Walmart Canada online sales increase with 'virtual warehouse' network

10/18/2012

Walmart Canada has expanded the selection of products it offers online to Canadian residents by tying into the CommerceHub network where close to 10,000 product suppliers congregate on the web, ready to ship goods.

"It does give us access to vendors of all sizes," said Simon Rodrigue, general manager of e-commerce for Walmart Canada in an article on Network World.

CommerceHub offers a way to communicate with thousands of direct-ship suppliers, allowing Walmart Canada to place electronic purchase orders for direct shipment to Canadian customers.

The article says the network is "like a virtual warehouse that augments Walmart Canada's own supply chain, long known for its use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) technology."

It is believed CommerceHub manages $4 billion in goods annually, and along with Walmart Canada is used by retailers that include Sears, Kohl's, Costco and Staples, said the article.

Walmart Canada has only been conducting e-commerce online at its website for the past year.

Rodrigue said the retailer is focused on serving Canadian customers and the site won't ship across the border.

He added that the e-commerce development focus now is looking at how to reach customers effectively via mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

He said he envisions mobile e-commerce as reaching shoppers who carry mobile devices while in Walmart stores well as outside of them. "We want to allow the customer to buy what they want, when they want," he said in the article.

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