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Walmart, BoA Are Top IT Spenders
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soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 11:52:38 AM
walmart
I hate to admit it, because of all their bad press and reputable bad practices, that Walmart is one of my favorite stores. I use Amazon Prime now because it's easier to get things shipped than have to walk into a store, but if it was convenient, I would love to go to Walmart. I have also successfully shopped at Walmart.com. This information just adds to their appeal for me.
cafzali
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cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
4/8/2015 | 3:33:27 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg Attitudes about Wal-Mart seem to vary a lot, depending in large part on who the competition is where you are and how the Wal-Mart is in your area.

In my experience, in areas where real estate is more expensive, Wal-Mart generally has a poor shopping experience compared to Target, which aims at a more upscale demographic. Also, in places where labor competition is tougher, you generally get pretty poor customer service from Wal-Mart stores, but better service in Target, which pays its workers more. Wal-Mart's e-commerce operations are very good, though.

From an IT perspective, though, nothing beats the sophistication of Wal-Mart Stores (the parent) when it comes to knowing what sells where. They purposefully carry different stock in different stores because they have data on sales like no one else.

 
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 4:27:04 PM
Re: walmart
@cafzali

Oops! I forgot about Target! Love Target. When I lived near one I used to go in for one item and leave with $100 worth of stuff. Amazon Prime is my best friend now since I'm not close to Walmart or Target.

"From an IT perspective, though, nothing beats the sophistication of Wal-Mart Stores (the parent) when it comes to knowing what sells where. They purposefully carry different stock in different stores because they have data on sales like no one else."

--Yes, they localize very well.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 2:25:42 AM
Re: walmart
@soozyg, I would say with retail you always pay one way or other... even Amazon Prime is great... but in my case it does cost me - as I buy more with "free shipping"....
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 8:01:13 AM
Re: walmart
@batye yes but with Amazon Prime, I really do save money. I did an analysis (which took about 2 minutes) of the shipping associated with my orders over the last 3 years and found that the free shipping is deceiving. Because though one or two deliveries were free, others cost more than the actual project and most did not come in 2 days. With Prime I am saving between $20-$100 every year AND the two day shipping is wonderful.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 10:45:58 AM
Re: walmart
@soozyg, yes, but in my case with free shipping I tend to overspend :( to my CFO/wife displeasure....
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2015 | 3:45:48 PM
Re: walmart
@batye, I'm sure that's where they get a lot of people! free shipping definitely increases spending.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/10/2015 | 3:31:13 AM
Re: walmart
in my case I tend to over spend too much... just tooooo much...
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 11:23:17 AM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: Is that savings after you factor in the cost of Amazon Prime membership?
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2015 | 3:45:02 PM
Re: walmart
@tkgkg

Hey! Long time no type! : )

Yes, that is totally after the AP cost. Amazon Prime is $99. I was paying at minimum $100 and it went as high as $230, I think.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/22/2015 | 5:51:45 PM
Re: walmart
Hey soozyg! Yes it has been a long time. I miss those radio shows too! AP sounds like a good deal. Amazon really knows what it is doing.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2015 | 2:28:06 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, I miss those radio shows. We actually (sort of) talked in real time! I hope they do the shows again, and not at 3pm EST, I'm always carpooling my kids at that time.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 1:05:37 AM
Re: walmart
@soozyg same here.... as my wife always plans shopping trips from 2:00 to 4:00 :)... I do hope to see more radio shows at 12 or 12:30 :) 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2015 | 12:42:40 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: "Sort of real time" was the operative phrase!!! I remember how much fun we had sorting out connection issues. But it was a great community and it is good to see you and some of the other folks from the good old days.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2015 | 1:37:32 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, remember the Chat Monster? lol The transition to a new company might be another example of bigger NOT being better. I miss the intimacy of the old house....
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 5:26:25 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: Ah the Chat Monster!!! Those were the daze... You are so right about missing the intimacy of the old place. While i still see the old gang from time to time (it is good to see Batye again), i miss the community we had and the frequent get togethers.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 6:45:21 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, I miss Sara's wigs and her amazing interviews and Susan putting an emoticon after every thing she typed. And I miss Dave naming things and giving things titles as we went along.....
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 9:21:07 AM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: So do I. Now i am getting really nostalgic for the old days. Wish they would come back.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 10:00:24 AM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg oh, how could I forget to mention Curt's amazing interviews and questions. I remember a long time ago 60 Minutes profiled the father-son company that made the NFL films of the 1970s. I remember they chose a narrator whose voice was so nice to listen to he could read the dictionary and the audience would swoon. Well, similarly, Curt could make a doorknob seem interesting!
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 1:21:34 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: LOL! Yes Curt was that good. And he did not need the dramatic music that the NFL guys used!
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/7/2015 | 1:41:31 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg, you and the rest of the crew here are going to give me a swelled head!

A lot of us miss the wonderful sense of community we had: We're working hard to re-create it here. I hope everyone will stay tuned, because later this Summer we're going to to have some big announcements about radio. I think (hope?) that we'll have some shows that will be worth everyone coming together for!
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 4:47:34 PM
Re: walmart
@Curt, I look forward to that. I miss the shows. They were so interesting and engaging.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 1:02:58 AM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, I could not agree more... Amazon it like power house with golden touch... this days....
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 5:24:03 PM
Re: walmart
@Batye: I like Amazon and i don't even have the Prime membership!
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 7:46:44 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg, maybe one day :) you will :)
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 9:25:30 AM
Re: walmart
@batye: Positive thinking!
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2015 | 10:58:26 AM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg Yes never give up...
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2015 | 7:44:34 PM
Re: walmart
Good advice, Batye!
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 6:47:03 PM
Re: walmart
@batye @tjgkg yes, Amazon the powerhouse. I normally hate behemoths but they have proven they have the golden touch, I agree. I really can't live without them. Ha!
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 7:46:00 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg, Amazon know how to treat customer... and they willing to take loss to please customer... simple old way... of doing things....
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 2:31:59 AM
Re: walmart
@cafzali, interesting observation... I trust you are right... as same pattern with Walmart I see it in Canada... like a mirror... as before to win customers in Canada Walmart did offer free shipping on 0.99 cents items via Canada Post... - go figure... but now when Walmart win over Target and BestBuy customers... to get free shipping from Walmart you must spend $50 Cad but quality of the shipping is the same... 
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 12:18:03 PM
more
I also like the fact that when Walmart was going to launch Walmart.com, they made a separate office and developed it like a completely different business. I can't speak to the inner workings on the sales floor, but they are excellent at business.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 1:11:26 PM
Re: more
I never used to shop at Nordstrom until I started working across the street from one.  I must say, it is a similar experience to shopping at the Apple store.  From their handy phones, they can check you out, email you your receipt, and look you up if you don't have your credit card.  They're also able to quickly view inventory and find an item anywhere in the country without having to actually call a bunch of stores to do so.  

It's become my go-to shopping place - even though it is a little pricer, but the experience is so much better, it is worth it to me.  Most other department stores are finally starting to get the message and jump on the bandwagon but a dollar short and a day late in my book!
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 1:46:11 PM
Re: more
Yes, being able to give fantastic customer service is the difference between repeat customers and lost customers. I use Peapod delivery service and I think I'm paying a little bit more, but their customer service is excellent and it's so damn convenient!
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 1:56:28 PM
Re: more
@soozyg - I'm not familiar with Peapod - I will certainly look it up but could you tell us all a little more? Is it only available in select areas?
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 2:03:17 PM
Re: more
Peapod operates out of Stop & Shop (like Drugstore.com runs out of Walgreens), so if you don't have a Stop & Shop near you, you won't have Peapod. There's also Fresh Direct and Hello Fresh, but I think Hello Fresh is just about fresh produce. Maybe Google food delivery to find out what's services your area? As a single mom of 2 who works from home, delivery convenience is crucial to me!
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
4/9/2015 | 10:24:27 AM
Re: more
Peapod.com is an excellent example of a customer service that's gotten better in the last few years. One of the major things they did was connect their inventory system to the customer facing order screen, so it will tell you what's out of stock, which is important when you are ordering. They've made a mistake by cutting out the "customer substitution" options, but perhaps they'll phase that back in
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
4/10/2015 | 9:26:16 AM
Re: more
jastroff,

actually, i've experienced those substitutions sometimes without the choice. i do remember those substitution options on the site. now when the delivery shows up, sometimes, i think, they do automatic substitutions on some items. i guess it depends on availability?
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 2:27:13 AM
Re: more
@jastroff, interesting example as this days all online retailers strive to provide real - time inventory or at least try...
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 11:26:23 AM
Re: more
Most etailers these days have an indicator if the item is in stock. Most are accurate but there are a few sites that are not.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 11:01:01 PM
Re: Walmart, BoA Are Top IT Spenders
This definitely pulls a lot of things into perspective. Think about big IT innovators; Does Walmart come to mind at all? Even banks, who we all know have rigorous IT needs would not necessarily top most people's lists. What we have here is a referendum on the 'everyone is digital' mantra - the size of your company directly translates to the size of your IT spending. The idea of the virtualization, etc. mainstays we talk about here every day trying to court the old guard may be a bit jarring, but I have every belief that it's the truth. SoozyG adds an interesting point - these big companies have multiple 'arms'. If Wal-Mart developed it's site as a seperate business, that business needed extra IT staff, extra management, and extra infrastructure. It's that kind of scale that led Amazon to build AWS, which is now one of their biggest offerings (and coincidentally comes back into play here).

I am curious about these customer-facing offerings, though. First, we're lacking some details here. What kind of apps did Nordstrom develop? I read once about their employees carrying tablets or something similar, but that was only a pilot program at some stores, I think. Does anyone know if that's still going on? Second, I wonder how many customers are actually regular users of these kinds of in-store things. As Cafzali points out, Walmart is known for catering to certain demographics. People who want to get their shopping done fast, all in one place, and at the lowest possible price - perhaps not the most tech-inclined bunch. Heck, I'm a huge gadget geek, and I can't think of one time I've pulled out my phone in a store for any kind of "enhanced experience". It seems like everyone keeps saying that 'next year' is the big year for this to take off, but when is next year coming?
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/5/2015 | 2:23:49 AM
Re: Walmart, BoA Are Top IT Spenders
@zerox203 interesting point... but I would say with Walmart you never know... but in my books Walmart is a same player as Amazon...


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