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Wal-Mart takes on Amazon with e-commerce push

13 August 2014 - 12:13 by Mike Price

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US retail giant, Wal-Mart, may have a well established bricks and mortar presence, both in its native land under its own name and in the UK, thanks to its ownership of Asda, but it remains a relatively small fry in the world of shopping online.

This could all change, however, as the company has revealed plans to re-launch its e-commerce offerings across the world, in a bid to take on Amazon and other pure-play online retailers.

The motivation for doing this is not just because it wants to carve a hefty chunk out of the e-commerce market, but because its real world stores have actually experienced a significant decline in sales over the past year, according to the Associated Press.

Wal-Mart has a chance of competing with Amazon because, at the moment, it makes significantly more money than its web-based rival. It chalked up 281 billion in revenue in 2013, while Amazon managed to make just 36.2 billion in the same period.

But even with all that spending power behind it, it is going to be hard for Wal-Mart to convince people to leave the retailers they are already loyal to in the online marketplace.

The Daily Mail reports that one of the ways it is hoping to win over consumers is with a more personal, customisable experience of shopping online.

Everyone who visits its sites will get an exclusive homepage, which is populated with products and content that will appeal to them, rather than relying on a one size fits all approach.

Of course, those who regularly shop with Amazon will appreciate just how important a bespoke experience is, because this well known web retailer already presents customers with listings it thinks they will like. So, really, Wal-Mart is just keeping pace with rivals rather than innovating.