Walmart Starting Post-Black Friday Online Sales Earlier to Fight Amazon
Walmart (WMT) is trotting out post-Black Friday online deals a day earlier this year to avoid any lull during the crucial upcoming shopping weekend.
With its eyes firmly on Amazon.com (AMZN), the world’s largest retailer said on Monday it will start a new batch of what it calls “Cyber Week deals” on Friday, November 25 a minute after midnight Eastern time, to keep the momentum going. Such deals started last year on the Saturday of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Walmart hasn’t yet announced its Cyber Monday plans, but last year, Cyber Monday morphed into Cyber Sunday, with promotions starting at 6pm that evening.
The earlier start times will also help showcase the new weapons in Walmart’s e-commerce arsenal. Thanks in large part to a long-awaited overhaul in its marketplaces that was completed this summer, the assortment of merchandise on Walmart.com has grown to 23 million items, up from 8 million a year ago. There are now about 3,000 marketplace sellers. Thanks to that expansion, shoppers can find many items they wouldn’t ever find in a Walmart store, including products from the upscale fashion brand Michael Kors (KORS).
The benefits of that effort were clear to see last week when Wal-Mart Stores reported Thursday that global e-commerce sales had risen 20.6% in the third quarter, a marked re-acceleration over earlier quarters. (In the first fiscal quarter of 2016, they rose a mere 7%.) Walmart recently purchased jet.com for $3 billion, and put that company’s founder, Marc Lore, in charge of its $14 billion a year online business.
At a press briefing last month, Walmart’s top executives made it clear to rivals they should expect a price war during the holiday season.
Unlike key rivals such as Best Buy (BY) and Target (TGT), Walmart is not waiving its minimum order size requirement for free shipping during the holiday season, still requiring shoppers to order at least $50 worth of merchandise. But the company claims that the point is moot for the vast majority of orders, saying that last year some 90% of orders place from Thanksgiving to the following Monday (Cyber Monday) met that threshold anyway. What’s more, Walmart is heavily pushing the in-store pickup of online orders option, having invested heavily in overhauling and staff those areas of the store.
There are also signs Walmart’s efforts to get people to shop via its mobile app, including the launch this year of its Walmart Pay mobile app, are working. In the first half of November, orders that were placed on the app but picked up in store rose 75%. The retailer is trying to get people hooked on its app the same way many shoppers are addicted to the Amazon shopping app.
Below are some of the “Cyber Week” deals, which really start on Black Friday first thing. (Meanwhile, Walmart’s Black Friday deals start on Thanksgiving evening. Confused? Us too.) In all, there will be 2,500 deals a day, with many available the whole week and others only for a day. This does not include separate Cyber Monday deals.
- Samsung 60″ 1080p HD Smart LED TV for $579 with $80 Walmart Gift Card
- Google Home for $99
- Promark P70 VR Drone for $99
- Quadrone Hybrid Drone for $99
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera (includes Mini Film 10pk) for $49
- Black + Decker Robotic Vacuum for $196
- bObsweep bObi Pet Robotic Vacuum Cleaner for $249
- Polaroid Cube+ Action Camera with WiFi for $109.99
- 6V Spider-Man Speed Coupe for $79
- 6V Trolls Speed Coupe for $79
- Ozark Trail 28-Piece Premium Camping Combo Set for $149
- 55″ My First Trampoline with Lightpad and Enclosure for $59
- Lifetime 44″ Portable Adjustable Basketball System for $89
- Gold’s Gym AbFirm Pro for $49
- Ozark Trail 30-Ounce Double-Wall, Vacuum-Sealed Tumbler for $9.74