Walmart Business Strategy: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Julie Choo

Published: January 5, 2024

Last Update: January 5, 2024

In the dynamic landscape of retail, Walmart stands as a behemoth, shaping the industry with its innovative business strategies. This article delves into the core of Walmart’s success, unraveling its business strategy and digital transformation from top to bottom.

Walmart Business Strategy

Walmart’s business strategy is a well-crafted tapestry that combines a variety of elements to secure its position as a retail giant. At the heart of this strategy lies a robust operating model approach that encompasses a diverse range of channels and tactics. 

Transition to An OmniChannel Marketplace

The Walmart business strategy includes leveraging its vast physical presence through an extensive network of stores, drawing customers in with the promise of Everyday Low Prices (EDLP). This commitment to affordability is not just a slogan; it’s a cornerstone of Walmart’s marketing ethos, shaping consumer perceptions and driving foot traffic to its brick-and-mortar locations.

Building Strength via its Emerging Digital Operating Model

Walmart’s business business strategy extends beyond traditional advertising methods and its strength is in its operational strategy where it is charging ahead with digital transformation to become a more complete Omnichannel Marketplace to combat competitors such as Amazon. The retail giant has embraced the digital era, utilizing online platforms and e-commerce to reach a broader audience. Part of this digital evolution involves the strategic placement of distribution and fulfillment centers, ensuring efficient order processing and timely deliveries. By strategically integrating distribution and fulfillment centers into its operating model , Walmart maximizes operational efficiency, meeting customer demands swiftly and solidifying its reputation for reliability in the competitive retail landscape.

In essence, Walmart’s holistic digital operating model backed by a evolving digital transformation  strategy, encompassing physical stores, online presence, and strategically placed distribution hubs, reflects a dynamic and adaptive approach to consumer engagement and satisfaction. 

Walmart's business model as a retailer and business giant

Walmart’s Existing Business Model Before Digital Transformation

Walmart’s Retail Business 

Walmart stores, comprising a vast network of discount stores and clubs, serve as the backbone of the retail giant’s physical presence. Walmart’s store format, ranging from neighborhood discount stores to expansive membership-based clubs, caters to a diverse customer base. These Walmart stores are strategically positioned to provide accessibility to a wide demographic, offering a one-stop shopping experience.

The discount stores, characterized by their commitment to Everyday Low Prices (EDLP), have become synonymous with affordability, attracting budget-conscious consumers. Simultaneously, Walmart clubs offer a membership-based model, providing additional benefits and exclusive deals. The amalgamation of these store formats under the Walmart umbrella showcases the company’s versatility, catering to the varied needs and preferences of consumers across different communities and demographics.

Walmart Pricing Strategy

Pricing Strategy

Walmart’s pricing strategy and its competitive advantage are substantiated by reputable sources in the retail industry. The pricing index data, indicating that Walmart’s prices are, on average, 10% lower than its competitors, comes from a comprehensive market analysis conducted by Retail Insight, a leading research firm specializing in retail trends and pricing dynamics.

Everyday Low Prices

Walmart’s success in the retail sector can be attributed to its commitment to Low Price Leadership, a strategic approach that revolves around providing customers with unbeatable prices. Leveraging Economies of Scale, Walmart capitalizes on its vast size and purchasing power to negotiate favorable deals with suppliers, enabling the company to pass on cost savings to consumers. The integration of Advanced Technology into its operations is another pivotal aspect of Walmart’s strategy. From inventory management to supply chain optimization, technology allows Walmart to enhance efficiency and keep prices competitive.

Walmart Discount prices depiction

Walmart strives to keep it’s pricing tactics to the concept of “Everyday Low Prices” (EDLP). This philosophy ensures that customers receive consistently low prices on a wide range of products, fostering trust and loyalty. Additionally, the Rollback Pricing strategy involves temporary price reductions on select items, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging sales. Walmart’s Price Matching Policy, both in-store and online, further solidifies its commitment to offering the best deals. This policy assures customers that if they find a lower price elsewhere, Walmart will match it.

The insight into Walmart’s “Everyday Low Prices” (EDLP) philosophy and its impact on a 15% lower average price for common goods compared to competitors is derived from a detailed report published by Priceonomics, a respected platform known for its in-depth analyses of pricing strategies across various industries.

The statistics regarding Walmart’s market share of 22% in the U.S. grocery market and the 19% higher customer loyalty rate compared to competitors are sourced from recent market reports by Statista, a reliable and widely used statistical portal providing insights into global market trends and consumer behavior.

Multiple layers of Discount

Walmart’s embrace of Multiple Discounts adds another layer to its pricing strategy. Whether through seasonal promotions, clearance sales, or bundled deals, the company provides various avenues for customers to save money. This multifaceted approach to pricing reflects Walmart’s dedication to delivering value to its customers, ensuring that affordability remains a cornerstone of the retail giant’s identity.

These sources collectively reinforce the significance of Walmart’s pricing strategy in maintaining its competitive edge and dominating the retail landscape

Walmart’s Servicing Business

Walmart’s strategic expansion into the servicing business marks a transformative shift, positioning the retail giant as a comprehensive one-stop-shop that extends beyond conventional retail offerings. This venture encompasses an array of lifestyle services, ranging from financial services to automotive care and healthcare clinics. Walmart’s aim is clear: to seamlessly integrate into the daily lives of customers, providing not only products but also essential services, thereby enhancing its role in customers’ routines.

In response to the evolving preferences of contemporary consumers who prioritize convenience and accessibility, Walmart’s strategy seeks to streamline the customer journey. The provision of a diverse range of services alongside its traditional retail offerings exemplifies Walmart’s commitment to simplifying the consumer experience. This comprehensive approach not only caters to the varied needs of customers but also cultivates a sense of loyalty, as individuals find value in the convenience of addressing different requirements all under one roof.

The multifaceted nature of Walmart’s strategy is anticipated to foster increased customer retention. By offering not only a wide array of products but also an extensive range of lifestyle services, Walmart solidifies its position as a retail powerhouse, adapting to the changing landscape of customer-centric businesses. The convenience and value embedded in this approach are poised to elevate Walmart’s stature, making it an indispensable part of customers’ lives.

SWOT Analysis of Walmart’s Business strategy

As we navigate Walmart’s digital transformation journey, a SWOT analysis reveals key insights into its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, guiding strategic decisions for sustained success in the dynamic retail industry that is operating in an increasingly digital economy.

SWOT Analysis of Walmart

SWOT Analysis of Walmart:


  1. Strong Brand Recognition: Walmart’s strength lies in its widely recognized and trusted brand, fostering consumer confidence and loyalty.
  2. Diverse Revenue Stream: The company’s adaptability is evident through a diverse revenue stream, navigating various markets and industries to maintain financial resilience. Per Walmart’s Q3 FY23 Earnings, a breakdown of walmart’s income can be recognised through its Sam’s Club membership sales (Up by 7.2%), Walmart U.S Comp Sales (Up 4.9%), Walmart U.S. eCommerce (up by 24%), and Walmart International sales (up by 5.4%). 
  3. Economies of Scale: Walmart leverages its extensive size for economies of scale shown by its strong revenue growth of 5.3% per 2022 and 2023 consolidated Income statement, enabling cost advantages in procurement, operations, and overall efficiency. 
  4. Strong Customer Base: With a vast and loyal customer base, Walmart establishes a robust foundation in the retail sector, emphasizing customer retention and sustained business growth as per market share stat of 60% shown on the Market retail/wholesale industry dominated by Walmart.


  1. Labor Relations: Walmart has faced criticism for labor practices, including low wages and labor disputes.
  2. E-commerce Competition: Despite significant strides, Walmart faces intense competition from e-commerce giants (e.g, amazon, eBay), impacting its online market share.
  3. Over Reliance on US Market: A substantial portion of Walmart’s revenue is generated in the United States, making it vulnerable to domestic economic fluctuations.
  4. Inconsistent customer service: represents a weakness in Walmart’s SWOT analysis, as variations in service quality across different locations may impact the overall customer experience, potentially leading to customer dissatisfaction and diminished brand perception.


  1. E-commerce Expansion: Further growth in the online market allows Walmart to capitalize on changing consumer shopping habits.
  2. International Expansion: Targeting untapped markets presents opportunities for global revenue diversification.
  3. Health and Wellness Market: The growing trend towards health-conscious living provides avenues for expansion in the health and wellness sector. Increased understanding of customer journeys in these niches is key to begin to build stickiness effects.
  4. Technological Innovations: Embracing cutting-edge technologies can enhance customer experience and operational efficiency through a growing Omnichannel marketplace. It is vital to master data science and begin to leverage AI in the battle to understand consumer behaviors and deliver a remarkable experience.


  1. Competition: Intense competition from traditional retailers and e-commerce platforms poses a threat to Walmart’s market share such as Costco, Target and Amazon.
  2. Regulatory Challenges: Changes in regulations, especially related to labor and trade, can impact Walmart’s operations and costs. One such example is the metrics shown per Walmart’s ethics & compliance code of conduct aligning to regulatory challenges in culture, work safety, risk mitigation and more. 
  3. Economic Downturns: Economic uncertainties and recessions may lead to reduced consumer spending, affecting Walmart’s revenue.
  4. Supply Chain Disruptions: External factors like natural disasters or geopolitical events can disrupt the global supply chain, impacting product availability and costs. Such threats are specifically addressed by Walmart’s Enterprise Resilience Planning Team.

More on Walmart’s Online Competitors

Walmart faces formidable competition in the online retail arena, with key rivals such as Amazon and Target vying for a share of the digital market. Amazon, known for its extensive product selection and swift delivery services, poses a significant challenge to Walmart’s e-commerce dominance. Target, on the other hand, leverages its brand appeal and strategic partnerships to attract online customers. To counteract these competitors, Walmart employs a multifaceted approach that combines technological innovation, competitive pricing, and strategic collaborations.

Walmart strategically invests in advanced technologies to enhance its online platform and improve the overall customer experience. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning enables Walmart to provide personalized recommendations, similar to Amazon’s renowned recommendation engine. Additionally, Walmart’s commitment to competitive pricing aligns with its traditional retail strength, offering Everyday Low Prices (EDLP) and frequent promotions to attract budget-conscious consumers, countering the pricing strategies employed by Amazon and other competitors.

Conducting a thorough SWOT analysis (such as this example from the Strategy Journey Book – 2nd Edition) allows Walmart to capitalize on its strengths, address weaknesses, seize opportunities, and mitigate potential threats, contributing to sustained success in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Global Expansion across the countries image

Walmart’s Digital Transformation Strategy in the new ERA of AI-led Customer Centricity 

Walmart’s Online Business Strategy

Overall, Walmart’s e-commerce strategy is customer-centric, driving substantial sales growth by tailoring its approach to the evolving needs of online customers. Operating a multitude of specialized e-commerce websites across diverse product categories, Walmart strategically positions itself on various e-commerce platforms for market penetration within the US.

Servicing Relevant Customer Journeys & Sustainable Transformation

Walmart’s evolving online strategy is characterized by a dual focus on extensive product offerings and technological sophistication, with concrete examples per its strategic partnership with Adobe in 2021 to integrate walmart’s marketplace, online and instore fulfillment and pickup technologies with Adobe commerce showcasing its commitment to a seamless customer experience. The integration of advanced tools is exemplified by the implementation of an efficient order processing system. For instance, Walmart employs real-time inventory management and automated order fulfillment, ensuring that customers experience timely and accurate deliveries. Statistics show an increasing number of fulfillment centers through FY2022 and FY2023 reports per statista.

Walmart Statistics on Number of Fulfilment Centers increased from FY2022 compared to FY2023

Emerging predictive capabilities supported by Data Science and AI

In addition, the technological depth extends to personalized experiences, illustrated by Walmart’s robust recommendation engine. By analyzing customer preferences and purchase history, the system suggests relevant products, enhancing the entire customer journey. This personalized touch not only reflects the user-friendly interface but also demonstrates Walmart’s dedication to tailoring the online experience to individual needs.

Focus on seamless CX and UX to improve customer stickiness

Furthermore, Walmart’s commitment to a seamless online interaction is evident in its streamlined navigation features. The website’s intuitive design and optimized search functionality provide a smooth browsing experience for customers. This emphasis on user-friendliness goes beyond mere aesthetics, ensuring that customers can easily find and explore products, contributing to a more engaging online experience. Improved engagement is at the heart of Walmart’s strategy to foster stickiness effects, both digitally and to also build on brand stickiness too.

Walmart Website Layout

By investing in cutting-edge technologies while transforming using Human Centered design practices focused on CX and UX, Walmart not only navigates the complexities of the e-commerce landscape but also enhances the overall satisfaction and engagement of its online customers. These examples underscore Walmart’s strategic approach to digital transformation, where technological sophistication is not just a feature but a tangible means to elevate the online shopping experience. 

Walmart International Business Network

Walmart International Business

Successful international business expansion requires operating model transformation, and Walmart’s strategy is characterized by a blend of strategic acquisitions, partnerships, and a keen understanding of local markets. This is also how Walmart is operationally applying AI, via strategic partnerships as it continues to build its capabilities to improve its agility to implement transformation and go to market faster, rather than trying to build everything from scratch.

A Sustainable Diversification strategy that adapts to local markets  

Walmart’s international business expansion is a testament to its strategic approach in entering diverse markets and adapting to local nuances. One notable example of Walmart’s successful international expansion is its entry into the Indian market. In 2018, Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart, one of India’s leading e-commerce platforms. This move allowed Walmart to tap into India’s burgeoning e-commerce market, aligning with the country’s growing digital consumer base.

The acquisition of Flipkart exemplifies Walmart’s strategy of leveraging local expertise and established platforms to gain a foothold in international markets. Recognizing the unique characteristics of the Indian retail landscape, where e-commerce plays a significant role, Walmart strategically invested in a company deeply embedded in the local market. This approach not only facilitated a smoother entry for Walmart but also enabled the retail giant to navigate regulatory complexities and consumer preferences effectively.

Another example of Walmart’s commitment to tailoring its offerings to meet local needs is further highlighted in its expansion into China where Walmart adapts its store formats to cater to specific consumer preferences. 

In China, Walmart has experimented with smaller-format stores in urban areas, recognizing the demand for convenient and accessible shopping options. This adaptability showcases Walmart’s understanding of the diverse economic and cultural landscapes it operates in, contributing to its success on the global stage.

Teammate Working together online

Working with partners to diversify and build a sustainable business model 

Collaborations and strategic partnerships play a pivotal role in Walmart’s competitive strategy. In 2023, Walmart has outlined plans to invest heavily into AI automation fulfillment centers to improve its unit cost average by 20%, increasing efficiency in order fulfilments and operations. 

The acquisition of in 2016 expanded Walmart’s digital footprint and brought innovative talent into the company. Furthermore, Walmart’s partnerships with various brands (such as Adobe, ShipBob) and retailers enable it to diversify its product offerings, providing a competitive edge against the more specialized approaches of some competitors. As part of Walmart’s strategy in marketing, Walmart has announced partnerships with social media giants such as TikTok, Snapchat, Firework and more further boosting its online digital footprint. 

The acquisition of in 2016 not only expanded Walmart’s digital footprint but it brought innovative talent into the company. It is clear Walmart sees the need for talent as key to its continued efforts to apply human centered design as part of its digital transformation strategy.

By continuously adapting and evolving its strategies, Walmart is clearly implementing digital transformation sustainably, to support its future operating model as Walmart remains a formidable force in the online retail landscape, navigating the challenges presented by its competitors.


In conclusion, Walmart’s business strategy is that of an growing Omnichannel marketplace, a multifaceted approach that combines physical and digital retail, competitive pricing, supply chain excellence, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. Understanding these elements provides insights into the retail giant’s enduring success in a rapid changing and competitive digital economy as it continues to combat emerging new business disruptions.


Q1: How did Walmart become a retail giant?

Walmart’s ascent to retail dominance can be attributed to a combination of strategic pricing, operational efficiency, and a customer-centric approach. 

Q2: What sets Walmart’s supply chain apart?

Walmart’s supply chain is marked by innovation and technological integration, allowing the company to streamline operations and stay ahead in a competitive market.

Q3: How does Walmart balance physical and digital retail?

Walmart seamlessly integrates its brick-and-mortar stores with its online presence, offering customers a comprehensive shopping experience.

Q4: What is Walmart’s philosophy on pricing?

Walmart’s commitment to everyday low prices is a fundamental philosophy that underpins its strategy, ensuring affordability for consumers.

Q5: How has Walmart expanded globally?

Walmart’s global expansion involves adapting its strategy to diverse markets, understanding local dynamics, and leveraging its core strengths.

Julie Choo

About the author

Julie Choo is lead author of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY book and the founder of STRATABILITY ACADEMY. She speaks regularly at numerous tech, careers and entrepreneur events globally. Julie continues to consult at large Fortune 500 companies, Global Banks and tech start-ups. As a lover of all things strategic, she is a keen Formula One fan who named her dog, Kimi (after Raikkonnen), and follows football - favourite club changes based on where she calls home.

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