It’s no secret that Walmart has entire teams dedicated to innovation. “Innovation” in and of itself is a huge umbrella covering many facets of retail. In supplying to Walmart, each company plays a role in Walmart’s innovative efforts to better serve customers as shopping habits evolve.
Jessica Hendrix, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X, spoke to the importance of innovation on a recent broadcast of Focus on Suppliers. Specifically, how suppliers win on two levels: innovating their own processes and supporting the Walmart vision with their creative solutions.
Why Is Innovation So Essential Now?
While the retail game constantly changes, the objectives stay intact. Hendrix explains why suppliers should look for ways to support innovation efforts at Walmart.
“Walmart is laser-focused on maintaining their top spot in the very competitive and rapidly evolving world of retail,” she says. “That means as brands and partners, we have a responsibility to bring new thinking to the table.”
However, as Hendrix illustrates, it’s more than bringing new ideas to the table. It’s also a matter of keeping up with the world’s largest retailer’s programs and aligning with its goals.
“Walmart is launching new initiatives like Walmart Pay, utilizing machine learning to drive new predictive inventory insights, innovating and sourcing, and testing employee delivery,” she explains. Suppliers understand each new initiative improves the shopping experience, as well as streamlines operations to help suppliers.
Suppliers also need to think about the future of their category and retail. “There is an opportunity like never before to voice and develop innovative ideas. How are you bringing thought leadership? Are you bringing solutions that drive efficiency and deliver experience? These are the ideas that are winning the future.”
Prioritizing Your Innovation Efforts
Hendrix advises suppliers to bring special attention to their team’s innovation strategy. The benefits expand beyond their own business; they go on to support Walmart’s ultimate operational goals.
“Bottom line: Suppliers need to be focused on innovations. Not as a secondary or tertiary priority but as a key initiative.”
For more insight from Saatchi & Saatchi X, visit the Focus on Suppliers YouTube Channel to view past episodes.