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How Walmart Brought the Superstore into a Super App

Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner, VP of marketing for Walmart Plus, Online Grocery and Mobile App at Walmart, discusses how to build an overall experience on a mobile app, and what it takes to keep bringing more value to Walmart customers.

Photo by Marques Thomas @querysprout.com on Unsplash

Throughout the years, Walmart has brought the idea of the superstore to life. The company name is ubiquitous, most Americans live within eight miles of a Walmart, and within the store, you can find everything from groceries to automotive services to custom paint production. Seriously, there is very little that you won’t find within a Walmart. And, Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner explains that that was the exact idea that she and her team wanted to bring into Walmart Plus.

“There’s a lot of things that people don’t necessarily associate with Walmart, but when you go to a store and realize the breadth of product and services that we sell, you understand that,” Milner says. “In the digital world, we have to make sure that those things came with us, that it wasn’t just a grocery store online but it was a full Walmart experience online.”

Milner is the VP of marketing for Walmart Plus, Online Grocery and Mobile App at Walmart, and part of her wide-ranging responsibilities was building out a mobile experience that mimicked what shoppers saw and felt in the store. To do that meant transitioning users from using two apps over to one super app, and that super app is going through constant tweaks, iterations, and tests to help ensure that shoppers are getting the best commerce experience no matter who they are.

“For us the app is not a shopping app,” Milner says. “It’s an app that really helps you manage your experience at Walmart, either if you’re shopping for products, services, or something else.”

Milner says that the goal is to make Walmart Plus and its app the go-to app on every users’ phone. In order to achieve that end, Milner describes the constant testing and innovating that her team has to engage in with customers.

“What has been super important for us it’s to test different messages and to let the audiences, to let the platforms that we use, put in front of the prospective customer the right message,” she says. “For example, some people care about the freshness of the produce more than they care about the price. Some people care more about the price. Also, there’s people that want to know that we don’t have markups. Unlike most of the online grocery delivery services, Walmart doesn’t mark up the merchandise. We either charge you for the delivery or you come pick it up for free, or you are a part of Walmart+, you get it delivered for free. Those type of messages we let the platforms run their algorithms and say maybe for Stephanie the most important thing is to know that there’s no markups because she currently uses a service that has markups. For somebody else, it’s going to be about the fact that we have organic produce. For somebody else it’s going to be about the fact that we have everyday low prices. So, we just try to have a comprehensive view of what are the messages that could work, put them out there and let the algorithms do its thing.”

Technology is behind so much of what makes Walmart successful. But, more important than even the most advanced tech, is the heart and desire to do good that motivates Milner and everyone else who works at the company.

“I think when you work at a company the scale of Walmart it’s not crazy to say I want to change how America lives, and that’s what we want,” Milner says. “We want America to have more time to spend it on whatever they care about so they can live happier lives.”

To hear more about Walmart, the launch of Walmart+, and where the world’s biggest brand is headed in the future, tune into Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce



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