Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced the creation of its new eCommerce technology infrastructure unit called ‘Walmart Technology.’ The new unit will merge two technology divisions the retailing giant currently operates at two different geographic locations. The move is expected to speed up the pace of eCommerce innovation, as the retailer prepares to battle Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN).
The need for a single nodal technology development center to speed up its e-commerce platform is driving the integration of the two centers of the e-retailer.
The first unit is the smaller facility located at its headquarters, Bentonville, Arkansas center. The second unit is WalmartLabs, in the heart of Silicon Valley, in California. By integrating the two technology groups into a single entity, it hopes to bring in efficiency in the development of services for digital shopping.
Walmart Technology unit will house 8,000 employees driving the retailer’s reach and penetration into online shopping markets.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is slowly and steadily equipping its virtual shopping resources and ecosystem, in the past few years. It had been one of the first large retail chains to begin offering online sales, and is now a $13 billion business.
The immediate milestone for Walmart is to leverage its massive network of stores with the online sales ecosystem. Unlike Amazon.com which is slowly building out its fulfillment centers and collection points, Walmart has existing stores to act as collection centers.
Within the larger picture of eCommerce competition, smaller battles are being fought. Taunt battle lines are being drawn in grocery deliveries segment as Amazon.com strives to shorten the delivery timelines.
Wal-Mart hopes to battle Amazon’s three-hour delivery and, jets-based deliveries in the near future, with its technology readiness. It is already allowing users to place orders online and pick-up their products at any of the stores, backed by strong back end technologies that support seamless inventory management.