Walmart has surpassed online retail giant Amazon in sales growth for the first time in a decade. Global online sales for Walmart rose by 30 percent in 2013 to $10 billion, while Amazon experienced 20 percent sales growth. However, Amazon’s $67.8 billion in online sales are more than six times Walmart’s sales, and Amazon sold more last year than its next 10 largest competitors. To better compete with Amazon, Walmart is investing significantly in e-commerce.
“Walmart is intent on catching up with Amazon,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “To that end, the retailer is buying up e-commerce businesses. On Tuesday it is expected to announce the purchase of Adchemy, a search-engine marketing company that helps retailers optimize their use of search terms. It marks Walmart’s 12th e-commerce acquisition in three years.”
Walmart is heavily investing in its online initiatives. Last year, “it plowed roughly $500 million into e-commerce investments, including opening three new online fulfillment centers in Texas, Pennsylvania and Brazil and hiring 1,000 employees in Silicon Valley,” notes WSJ. Walmart is also testing same-day delivery and online grocery ordering.
The acquisition of Adchemy includes bringing 60 of the company’s employees to Walmart. The company has worked with retailers including Finish Line and Macy’s to help increase sales by using the ideal search terms on Google and Amazon.
Walmart has ambitious goals, and expects to reach $13 billion in online sales this year. In January, Neil Ashe, chief exec of Walmart’s global e-commerce division, boldly predicted that Walmart would match Amazon’s range of products and shipping times within two years.