Can The World’s Biggest Company Conquer The Web?

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 5 2012 @ 6:39pm

Farhad Manjoo sizes up Walmart's digital footprint:

Walmart can succeed online without becoming the Amazon of the web. The phrase I hear most often from Walmart people is that the only way the company will win online is "by being Walmart." And they're right. Walmart doesn't need to be something radically different. The company that mastered IT in the service of unbeatable prices must now master web technology. It doesn't need to chase Amazon so much as it needs to identify how a digital Walmart can be as much a part of its customers' lives as the stores are today.

And it has to think long term. It may take a decade or more for Walmart to be a successful digital retailer. "Somebody at one of the board meetings asked me, 'Neil, how long is this going to take, and how much is it going to cost?'" [Neil Ashe, the company's top-ranking e-commerce executive] recalls. "And I said, 'It's going to take the rest of our careers, and it's going to cost whatever it costs. Because this isn't a project, this is the company.'"

Recent Dish on the subject here.