toys and baby food would sell very well because most of them have no time to breast feed their children due to work commitments. I also tend to think that the age brackets of the majority of the citizens of these countries would find products offered by Wal mart quite useful.
Walmart has a big room for improvement in any country they can venture due to the fact that they have made it to being the best in US . People in other countries can use this as an assessment for quality and fashion. Nevertheless, because of the sensitivity placed on quality and price in these countries, Walmart must not compromise quality for low prices. India has many companies that manufacture the same things that Walmart sell so that might mean that they have to lower the prices further and such actions at times lead to compromised quality, which again is not entertained in India.
The presentation describes the Walmart past elaborately but fails to clearly state the steps and strategies that Walmart ought to concentrate on. This could have been a result of poor research on the target markets and overlooking of aspects such as age group of the majority of citizens of these countries
With its reputation as the best, largest and the most popular retailer in America, Walmart can easily sell itself to the rest of the world. All they need to do is embark on an effective marketing strategy through use of current technology and offer customers with tempting prices and quality products like they have always done. This can be achieved easily in countries such as China and India where the technology is advanced making it simple for them to market their products. The transport systems in these countries are also very efficient making it easier for transport of their product to the interiors. In these countries, Walmart may have too lay more emphasis on food and household products and avoid electronics because China is known to produce cheap and quality electronics making it difficult for foreign investors to bring in others from outside since to match up the price would greatly compromise the profit margin.
Having emerged the largest and the most popular retailer in America, Walmart might have an easy time marketing itself globally. This though will require a thorough and systematic analysis of the targets markets before venturing into them. Such factors as demographics and psychographics need a thorough scrutiny.