How Walmart’s Pricing Strategy Has Made It A Dominant Force As The World’s Largest Retailer

Walmart Pricing Strategy

Written By

Ron Wood

Ron Wood

Pricing Strategy Expert


Uncover Walmart’s winning business strategy and pricing tactics. Learn how they stay ahead of the competition. Get insights here.

Walmart is a giant, literally. Like every other giant, Walmart relies on complete and utter dominance, even in a capitalist economy.

It’s a leading global retail company with an expansive network of stores and clubs in 24 countries, employing 2.3 million associates worldwide and serving over 200 million customers weekly.

At the end of 2022 Walmart’s revenues were $572.3 billion in sales in the United States.

Walmart’s gross margins were $143.7 Billion representing a gross margin percentage of 24.8%.   Walmart’s gross margins have stayed constant over the past 20 years at 25%, except for the most recent 12 months where gross margins have fallen to 24%.

Net margins have also fallen from an average of 3.5% to 2.39% and the most recent trailing twelve-month margins have fallen to a low of 1.49%. This is because of rising Selling, General and Administrations costs that have escalated faster than revenue increases coupled with a decline in gross margins.

Walmart appears to be holding prices in the face of rising costs for both products and the cost of operations.

Walmart’s success is attributed to its well-crafted business strategy and pricing tactics that focus on providing customers with everyday low prices backed by their global scale and buying power.


Overview of Walmart’s Business Strategy and Pricing Tactics

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has established itself as a dominant player in the market through a strategic approach that prioritises customer value. The company offers its customers a wide range of services and products, including groceries, apparel and accessories, electronics, home appliances, furniture, home decor items, office supplies, and more.

The company’s core strategy is to remain the lowest-cost provider while providing a wide selection of goods. Through efficient supply chains, proprietary technology, and aggressive pricing tactics, Walmart has established a competitive advantage in the market.

Walmart employs proprietary technology to optimise its supply chain and manage inventory, ensuring that it can meet customer demand with minimal costs and shortages. Additionally, the company’s loyalty program plays a crucial role in the company’s strategy, offering discounts and rewards for frequent shoppers to keep customers coming back.

This approach also enables Walmart to better understand customer preferences and target products toward them to drive sales, providing a personalised shopping experience for its customers.

Walmart’s Core Strategies

Walmart has developed a range of strategies to ensure it is the leading global retailer, focusing on driving growth through low prices, leveraging its size to drive efficiency, and investing in technology. The company’s core strategies include the following:

Low Price Leadership

Walmart’s core strategy is low-price leadership, which involves offering goods and services at lower prices than its competitors. This has enabled Walmart to become the world’s largest retailer by selling many products at everyday low prices.

Low-price leadership is primarily achieved through Walmart’s extensive network of suppliers, which allows them to purchase merchandise in bulk at lower prices than competitors. Walmart’s efficient supply chain further enhances this strategy, ensuring fast delivery of goods from suppliers to stores, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

As such, the low-price leadership approach has enabled Walmart to offer customers value beyond price by making shopping more accessible and enjoyable.

Economies of Scale

Walmart’s business strategy is built around the concept of economies of scale. The company leverages its size to offer customers discounted prices by purchasing goods in bulk from suppliers, negotiating lower prices than what smaller competitors can offer, and spreading labor costs across multiple stores.

They also benefit from having a large customer base, enabling them to spread marketing and advertising costs across a broad base to minimize expenses. Through these tactics, Walmart can provide consumers with discounts without compromising quality or selection.

Walmart deploys employees across stores according to demand to maximize efficiency and optimize staffing levels. Ultimately, this strategy allows them to remain competitive while ensuring that customers always receive the best products at the lowest prices.

Advanced Technology

Walmart is harnessing the power of advanced technology to support its business strategies and pricing tactics. Through data analytics and automated ordering systems, Walmart can identify customer preferences and buying patterns to customize product offerings for individual customers.

Using robotics also helps improve store organisation and increase product availability, contributing to higher overall efficiency.

By leveraging these technologies, Walmart can reduce costs and remain competitive in a growingly digital marketplace while still offering low prices.

This investment in advanced technology has proven beneficial for the company and its customers.

Walmart’s Pricing Strategy

Walmart’s Pricing Tactics

To remain competitive, you must develop a pricing strategy tailored to the market. Walmart’s approach is a prime example of this principle – the company has implemented a sophisticated pricing strategy that enables it to offer low prices on sought-after products. Some of the key tactics used by the company include:

Everyday Low Prices (EDLP)

Walmart’s Everyday Low Prices (EDLP) strategy has been a pioneering way of doing business. This model relies on the idea that customers prefer to purchase items at low prices rather than waiting for special offers or sales.

To achieve this, Walmart opts for smaller margins per item, trading them off in exchange for higher overall profit margins derived from increased sales volumes. This strategy has enabled Walmart to become a leading retailer worldwide and gain a competitive edge over other retailers still relying on traditional pricing models.

By introducing EDLP, Walmart has demonstrated the value of innovation in business success.

Rollback Pricing

Walmart uses rollback pricing, a tactic that sees the retailer offer temporary discounts on select items over peak seasons such as back-to-school and the holidays. This is an effective way to drive customers into their stores and online, as it offers them substantial savings that they may need help to get elsewhere.

It also creates a sense of urgency in customers, who may feel under pressure to capitalize on the offer before it expires. Such a strategy can be especially effective in attracting new customers while encouraging existing ones to return and make impulse purchases.

Walmart’s Price Matching Policy (In-Store + Online)

Walmart’s Price Matching Policy has established the company as a competitively priced retailer. By refusing to match competitors’ prices, Walmart conveys its confidence in its quality and affordability, ensuring customers are getting the best possible deal.

Moreover, offering post-purchase price matching for in-store purchases demonstrates Walmart’s commitment to customer satisfaction, helping to build loyalty and trust in the brand. This reinforces customers’ confidence that they can rely on Walmart to get them the lowest price.

Multiple discounts

Walmart is well-known for its competitive pricing tactics, which offer customers multiple discounts to ensure their prices are always the lowest. This strategy has proven successful in attracting shoppers and driving sales growth.

Walmart’s combination of discounts helps them undercut competitors’ prices without sacrificing profitability.

Their Associate Discount Card, for example, offers up to 10% off all items. Additionally, Walmart frequently has coupons and other promotions that lower prices. These giveaways are especially effective during holidays when shoppers look for the best deals.


Walmart’s Pricing Strategy


In conclusion, Walmart’s business strategy and pricing tactics have enabled it to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Walmart has achieved notable success by focusing on cost minimization, offering low prices, implementing an innovative inventory management system, and leveraging economies of scale.

This approach has allowed Walmart to keep its prices low and provide customers with unbeatable value. As a result, Walmart has been able to secure a significant market share and offer customers various products and services.

Next Steps

Even companies the size of Walmart are challenged by rising inflation for both product cost inputs and operating costs. If your company needs to undertake a review of pricing strategy and capability to reduce margin and earnings risk and prepare for impending economic challenges, get in contact to book a briefing session.

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