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Walmart’s Headaches from Competing With Amazon

Walmart has thousands of stores that sell hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods, and it's particularly strong in suburban and rural areas and among low- and middle-income consumers, but it’s playing catch-up with online retailer Amazon, who is on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

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  • Applico is the world’s first Platform Innovation® company. We provide advisory and implementation services to build, execute, and scale platform businesses alongside large, traditional enterprises. Our clients include Fortune 100 firms as well as multibillion-dollar private companies. Founded in…

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$3.3 billion...It's well-known that was Jet.com's price tag when Walmart went looking for its last shot at digital transformation and competing with Amazon.

Not only did Walmart acquire a different company, it acquired a completely different working culture.

Unfortunately for the retail giant, it was dissatisfied with the volume of drinking and swearing at the 3-year-old startup, so it went about changing the rules for Jet employees.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Jet had regular in-office happy hours, as well as at least one kitchen cupboard full of liquor, and employees sometimes drank at their desks.

The company is based in Hoboken, New Jersey, a town with a strong drinking culture, and founder Marc Lore runs a vineyard.

Turns out you can't simply make a successful startup do a 180 overnight.

The employee backlash was so strong that the company happy hour is back on the calendar and the language at Jet is as coarse as ever.

Just another headache for a large company that failed to innovate quickly enough and was forced to accept buying a startup to survive.


Doesn't look like a typical Walmart office, does it?

Walmart's begging its partners to nix using AWS
When you're fighting a battle with a very crafty foe, you need to be as secretive and misleading as possible.

At least, that's what Sun Tzu teaches and Walmart appears to be listening.

The massive retail machine is politely requesting that its technology vendors skirt using Amazon Web Services to when working with its proprietary data.

A spokesman said: "Our vendors have the choice of using any cloud provider that meets their needs and their customers' needs. It shouldn't be a big surprise that there are cases in which we'd prefer our most sensitive data isn't sitting on a competitor's platform."

B2Bs that start taking on Amazon will need to examine the same risks and finding alternatives (think Google, Microsoft, or Box). No need to give the enemy more ammunition, right?

Source: Applico

Related: Walmart’s E-Commerce Future under Marc Lore Starting to Come Together

How Distributors Can Fight Back: Embrace Platform Innovation
Marketplaces like Airbnb, Uber, or Alibaba’s Taobao are one type of platform. But platforms also include content platforms like Instagram or YouTube, social networking platforms like Facebook, development platforms like Apple’s iOS, and payment platforms like PayPal, among several other platform types.

Like a marketplace, each of these businesses simply connects producers and consumers to each other and allows them to exchange value.


Article Topics
Trends   Business   E-commerce   Amazon   Online Retail   Walmart   All topics


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