News Roundup: Walmart Buys Jet.com, Google Evolves Micro-Moments

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Walmart Buys Jet.com in an Effort to Compete with Amazon

Walmart confirmed earlier this week that it has acquired Jet.com, which it purchased for a reported $3 billion. Despite the changeover, Walmart said that Jet.com will still operate as its own brand, with current CEO Marc Lore continuing to lead the company. The acquisition is said to be a move on Walmart’s part to compete with Amazon, which is currently ranked seventh in the world’s largest retailers and holds the No. 1 position as the world’s largest e-commerce retailer.

Walmart CEO and President Doug McMillon said in a statement that Jet.com would help Walmart find new ways to broaden its assortment of goods, lower prices and create a simpler shopping experience for customers. He also said that Jet.com caters to a more “urban and millennial” customer-base, which will help broaden Walmart’s reach. Jet.com raked in a reported $1 billion in run-rate gross merchandise value (GMV) in its first year in operation, and raised over $800 million in funding before it even launched in 2014.

Google’s Micro-Moments Evolve

In April of last year, Google announced what it calls micro-moments: “Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something,” it said. And this week Adam Dorfman, columnist at Search Engine Land reported on how those micro-moments have evolved. Google confirmed that micro-moments are becoming increasingly more common, with a 146 percent increase in “near me” searches per year. That means more people are reaching for their devices to find nearby restaurants, bars, stores and more.

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Additionally, new data uncovered that Google Maps’ crowd-sourced dwell data may provide brick-and-mortar retailers with information needed to calculate which mobile users are researching first before visiting a store. To capitalize off this new information, Google said in a July 12 blog post that they would make some changes to make micro-moments even more fruitful for users. For example, the search engine said it would simplify travel queries by allowing users to filter out hotel results based on price, features, availability and location.

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