Walmart’s mission can be summarized as “helping people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores and through eCommerce.” While its vision is to “make every day easier for busy families.” Walmart defines “busy families” as the bull’s eye of its business strategy and Walmart’s business model.
Walmart’s business model evolution
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, said that “the secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want.”
And he continued, “and really if you think about it from your point of view as a customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good-quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.”
While those are things that people did want in the past, the world has also changed substantially. As technology has evolved, the experience of Walmart customers has also moved from physical to digital.
That has made Walmart adjust its core value proposition, and it also made it adapt its business model. At the core, as we’ll see in this analysis, the three elements (price, assortment, and experience) remain three critical values of Walmart’s mission statement.
Breaking down Walmart’s mission statement
Walmart Inc. helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores and through eCommerce.
Therefore, Walmart’s mission informs its business strategy and how also this has changed over the years. For instance, while the core of the Walmart business model has stayed the same, its strategy has adapted to new technologies.
As highlighted in the Walmart Investment Community Meeting of 2017:
90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart. There’s 1.4 million associates, and Walmart’s the largest grocer in the U.S. So when we think about some of these assets and we think about playing offense, we think about it across 3 dimensions: price, assortment and experience.
- And Experience
The remaining vital aspects are related to the following:
- Price, by allowing families to “saving money,” therefore low prices
- Assortment, by making Walmart “anytime and anywhere,” which is reinforced by the presence of Walmart stores across the US
- And experience by leveraging experienced and knowledgeable salespeople
Breaking down Walmart’s vision statement
In its Investment Community Meeting of 2017, Walmart executives highlighted where its direction for the future:
What is the direction? We want to be the destination for customers to save money no matter how they want to shop, whether it be pickup, delivery in 2 days or deliver in 2 hours. The idea is to save customers money at any service level.
And it clarified its vision as:
We want to make every day easier for busy families. That’s our vision
In summary, the strategy is very simple. We’re going to be maniacally focused on just nailing the fundamentals. We’re going to look for ways to play offense by leveraging unique assets. And we’re going to be focused on innovating for the future.
Therefore, Walmart’s business strategy leverages three key ingredients:
- Maniacally focusing and nailing the fundamentals
- Play offense by leveraging Walmart unique assets
- Innovating for the future
What does Walmart mean when it says “making every day easier for busy families?”
Understanding its definition and why Walmart picked this market segment will help us capture its direction:
So let’s talk about making every day easier for busy families. Why busy families? Well, it’s a big part of the market, and we’ve learned that what we do to effectively serve them helps us serve everybody else, so they’re the center of the bull’s eye.
Choosing a big enough market is a fundamental problem in the entrepreneurial world.
That is why investors often demand startups clearly understand their TAM or total addressable market.
To clarify, this isn’t a straightforward issue.
When companies are opening up new spaces and markets, none knows how big that market will be.
For instance, when smartphones took over, it became a massive market, and many companies have already moved to a mobile-first world.
Walmart picked the “busy families” because, according to them, it represents a good chunk of the families.
That makes them focus on a particular segment and informs their business strategy.
This focus allows a better and more effective execution. It also creates a flywheel or virtuous cycle.
As Walmart points out, they learned that by serving a specific segment, they end up doing anyone else better.
But who are those busy families? As pointed out in the Investment Community Meeting of 2017:
So we really have 1 member. And I want you to think of them like this. It’s a busy family, typically living in the suburbs of 1 or 2 incomes. They make somewhere between $75,000 and $125,000 a year. They may own a couple of cars. They may be employed or self-employed. They may own a small restaurant or run a small office and purchase a few things for their business.
Walmart has a clear idea of its key market segment.
Once again, this is a simplification. And it allows focus, as specified by Walmart executives:
So we’re moving forward and we’re moving quickly to align the entire business around this more narrow focus. We’re evaluating everything from our membership offering to our merchandise categories to our locations, and we’ve got some important choices to make in the future.
And what’s going on with those busy families, according to Walmart?
What’s happening with them? Well, you know they’re more connected. They’ve embraced mobile in a big way. In fact, globally, around the world, mobile commerce has grown by about 80% just in 2 years.
And that is why Walmart is becoming more and more of a digital company:
Technology will also help serve up things to customers that they might want to do. So becoming more of a digital company and learning how to work with speed is important to us throughout.
It is important to remark that technology helps an organization to better serve its target. This also implies a change in its monetization strategy.
However, its core values stay the same.
For instance, in 2018, Walmart started to roll out a program called Jetblack to serve “busy families” that, for a fixed membership price, could get a customized sales experience.
Walmart in numbers
Let’s look at some of Walmart’s critical financials for 2021:
- Mission and Vision:
- Walmart’s mission is centered around assisting people globally in achieving savings and improved living standards. This mission is accomplished through a combination of their retail stores and online eCommerce platforms. It emphasizes the company’s commitment to offering cost-effective solutions to its customers. Simultaneously, Walmart’s vision revolves around simplifying the lives of busy families by providing services and products that cater to their convenience and needs.
- Core Values:
- Walmart’s mission encapsulates three core values: price, assortment, and experience. The company strives to offer competitive prices that enable customers to save money. Moreover, their commitment to a diverse and extensive assortment of products ensures that customers have access to a wide range of choices. Lastly, Walmart places significant emphasis on providing a positive shopping experience that is both satisfying and enjoyable for their customers.
- Evolution of Business Model:
- Over time, Walmart’s business model has evolved to integrate the growing significance of eCommerce in addition to their traditional retail approach. Recognizing the digital transformation of the retail landscape, Walmart adapted its core value proposition to encompass online shopping experiences alongside physical store visits. This evolution enables customers to access Walmart’s offerings through various channels, aligning with changing consumer preferences.
- Business Strategy:
- Walmart’s business strategy is founded on three key principles. Firstly, they emphasize the importance of mastering the fundamental aspects of their operations to provide consistent quality and value to customers. Secondly, Walmart capitalizes on its unique assets and strengths to proactively engage and satisfy customer needs. Lastly, the company maintains a forward-looking perspective, continuously innovating to adapt to emerging trends and technologies in the retail industry.
- Target Market:
- Walmart’s strategic focus centers on catering to the needs of busy families, particularly those residing in suburban areas. These families typically have 1-2 sources of income and earn within the range of $75,000 to $125,000 annually. By understanding and addressing the needs of this specific segment, Walmart is better positioned to create tailored solutions that resonate with their target audience.
- Technology Integration:
- Technology is a pivotal component of Walmart’s strategy to serve its customers effectively. The company recognizes the increasing role of technology in modern life, especially among busy families. This integration involves leveraging digital platforms, mobile applications, and online services to enhance the shopping experience, provide convenience, and offer personalized solutions based on customer preferences.
- Jetblack Program:
- The Jetblack program, introduced by Walmart in 2018, exemplifies the company’s commitment to meeting the unique demands of busy families. This initiative offers a subscription-based service that provides personalized shopping experiences to members. Through this program, Walmart aimed to simplify the shopping process for busy families by offering tailored product recommendations, convenient delivery options, and other value-added services
Read: Mission Statement Examples.