Marketing mix of Walmart – Walmart Marketing mix
This is a detailed analysis of the marketing mix of Walmart. It examines the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) of Walmart and explains how it has been implementing these marketing techniques to support its growth. Walmart is one of the largest companies in the world. It was founded in 1962.
Walmart offers customers a wide range of products and its products are listed in different departments. The main departments in Walmart are Electronics & Office, Movies, Music & Books, Home, Furniture & Appliances, Home Improvement & Patio, Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery, Baby & Toddler, Toys & Video Games, Food, Household & Pets, Pharmacy, Health & Beauty, Sports, Fitness & Outdoors, Auto & Tires, Photo & Personalized Shop, and Sewing, Crafts & Party Supplies (Walmart, 2020). As you can see, you can buy virtually everything you need in your day to day life from Walmart. This mega range of products indeed helps Walmart offer its customers what they need and the convenience they look for.
Price and pricing strategies of Walmart
To stay ahead of competition, Walmart focuses on low prices on a broad assortment. In fact, Every Day Low Price (EDLP) is the central focus of the company’s pricing strategy. This pricing strategy is consistent with the company’s business strategy of cost leadership. It helps Walmart make existing customers satisfied and attract new ones. Due to a number of factors, Walmart enjoys low costs and therefore, is able to offer the customers a very low price.
In addition to a low pricing strategy in general, Walmart also uses other pricing strategies e.g. psychological pricing and competitor pricing. Walmart started a price comparison test in at least 1,200 U.S. stores in a bid to close a pricing gap with Aldi, Kroger Co, and other discounters (Bose, 2017). This is an example of competitor pricing strategy. However, it should be mentioned that price war is not always the best strategy to beat competitors.
Place/distribution channels of Walmart
Walmart has over 11500 in 27 countries. It has different retail divisions i.e. discount stores, supercenters, neighbourhood markets, and Sam’s club. Discount stores offer a variety of quality and value-priced general merchandise, while supercenters offer full grocery lines and general merchandise. Most of the supercenters offer 24 hours a day service. Neighbourhood Markets offer groceries, pharmaceuticals and general merchandise, while Sam’s club is a member-only warehouse which offers a broad selection of general merchandise and large-volume items at value prices (Walmart, 2020). However, it is worth mentioning that Walmart has been accused of poor business practices concerning foreign product sourcing and treatment of suppliers.
Walmart is one of the fastest growing e-commerce organisations in the world and has a number of websites. The largest website is Walmart.com. According to a number of sources, this site sees up to 100 million unique visitors a month. Walmart has also an app called Walmart app. Thus we can see that Walmart has very dynamic and efficient distribution channels which make shopping very convenient for the customers.
Promotional strategies of Walmart
Promotional strategy is the last element to address in the marketing mix of Walmart. Walmart makes use of advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and other methods to take its messages to the target audience. It has a massive advertising budget and invested 2.75 billion U.S. dollars in advertising in the United States in 2019 (Guttmann, 2020). Walmart has used newspapers, TV, the Internet and other advertising methods over the years.
In addition to advertising, Walmart also uses other methods of promotion. For example, it regularly uses sales promotion in the form of special deals and discounts. Its CSR programmes are very well-known as well. It awards grants to organisations of all sizes. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions globally for social causes during fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2017 (Walmart, 2020).
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Last update: 08 October 2020
Bose, N. (2017) Walmart is testing a new pricing strategy to keep up with Aldi and Kroger, available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/r-exclusive-wal-mart-launches-new-front-in-us-price-war-targets-aldi-in-grocery-aisle-2017-2 (Accessed 01 April 2018)
Guttmann, A. (2020) Walmart Stores’ advertising spending in the United States from 2009 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars), available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/192068/us-ad-spending-of-walmart/ (Accessed 08 October 2020)
Walmart (2020) About us, available at: https://corporate.walmart.com/our-story (Accessed 08 October 2020)
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Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.