Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Wal-Mart Bets on Mobile for the Holidays

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) wants to help you navigate its stores during the hectic holiday shopping season, and the company is betting that an upgraded mobile app will do the trick. The megaretailer also aims to block out competition from rivals like (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) in the process.

Wal-Mart just announced its Black Friday specials. And the splashy new addition to this year's festivities is the company's mobile app, which plays a central role in the promotions. Thanks to an app upgrade and the recent GPS geofencing of all Wal-Mart stores, shoppers will have some new functionality available to them this year.

Instead of leafing through printed store maps to find deals, customers using the app will be able to browse an interactive map of the store, select an item, and see its exact location. Shoppers have the option to order the item directly from Wal-Mart's website, if they'd prefer not to lug it home themselves. The app will also be delivering sales notifications to customers from Black Friday on through its online shopping equivalent, Cyber Monday.

The company has a few good reasons to go this route. For one, mobile commerce promises to be a popular shopping method this year. Wal-Mart estimates that 40% of its holiday Web traffic will come from mobile devices, up big since even last year. And 12% of the company's mobile commerce sales actually occur while customers are in the stores. So any "showrooming" traffic that Wal-Mart can drive to its own website, instead of to Amazon's, is a win for the retailer.

Also, Wal-Mart is on the hunt for anything that can differentiate itself from competitors this holiday season. Target (NYSE: TGT  ) escalated the turkey-day battle again, announcing that it will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving after starting at midnight last year. And both Target and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) are matching some prices with online shops, in their own bids to counter showrooming and to attract shoppers this holiday season.

But, unlike these temporary deals, Wal-Mart's mobile strategy looks well-thought-out, and promises to enhance the in-store shopping experience without confusing customers. And the company should benefit from a stronger connection between its online and offline presence, even after the holidays are over.

Everyone knows Amazon is the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but at its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried it's the company's share price that will get knocked down instead of competitors'. We'll tell you what's driving the company's growth, and how to know when to buy and sell Amazon in our new premium report. Our report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as the company's story changes, so click here now to read more.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2012, at 7:25 PM, madmilker wrote:

    This O'fart is betting on the American consumer purchasing as much Made In America that they can haul away from Retailers....

    cause Retail makes just moves the consumers money of the country....

    and with Wal*Mart having their Global Procurement Office in China and the American consumer purchasing the most Made In America that they can lay their hands on....

    means those dollars will be floating around in America and not going into the hands of foreigners.

    Americans are starting to think smarter...

    but a smart phone ain't what made it happen...

    common sense did.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2110544, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 2:54:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,205.77 6.44 0.04%
S&P 500 2,137.55 -1.88 -0.09%
NASD 5,229.00 -21.27 -0.41%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 2:39 PM
WMT $69.86 Up +0.27 +0.38%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***
AMZN $820.40 Down -2.19 -0.27% CAPS Rating: ****
BBY $38.56 Down -0.73 -1.86%
Best Buy CAPS Rating: *
TGT $67.71 Down -0.88 -1.28%
Target CAPS Rating: ***