retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Business Insider quotes Walmart's CEO of e-commerce, Neil Ashe, as saying that the retailer is "building a global technology platform whose goals are as simple, frankly, as they are audacious. We want to know what every product in the world is. We want to know who every person in the world is. And we want to have the ability to connect them together in a transaction.”

Ashe also says that the company is committed to being as dominant in e-commerce as it has been with its supercenters. "“We started in the discount stores," he says. "We moved into warehouse clubs, we moved into grocery and now international. The abilities that we built in the other waves of retail we’re building at e-commerce now."

The original interview with Ashe appeared in Women's Wear Daily.
KC's View:
There's no question that Amazon has a running start on gathering and using this info ... but it seems like Walmart is highly focused on making up for lost time.

Marketplace, on National Public Radio (NPR), had a piece the other day that quoted Andreas Weigend, director of the Social Data Lab at Stanford and Berkeley, as saying that "social data is the new oil. But in order for oil to be actually useful, we need refineries.  Who is extracting stuff out of these raw data that allows us to get value out of it?"

It isn't just gathering info. It is using it effectively. Retailers that are not engaged in both practices are at risk of being irrelevant. Soon.