Walmart is finally getting into the business of e-books by opening up its own electronic bookstore.
According to CNET, the number of books in the store has been reported to be a whopping six-million. This means that a lot of people can find whatever books they want or need for school.
This store is opening in partnership with Rakuten Kobo, which seems to be where the millions of titles are coming from. Walmart is even becoming gusty and trying to rival the very popular Audible by undercutting prices for audiobooks under a subscription of $9.99 which is a mere $5 less than Audible.
This is not the first partnership that Walmart has jumped in with Rakuten. In January, the Japanese company and Walmart came together to come up with a grocery delivery service within Japan.
Walmart will also be selling the Kobo e-reader online and in a nice one-thousand of its stores. Customers can also buy digital book cards in three-thousand-five-hundred of the stores.
This all seems like Walmart is trying to really compete with Amazon and comes off as partnering with a lot of its rivals. This is not unusual since the two companies must compete for customers. Overall this is all an effort to match Amazon in the online area of business, which has not been so good in the past.
This doesn't mean that Walmart is tossing money into these ideas, in fact, they're turning some profit as of late. Walmart reported that they saw a 40 percent increase in sales within the US e-commerce sector in the last quarter. However, the sales are compared to in-store ones. This means that the online aspect may not be as beneficial as it could be.
Walmart is obviously trying to get their piece of the pie for the online market which has eaten up the world by storm as of late. We're essentially in a period of time where if companies like Walmart don't try to advance and maintain the same level of innovation as other retailers they might find themselves losing customers. This does not mean that Walmart is doing bad, they're doing fairly well but need the online market to do even better and remain relevant in the online world that we live in.
Amazon and Walmart have been competing in the online sector for a good portion of time but this seems to be the first major push to trying their hand in competing in a more direct manner with Amazon. In the past, people used Amazon because it was super simple and offered great shipping options while Walmart leaned towards a more confusing aspect with fewer options in terms of shipping.