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Walmart Testing Virtual Reality in Makeup Department Explains Everything

At more than $1,000 per share in mid-October, Amazon's ( AMZN - Get Report) stock may be untouchable right now. But the competition between the two companies are in the early stages. E-commerce, after all, still only accounts for about 30% of retail sales, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

Momentum Builds

Caution Ahead

The pace at which Walmart is introducing products and programs, according to Konisberg, points to a startup sensibility. But while its progress is undeniable, Walmart and its stock are not invincible. For shares to continue rising while also implementing its tech initiatives wider scale, Walmart must convince its shareholders to think like Amazon shareholders.

"Amazon's shareholders are unique because they haven't looked at profitability, they look at long-term potential," Konisberg said. "Because Amazon starting [on] Day One has operated at zero profit."

For now, Walmart is making considerable profit. It brought in $91.5 billion in gross profit between May and July this year, and a net income of $6.2 billion in the same period. That's compared for $14.5 billion in gross profit and $921 million in net income for Amazon between April and June.

So far, Walmart has rolled out only few of its tech developments on a national level. Doing so would not only require patience in watching the balance sheet, but also painstaking care in scaling out.

"Retailers very frequently are able to execute a new program in a small footprint, but bringing it to scale is much harder," said Joiner, pointing to Walmart's store pickup function, which garnered complaints of long wait times in 2015 when it expanded the program.

"As they scale out, they must focus on change management and employee adoption," she added. "When you're selling convenience to a customer you must always come through on the convenience promise."


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