NEW YORK — The nation’s largest retailer keeps working to make headway against the largest online seller.
Wal-Mart drew more shoppers to its namesake stores in the United States and its online sales soared 29 percent in the fourth quarter, which covers the critical holiday shopping season. That’s an indication that its efforts to lower prices and improve web services are helping it compete better against Amazon, which has built fierce loyalty with its Prime two-day shipping program.
Like other traditional retailers, Wal-Mart has been trying to improve its online operations to challenge Amazon, which accounted for 33 percent of total U.S. online sales last year, according to the research firm Euromonitor. Wal-Mart moved into second place last year ahead of eBay, accounting for 7.8 percent of online sales, up from 7.4 percent in 2015. But Wal-Mart’s online sales still only account for about 3 percent of its global sales, or about US$14 billion. That compares with US$94 billion in global net product sales for Amazon.com.