Tag Archive | "Walmart"

Walmart, Verizon, BMW Having Success With STRIVR Virtual Reality Training Technology

“We started the rollout to all of the Walmart retail environments at the end of 2019 and so far so good,” says STRIVR CEO Derek Belch. “We’ve had almost a million Associates go through different training modules. Doug McMillon actually in their earnings report a month ago did reference employee training as being one of the reasons that their earnings are what they are. So it’s definitely something that we’re seeing have a very positive effect as it relates to placing employees in these simulation-based learning environments that virtual reality affords.”

Derek Belch, founder and CEO of STRIVR, discusses the success that enterprise companies such as Walmart, Verizon, and BMW are having with their virtual reality employee training technology in an interview on CNBC:

Walmart VR Training Positively Impacting Earnings

We started the rollout to all of the Walmart retail environments at the end of 2019 and so far so good. We’ve had almost a million Associates go through different training modules. Doug McMillon actually in their earnings report a month ago did reference employee training as being one of the reasons that their earnings are what they are. So it’s definitely something that we’re seeing have a very positive effect as it relates to placing employees in these simulation-based learning environments that virtual reality affords. It’s been really cool.

Walmart VR Training – Oculus x Walmart x STRIVR

We have about 30 customers in the Fortune 500 right now. It’s definitely crossing the chasm. We’re still on our way up here in the early adopters’ phase but we’re seeing this catch on. There’s definitely product-market fit for immersive learning as we call it. This is the real deal. This is very similar to pilots in a flight simulator. Historically, we’ve trained employees or we’ve assessed employees via PowerPoint’s, videos, and lectures. Candidly, we don’t know if people are half asleep or if they’re actually engaged. 

Now with virtual reality, we’re able to put people through simulation-based learning, simulation-based training, simulation-based assessment, and it’s catching on. I think by this time next year if you’re not doing something (with VR training) you’re behind in the Fortune 500. We’re seeing that this is the real deal.

VR Technology Finding Its Legs As a Useful Tool In the Enterprise

At this point, we’ve talked to everybody. There isn’t a company in the Fortune 500 that we have not talked to in some way, shape, or form. We are not working with Amazon currently. We have talked to them on and off and we’ll see where that goes. To be honest, I’m not really worried about anyone doing this themselves. This is still the very early days of virtual reality. We work very closely with Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, they’re a great partner of ours. 

We take a lot of pride at STRIVR and what we call the end-to-end solution which is basically, hey,  in the early days while you’re an early adopter and the technology is certainly viable and ready it’s also really difficult to scale. So we do a lot of heavy lifting for our partners, Walmart being one of them along with Verizon and BMW. We just do a lot of work for them up front while the technology is finding its legs to get to the point where computers, iPads, and cell phones are right now as a useful tool in the enterprise. I’m not worried about anybody in the next 18 months or so doing this on their own but certainly, we’ll see as the ecosystem evolves where it goes from there.

STRIVR VR Technology Being Used by Verizon

As it relates to the viability of using this as a predictive tool, this is how the Walmart use case came about with using this for assessments. Were actually patent pending right now on what we call an engagement algorithm to see how engaged somebody is during a simulation. We tell our partners all the things we’re working on behind the scenes and Walmart said they wanted to test that out to see if this would be a good use case for them. 

We Take Pride That Our VR Experiences Won’t Lead To Nausea

This (disorientation) is an issue for sure. That question always comes up in every demo. “Hey, am I going to get sick? Oh, I’m good, I don’t need to put it on. I got sick last time.” This is all about how the brain works and your equilibrium. If you’re sitting or you’re standing and you put on a headset and now you’re on a rollercoaster or you’re running through an active shooter game or something like that, yeah you’re going to get nauseous because your body is static but your brain thinks that it’s doing something else.

We take a lot of pride in making sure that the experiences we build along with some of the subtle things we do in the software aren’t going to lead to nausea.

Walmart, Verizon, BMW Having Success With Virtual Reality Training Technology – STRIVR CEO Derek Belch

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Walmart Can’t Let Amazon Out Walmart Walmart

“I’ve been watching Walmart since 1968, they only came into existence in 62, they’ve done the same thing to the rest of retail,” says Jan Kniffen of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide. “They kept making a new step every time and the rest of retail had to follow and they won the game, they got all the market share. They can’t let Amazon out Walmart Walmart (when it comes to free one-day shipping). Walmart will fight this battle to the bitter end.”

Jan Kniffen, CEO of J Rogers Kniffen World Wide, discusses Walmart’s likely reaction to Amazon’s free one-day shipping announcement in an interview on CNBC:

Walmart Tweets One-Day Free Shipping…Without a Membership Fee

Walmart is going to get to same-day delivery and so is Amazon. They’re just making the steps down. I would have come out with that tweet because they can say we’ll give it to you maybe same-day and no membership fee. They’ve been tit for tat for with Amazon right along. I think that Walmart with its 4,500 stores that are many distribution centers can keep up with Amazon on delivery. Can anybody else? Maybe not, but those two certainly can.

Walmart can do same day and they should do it. The real question is what’s the cost to them to do this and what’s the cost to Amazon? They’ve already told us, it’s hundreds of millions of dollars. But what’s the cost to everyone else? Because market shares are what it costs everyone else. Walmart’s got to do this if Amazon does. They can’t give Amazon market share just because their deliveries are not as fast. But can anyone else keep up and pay the price that it takes to be able to do it? It’s really hard to imagine other people can. Amazon and Walmart both can.

Walmart Can’t Let Amazon Out Walmart Walmart

If you’re the investor I’m sure you’re going I don’t want this to happen. If you’re Walmart you’re saying I don’t really have a choice if Amazon does this I have to be competitive. Amazon caused Walmart or Walmart’s competitive nature caused it to spend a fortune over these last five years to be competitive with Amazon. When Doug (McMillon) came out and talked about it the stock went down a lot. Now it’s all come back and it’s all paid off and Walmart’s winning the game versus all of the other retailers. They’ve got to continue to do that.

I’ve been watching Walmart since 1968, they only came into existence in 62, they’ve done the same thing to the rest of retail. They kept making a new step every time and the rest of retail had to follow and they won the game, they got all the market share. They can’t let Amazon out Walmart Walmart. Walmart will fight this battle to the bitter end. The question is do you still want to own the stock? My answer is yes you do just like you still want to own Amazon stock. These two win the game.

Target is the Third Man Out in This Three-Horse Race

I’m not pushing Target. I think Target is the third man out in this three-horse race. Target has done a great job. They’re a much better retailer than they were three or four years ago. They were the best retailer in the country in 2006. Now we’ve reached the point where it is sort of a three horse race and I just don’t see how they continue to win the game.

I understand the call (by Barclays) and they are doing a much better job in apparel than they’ve done in years. But they’ve still got to fight this battle on things like same-day delivery with Walmart and Amazon. I don’t see how they win.

Walmart Can’t Let Amazon Out Walmart Walmart

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Walmart Planning Delivery Right Into Your Fridge

Walmart is looking at delivering groceries right into your fridge says Walmart Ecommerce President and CEO Mark Lore. And the step after that Lore says is delivery without even ordering, presumably using IoT technology to keep track of your refrigerator inventory.

Mark Lore, President & CEO of Walmart U.S. E-Commerce and Founder and CEO of Jet.com discussed the future of ecommerce on CNBC’s Mad Money:

Our Stores are Hybrid Warehouses

This is very exciting and this is one of the reasons why I was so excited to come to Walmart. There are 4,700 stores within 10 miles of 90 percent of the population, fresh and frozen and every one of these stores just about, and we’re doing pickup free pickup on groceries in 2,100 stores and started rolling out same-day delivery as well. We should have 40 percent of the population covered by the end of this year and 60 percent of the population covered by the end of next year.

Our stores are hybrid warehouses. But what’s really interesting is that we’re moving stuff in full truckload quantities. If you think about it, these stores that are doubling as warehouses are already profitable before the first pick. So we have a lot of like good turning inventory and the food is fresh.

Stores Are a Huge Advantage with Same-Day Delivery

We’re charging for delivery and customers are paying for it so that’s sort of a wash. We’re picking product in the stores that already have a really good sort of marginal profit because the stores are already profitable and our fixed overhead is covered.

I think this is a big advantage (over Amazon) and one of the reasons why I’m so excited to be at Walmart. Stores give Walmart a huge advantage in this sort of like Omni approach to retail.

Walmart Planning Delivery Right Into Your Fridge

Think about the next level from that, delivery right into the fridge. Basically a one-time code, they come in with the camera on their chest, you can watch it on your iPhone and see them come in and put it in your fridge and leave. This will build confidence and trust in these Walmart associates doing the delivery. Imagine going to work and coming home and there’s the stuff in your fridge already. That’s the next step.

Take it a step further, not even having to order it. How about just being able to keep you in stock on everything you need and just not even having to think about it.

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Walmart Competes Against Amazon for Flipkart Buy-In, $12 Billion Offered for Controlling Stake

US companies Walmart and Amazon are competing to acquire a controlling stake in Flipkart, India’s leading eCommerce company. Walmart has completed an in-depth due diligence on its proposed majority ownership in the Indian firm. However, rival Amazon also wants to put in a bid and offers a ‘breakup fee’ of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion, a penalty to be paid in case the deal fails to proceed.

Unnamed sources revealed that Walmart is willing to pay $ 10 billion to $ 12 billion for a controlling stake of 51 percent or more, valuing Flipkart at roughly $ 20 billion. But the deal isn’t sealed yet because Amazon is reportedly interested as well.

Insiders privy to the matter disclosed that Flipkart’s board recently discussed the competing proposals. They seem to agree that Walmart’s offer is better since the US retailer will face fewer regulatory hurdles. On the other hand, Amazon is considered as Flipkart’s primary competitor. It will face tighter scrutiny for possible monopoly since both companies control the majority of India’s online retail market.

Founded by two former Amazon employees, Flipkart is taking on the eCommerce giant to have a piece of India’s expanding online retail market. According to Morgan Stanley estimates, eCommerce in the country is predicted to grow annually by 30 percent and will be worth $ 200 billion by 2026.

Because of its vast potential, Amazon is investing heavily in the emerging market. The eCommerce giant has spent $ 5 billion for its India operations but is losing to homegrown startups like Flipkart that know the market well.

Flipkart announced recent plans to construct a 4.5 million sq. ft. logistics facility in Southern India. This is significantly bigger than Amazon’s largest warehouse measuring 400,000-sq. ft. in the country. But the US online retailer also has 62 fulfillment centers and delivery stations located all over India.

Walmart’s entry will give the startup its much-needed funds to compete head-on with Amazon. Flipkart will also benefit from the retailer’s unparalleled experience in logistics and supply chain management.

The largest US retailer’s stake in Flipkart will depend on which of its shareholders are willing to sell. SoftBank, Tiger Global, and Naspers are just some of its largest investors. Insiders said that SoftBank prefers a deal with Amazon because of its success in online commerce. Tiger and Naspers will likely sell their holdings to Walmart for the right price, according to sources.

As of writing, Walmart, Amazon, and Flipkart have declined to comment on the matter.

[Featured image via Flipkart website]

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Walmart sending customers to other etailers? It’s not a miracle, it’s Adsense

Sponsored Product Ads on WalmartIn the classic Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street, Macy’s’ Santa Claus is caught sending customers to competitor Gimbels because making a child happy is more important than making a buck. At first, the Macy’s execs are horrified until they realize that what they’ll gain in goodwill by continuing the practice will actually improve sales over all.

I think Walmart must have been having a “miracle” moment when they agreed to be part of the new Google Adsense for Shopping program.

I searched Walmart.com for a Frozen throw and this is what turned up in the sidebar – ads for related products from OTHER retailers. If you click that blue question mark at the top, this is what pops up:

Walmart.com’s Sponsored Links are provided by the Google AdWords™ program. Companies pay for these links to have their products and services appear with specific search terms. These listings are administered, sorted and maintained by Google.

Clicking on sponsored links will take you away from Walmart.com. The website you link to is not endorsed by Wal-Mart.

This is part of a beta test Google is running to put product ads on third-party sites. Google is in the process of changing all Product Listing Ads into Shopping Campaigns. When you click the right opt-in buttons, your campaign could show up on any one of the retail sites in Google’s Search Network.

This concept is wonderful for the smaller retailer who needs a boost but I don’t understand why Walmart wants to run these ads. Are the earned ad dollars enough to compensate for sending shoppers elsewhere? Or maybe they’re thinking. . . we’re going to lose them anyway because we don’t have what they want so why not take what we can get.

The ad bar was located way down near the bottom of the page, so I doubt most people will even see it but it’s still a little odd.

This third-party expansion by Google is likely a response to the news that Amazon is starting their own Ad Network. When it comes to customer shopping data, nobody has more than Amazon. If they use that to leverage ad sales AdWord execs are going to have more than a few sleepless nights.

In related news, AdWords is about to update their policies regarding the advertising of “dangerous products or services”. In addition to the kinds of items you’d expect, the new rules will also prohibit advertisements for BB guns and paintball guns. You can preview those new rules right here.

 

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Tracy Morgan: Walmart Truck Driver Charged In Deadly Accident

The Walmart truck driver who reportedly caused the accident that killed a comedian and left actor Tracy Morgan and two others in critical condition on Saturday has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.

35-year old Kevin Roper turned himself in to police after the accident and was later released on $ 50,000 bail. He has been placed on leave from his job, and Walmart president Bill Simon said the company will take responsibility for the crash if an investigation proves the truck was at fault. Roper reportedly failed to slow down for traffic and swerved, causing his truck to run full into the limo bus that Morgan and a group of comedians were riding in after a performance. A total of six vehicles were involved, but authorities say there were no other injuries.

Morgan was listed in critical condition as of Sunday, but doctors said he was more responsive after having surgery on his broken leg. The 30 Rock actor also suffered a broken nose and several broken ribs.

James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, the victim in the crash, was a close friend of Morgan’s and had worked with him for years.

Sabina Morgan, told the New York Daily News. “He was one of the first comedians that took Tracy under his wing. They were very close,” said Sabina Morgan, Tracy’s ex-wife.

The driver of the limo said he heard Morgan’s screams for help after the car came to a stop but couldn’t get to him or the other passengers. As of this time, McNair’s cause of death hasn’t been released, but his passing has affected the comedy community greatly.

“There may be guys like Tracy who get the fame and notoriety, but you have people like Jimmy Mack who have kind of energized and fueled cats like Tracy and kept them going on the road,” comedian Royale Watkins said.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


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From Father Of Three And Walmart Employee, To Internet Success Story, Joey Kissimmee Explains How He Made It Big Online

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Joey Kissimmee worked at Walmart for ten years. During that time, to make extra cash he went online and managed to bring in a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month whenever he needed it.

He started with eBay, ordering a CD-Rom from a poster … Read the rest of this entry »

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Walmart to Credit Stores for Online Sales

In retail, the sales goal is the sword by which you live or die and with online sales eating into the holiday profits, it’s going to be a tough balancing act for many a store manager. Next year, though, things will be a little better for the manager at your local Walmart.

Starting on February 1, Walmart stores will be given credit for online sales that originate in their area. AdAge says this is just one part of a huge push to make the retail chain a contender in the online marketplace.

Earlier this year, Walmart switched their Facebook page so it presents results at the local level. They’re also experimenting with a variety of shipping options, including ship-to-store. This option allows consumers to shop online, knowing that when they hit the store for pick-up, they’ll likely buy more items before they leave.

Walmart has also taken a big step into the mobile market with an updated iPhone app and a brand new iPad app.  The iPhone app allows shoppers to make their list using voice or a built-in scanner. They can check local stock, track orders, even download coupons for in-store use.

The iPad app is interesting because traditionally, the Walmart customer is in a much lower economic bracket than your average iPad user. Store spokesman David Tovar told AdAge that iPads aren’t just for the wealthy anymore and that they’re a popular layaway item. And maybe an iPad app will be just the thing to pull in those shoppers who wouldn’t even consider stepping inside a Walmart store.

All of this points to the fact that the king of brick and mortar is taking online seriously and it’s a trend that’s going to continue. More and more shoppers are using their mobile device to buy everything from DVDs to groceries, and any chain not poised to take advantage of that is going to have a hard time.

But Walmart’s tactic is particularly smart because it hits on two big marketing trends, mobile and local. It pushes the convenience of online with the immediate results of in-store. And by giving employees credit for online sales, they’re making everyone a part of the same team. Kind of like when Macy’s Santa Claus sent folks over to Gimbels. In the end, it’s customer satisfaction that counts.

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