Walmart gets ‘spacey’ to launch e-commerce in China


To launch a new service providing Chinese consumers access to overseas products, Walmart has launched a creative series of digital activations – with the theme of connecting local shoppers to the world.

Walmart has been in China since 1996, but has struggled to create a powerful retail foothold as it has elsewhere in the China.   To capture the new realities of Chinese shoppers – e-commerce savvy and globally focussed – Walmart has launched a new service to their China app.   Through the app, Chinese e-shoppers can buy products directly from abroad.

Recently,  Walmart announced negative retail growth for the first in their 35 year history, a downturn they associate with the increasing rise of e-commerce, particularly in China.   To signify the importance of the move, the American brand has launched on confident and creative campaign on WeChat and other social platforms.

Firstly, Walmart uses GIF posters (animated digital images) to showcase the brand’s global achievement in developing retail solutions for their customers.  For example, it is that Walmart ‘fills the shopping trolleys’ of consumer in 28 countries, and that their total stores have eclipsed 10,000 globally.    The series of images, replicate the mechanisms of product delivery and logistics – a powerful way to seed the idea of Walmart as a e-commerce concept.

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Walmart ‘fills the shopping trolleys’

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Walmart’s topnotch logistics sytem












In another animated image, the  global swirls around a Chinese female shopper with the tagline suggesting  ‘the world revolves around you’.   And then an interesting play on words – like a lot of conversation on Chinese internet – formally, meaning “is the world enough for you”, but also read as “have you bought enough!”.

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Walmart tells you the world revolves around you

But the most eye-catching aspect of the campaign is Walmart’s use of ‘aliens from Jupiter’ to metaphorically represent their target consumers.  Sound strange? Let us explain.

Walmart goes ‘out of this world’ to show the power of their e-commerce reach

Using GIF to animate the online comic sequence – Walmart presents aliens on Jupiter who are stuck in a line, waiting outside a Jupiterian Iphone shop, complaining that this is not ideal.  One raises the possibility of space-travel to Earth where they hear there are retail solutions faster than Jupiter.  But the space-miles involved remove it as a practical option, at which point, the brightest of the group, says they can use Jupiter wi-fi and connect to Walmart’s global e-commerce app – problem solved.

We like it – bold from Walmart.  And another example of how animated GIF can create new stories and possibilities.  For another great example, check out Didi’s (China’s Uber) GIF campaign on romance.

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Walmart delivers, even on Jupiter


About Author

Jerry Clode

Jerry Clode is Head of Digital & Social Insight at Resonance. He leads Resonance SMART, providing leading-edge research, strategy and naming for brands in China using bespoke methodologies. Jerry also produces Resonance's popular China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly publication covering modern marketing methods of the world's top brands.

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