Makro deploys Walmart tech for same-day deliveries

Massmart, the owner of Game, Builders and Makro stores, hasput e-commerce at the forefront of its retail strategy, using Walmart’s Global Integrated Fulfilment (GIF) software across Makro stores in SA.

Over the past few years, Massmart has ramped up its e-commerce efforts, as part of its business-to-business and business-to-consumer strategy.

US-based e-commerce giant Walmart bought a 51% stake in Massmart in 2011, and in November 2022, the retailer announced the conclusion of a R6.4 billion deal to secure full ownership of the African retail giant.

According to a statement, Massmart has leveraged Walmart’s GIF order fulfilment software, which digitises and optimises the picking, packing, staging and distribution of online orders.

The fulfilment application was custom-built by Walmart and has over the years helped transform and strengthen its omnichannel business.

The technology enables automated, real-time visibility of new orders for store fulfilment teams; and configuration of optimal paths for picking orders based on factors like efficiency, product locations and the customer’s chosen fulfilment option. It also helps simplify the addition of product images on orders, allowing easier identification of products on shelves.

Merlin Otto, Massmart VP of group e-commerce pickup and delivery, says the group’s latest initiative is part of its quest to create a strong omnichannel ecosystem.

“We have made significant investments to build and grow our e-commerce offering at Massmart. Given growth in 2022 of over 90% across the e-commerce portfolio, our ability to efficiently process higher volumes of orders is a key success factor.

“We anticipate that the integration of GIF into our business will enable shorter lead times for online orders.”

Over the past few years, Massmart has been on a hiring spree, increasing its team of software engineers from 28 to over 300. Its local product management team also grew from seven employees to over 30, as part of its e-commerce push.

The rollout of GIF Store Assist across Makro stores was completed a few weeks ago and order pick rates have increased by as much as 150% since implementation, according to the retailer. Overall order processing time has been cut by 40% reduction in total.

The focus has now moved to implementing the technology at Game stores and at a later stage, it will be deployed across Builders, it says.

“Although 80% of Makro orders are delivered within two days of receiving the online order, the use of this type of technology will ultimately, in the near future, enable same/next-day order fulfilment across the group,” concludes Otto.

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