Fresh drives ecommerce success for Walmart’s Q3

Walmart is using pop culture “cars” to promote its grocery pickup, a move many retail observers say will help drive home big gains in e-commerce this quarter.

Walmart BB #:143789 stock hit a record high of $120.98 after the company reported a strong third quarter on November 14, and executives say fresh grocery is a big part of the success.

Commenting on the company’s 41% growth in ecommerce in the quarter, John Furner, newly-named president and CEO of Walmart US said improvements in the shopping experience for online grocery are paying off.

“Fresh food is the driver, the size of the basket is the driver,” Furner said, during a conference call discussing third quarter results on November 14. “There’s been a number of new innovations in the application that’s making it easier, everything from scheduling to the geo-fencing so we were able to tell when customers pull into the lot.”

Removing friction in the online grocery experience is a key strategy for the company, he said.

“I’ve been really impressed with the innovations the team is working on and they’re clearly thinking about how this strength becomes something we’re even stronger in in the future and we can serve more customers throughout the country.”

Walmart is on track to offer free same-day grocery pickup at more than 3,100 stores by the end of the year, and same-day delivery from more than 1,600 stores.

The company also started pilots of grocery delivery into a customer’s home in three markets, as well as a Delivery Unlimited service for a fee.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillion said the company’s success in online grocery needs to proliferate.

“We’re making progress on many fronts, but we need to do more and move faster, especially with our assortment including marketplace,” he said. “Our strength is being driven by food, which is good, but we need even more progress on Walmart.com with general merchandise.”

See the company’s full third quarter financial results here.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.