This computer system, according to the New York Times, carries more data than the entire Internet. "
Wal-Mart themselves on their website claim, "Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the world's largest retailer, with $285.2 billion in sales in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2005. The company employs 1.6 million associates worldwide through more than 3,700 facilities in the United States and more than 2,400 units in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. More than 138 million customers per week visit Wal-Mart stores worldwide"
With such data that speak for themselves, the mass retailing giant must be doing something right. Marketing may be defined as any gesture executed to create, satisfy, and keep customers. Wal-Mart seems to have mastered the art of bringing in customers to their stores as well as retaining them. It has aligned itself unerringly with the six P's of marketing comprising of price, product (or service), place, promotion, people, and positioning. These six components constituting the marketing mix, when combined to make a winning combination are the basis of a growing business.
Wal-mart's marketing is all about the customer-oriented merchandising. Wal-mart's own unique strategy right form the beginning has held it in good stead. Responding to a customer's requirement of low cost, high value and all under one roof convenience, Wal-Mart squeezed its suppliers, economized on all fronts, and passed onto the savings to the customers.
Its widely publicized jingle, "low cost- Always" with a sunny yellow smiley face logo has created an extraordinary perception of low price that has sent shoppers flocking to its aisle. Although, Wal-Mart does less at a very low cost, there are a few items where Wal-Mart is not the cheapest, but people buy it nevertheless, due to the perceived image.
Wal-Mart carries 150,000 items beneath one roof thereby making it a one-stop shop for the purchase. This is an added benefit for Wal-Mart in that not only people are offered more choice, but go through their entire shopping list in a single store setting Walmart's cash registers ringing.
Unlike its competitors, Wal-Mart, except for a few seasonal sales does not depend on sales for its revenues. While other competitors lure customers in advertising a few products on sale, while hinging on the belief that this will trigger other purchases. Wal-Mart just banks on the perception that the entire merchandise is competitively priced and the customer can pick up any item, based on the contention he is getting the best bargain no matter what he loads his cart with.
With merchandise placed within easy access, Wal-Mart associates are more involved in stoking shelves and offer minimal service and this further reduces costs for Wal-Mart.
Customer-oriented marketing was successfully employed at Wal-Mart where the employees were utilized to understand the needs of the customers and the methodology of how they make their choices of products they require. In this way, the research was kept straightforward and simple, and Walmart's marketing was closely aligned to customer needs.
The most sophisticated logistics