Walmart Inc. – Tackling the E-commerce Challenge
Walmart Inc., the largest American retail corporation, was founded in 1962 in Arkansas by Sam Walton. Walmart started as a single discount retail store with Every Day Low Price as the core strategy and grew to a multinational chain over the years. At present, Walmart owns a chain of hypermarkets and department stores across 27 countries.
In 2011, Walmart acquired Kosmix, a social media start-up focused on e-commerce, as a step in expanding its capabilities in the growing social commerce environment. Kosmix, which now forms Walmart Labs, developed an innovative technology platform that searches and analyses connections in real-time data streams to deliver highly personalized insights to users. Walmart Labs is Walmart’s R&D centre where retail and e-commerce related technology products are built.
With the changing retail landscape, Walmart has been adapting its strategies to take up the digital and online challenge. Walmart’s recent acquisitions hint at this shift in the company’s strategy. Walmart’s acquisition of leading Indian online retailer Flipkart, in one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world, has been the biggest in its spree of e-commerce acquisitions.
Walmart's innovation efforts show that the company is striving to make online shopping seamless and more customer-friendly. This report provides an analysis of the patent assets held by Walmart and the key technologies that the company is working on.