Walmart has launched a new e-commerce service that aims to bring ‘quality’ overseas products to Chinese consumers.
The ‘Walmart Global Shop’ service launches on its mobile app, with stores in Southern China also stocking products and offering a pickup service.
There is a growing demand among Chinese customers for foreign goods, particularly those from the U.S.
In fact, more than 60% of Chinese consumer are willing to pay more for products made in the U.S. than those made in China.
Walmart, which owns brands such as Asda in the UK, is the biggest retailer in the world and it’s no surprise that it has its sights set on the biggest e-commerce market in the world.
Sean Clarke, president and CEO of Walmart China, commented at the launch event this week: “Cross-border e-commerce service is a good supplement and extension to our stores. Wal-Mart aims to be the most reliable retailer in China, no matter online or offline.”
According to Walmart, it will sell around 200 products initially, including US brands such as Starbucks and Aveeno. It will also stock its own label products such as Spring Valley nutritional supplements and Asda brand Little Angels diapers.
According to Walmart, it has over 500,000 customers on its app already and, since its Chinese launch in 1996, has over 400 stores. Walmart also owns a 51 per cent stake in Chinese ecommerce business Yihaodian.
While this may be a ground-breaking move for Walmart, it’s hardly so in the grand scheme of what its competitors have done. Amazon, Alibaba and JD.com all have operational imported goods programs for Chinese shoppers, but in what might be an attempt to make up that ground, Walmart also pledged itself to price-matching any imported item with its major competitors.