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  • Publicado : 10 de marzo de 2011
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Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
José Miguel Ariza Pinilla.
Introducción a la administración.
Articulo en inglés.

Wal-Mart Has an Online Plan to Spur In-Store Sales

Now that they havepushed online sales for several years, retailers are trying to figure out how to use online sales to spur in-store sales.
Wal-Mart is the latest in this march, and announced Thursday afternoon that itwould introduce a program nationwide called “Pick Up Today”that allows customers to submit orders online and pick up their items a few hours later in their local store. The move is not revolutionary —Sears andNordstrom, for instance, already have similar programs.
But Wal-Mart, as the world’s biggest retailer, tends to set the bar that all competitors must then hurdle, whether thatinvolves sustainability or free shipping.
Retailers say that tying online and in-store inventory together lets them sell more products to more customers. Nordstrom recently combined its inventory so that if theonline stockroom is out of a jacket, a store that has it can ship it to the Web customer. Encouraging customers to retrieve items they have ordered online in a store increases visits to the stores, whichusually increases sales. Best Buy offers both store pickup and “ship to store,” where items are shipped free to a local store. Ace Hardware , J.C. Penneyand Wal-Mart itself are among the othersoffering “ship to store” programs.
In Wal-Mart’s program, which is expected to be nationwide by June, customers can select from among 40,000 items online. They will receive a text message or e-mail alertingthem when the order is ready, which usually takes about four hours.
“Not only do we see it as a nice convenience for customers, but we also saw it as a way to drive incremental traffic to thestores, and incremental sales,” said Steve Nave, senior vice president and general manager of
Wal-Mart has been testing the program since October in about 750 stores, and Mr. Nave said that...
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