Walmart Targets Small Businesses With Walmart Business Offering
Walmart last week launched a dedicated e-commerce site tailored to small and midsize business (SMB) customers. The website, Walmart Business, will offer “a curated assortment of more than 100,000 items with categorization and navigation tailored to busy organizational shoppers, Walmart said in a press release. The product categories include office supplies and furniture, food and beverage, restroom, electronics, and classroom and facility needs, and they were selected by Walmart after speaking with SMB customers and asking them to identify key products for their operations.
In addition, Walmart said its new small business offering also gives organizations the ability to add up to five users to a single account. Customers can share payment information, order history and purchasing power across teams. Qualified organizations can enroll in the Walmart Tax-Exemption Program (WTEP), allowing automatic removal of eligible taxes during checkout. Furthermore, purchases made through Walmart Business will be available for in-store or curbside pickup, delivery or shipping.
Lastly, for $98 a year, customers can upgrade to a Walmart Business+ membership. The upgraded membership offers free, no minimum shipping, excluding marketplace and oversized items; free pickup and delivery from stores with a $35 minimum order; 2 percent rewards on orders of $250 or more; and savings of 5 percent on eligible items set to subscription..
Total Retail's Take: Walmart executives are likely hoping this new initiative will help the retailer better compete with Amazon.com, Costco, and Staples in reaching SMB customers purchasing in bulk. Those companies have been focusing on the small business market very successfully for years. What's more, the business-to-business market is clearly an area Walmart is investing in. Earlier this month, for example, the retailer announced that it will offer fulfillment tech and delivery services to other retailers — both small and large — through a partnership it launched with Salesforce. Walmart also announced a deal with Popable in November, which allows small businesses to rent space inside Walmart stores on short-term leases. Walmart is wisely diversifying its revenue sources in an uncertain economy, becoming less reliant on its B2C brick-and-mortar shopper.