retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that Walmart "is making changes to its website to personalize the online shopping experience of each customer … rolling out a feature that will enable its website to show shoppers more products that they may like, based on their previous purchases. It also will customize Wal-Mart's home page for each shopper based on where that customer lives, showing local weather and events, as well as the customer's search and purchase histories."

The change, the story says, is part of Walmart's continuing efforts to be competitive with Amazon's offerings, which is scheduled to culminate in a total site redesign and and re-launch early next year.

The AP story notes that Walmart's "e-commerce sales increased by 30 percent to over $10 billion in its fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. By comparison, Wal-Mart's U.S. discount division has had five straight quarters of sales declines at stores opened at least a year. Wal-Mart sees big growth opportunity in the online business: Online sales still are only a fraction of the $473 billion Wal-Mart generated in overall annual revenue, dwarfed by Amazon's $60.9 billion in annual sales."
KC's View:
There's no question that Walmart is arming itself for the ultimate battle with Amazon, just as Amazon is playing hardball with suppliers and investing heavily in a wide variety of initiatives as a way of making sure that it does not lose the e-commerce advantage it has established.

I keep wondering about the collateral damage will result from this expected epic battle. Because I think there potentially could be a lot of it.