“Inside Walmart, tensions are rising. The company is projecting losses of more than $1 billion for its US e-commerce business this year, on revenue of $22 billion. Walmart does not disclose these figures publicly and declines to comment.”
“That size loss is an eye-popping figure for a company that is used to printing cash and which prides itself on its profitable operations.”
Retailers have been trying for years to escape more than $90 billion in swipe fees levied by credit-card companies.
Some believe the answer lies in payment apps, with also allow retailers to collect consumer data and may provide “stickiness” with their loyalty programs.
While shoppers have largely shunned mobile payments offered by third-party providers like Apple, Google and PayPal, retailers are trying to persuade customers to embrace the technology by dangling discounts and other perks.
Several chains, including Walmart, Starbucks & Kohl’s , have had some success by baking the apps into their own loyalty programs—and more than half of companies surveyed recently by the National Retail Federation said they’ve implemented “branded digital wallets” or are considering it.
“In Amazon’s early years, a running joke among Wall Street analysts was that CEO Jeff Bezos was building a house of cards. Entering its sixth year in 2000, the company had yet to crack a profit and was mounting millions of dollars in continuous losses, each quarter’s larger than the last. Nevertheless, a segment of shareholders believed that by dumping money into advertising and steep discounts, Amazon was making a sound investment that would yield returns once e-commerce took off. Each quarter the company would report losses, and its stock price would rise. One news site captured the split sentiment by asking, “Amazon: Ponzi Scheme or Wal-Mart of the Web?”” – Lina Kahn, Yale Law Review
Eighteen years later, it’s no longer a joke. No one seriously doubts that Amazon is anything but the titan of twenty-first century commerce.
Success, efficiency and scale are achievements to be admired. Should they be regulated?
UBS Financial estimates that for every 1 percent increase in eCommerce penetration to total retail sales (excluding food & gas), 9,000 retail stores would need to close in order to maintain current levels of sales per physical store.
This would be the equivalent to shutting down seven Toys ‘R’ Us chains.
Americans spent 22 BILLION minutes on Amazon shopping platforms in December 2017 alone. More than the next nine platforms combined.
Interestingly, there is a large gap between time spent and dollars spent on mobile vs. desktop devices: while Americans spent nearly two thirds of their online shopping time on smartphones or tablets in Q4 2017, more than 75 percent of e-commerce dollars were spent on desktop devices. This indicates that many people browse products on their mobile devices, but prefer the convenience of a larger screen and keyboard to complete the checkout process.