Walmart has a new partner in its rivalry with the famous shopping website, Amazon. The company announced Tuesday that it has signed a five-year contract with Microsoft, Amazon’s strongest competitor in cloud technology. Many analysts believe that this move will create a strong team between Walmart and Microsoft.
Walmart will benefit from Microsoft’s advanced AI and cloud tech, to help improve its online business. It has been reported that in the past few months, Microsoft has developed tools that would allow retailers such as Walmart to automate shopping, eliminating the need for payment cashiers and long waiting lines.
Recently, Amazon launched a similar kind of technology in Seattle at its Amazon Go automated store. This is an attempt to make the shopping experience easier, meaning that clients just scan their phones before shopping, and afterwards are automatically charged through various sensors for whichever items they purchase.
“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,”, declared the company’s CEO.
Walmart said it plans to move a good part of Walmart.com and samsclub.com to Microsoft Azure, Amazon’s main competitor in cloud computing.
Given that Walmart and Microsoft have a common competitor in the retail business, Amazon, analysts say the two companies naturally fit in. Amazon may opt for the Amazon Go technology for retail at some point, although analysts believe that what Walmart did in its partnership with Microsoft is a major blow to retailers around the world. Walmart is not going to partner with Amazon for obvious reasons, and Microsoft is the second largest provider of cloud solutions in the world.
The new partnership can help Walmart achieve its target of 40% annual growth in e-commerce revenue. Walmart’s strong investment in technology has made the company one of the best retailers in the US markets. It is also increasingly believed that Walmart’s business in the United States will benefit in the near term from the discount store cycle expected over the next five to ten years.
Finally, experts point out that Walmart’s omni-channel transformation in the United States will keep gaining momentum, supporting increased, predictable sales and traffic in US super centers.