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Why Wal-Mart Needs to Tread Carefully in the U.S. E-Commerce Market

Wal-Mart (WMT)'s decision to buy e-commerce company for $3.3 billion last month was the kind of push their fledgling online operations needed. Until the acquisition, Wal-Mart had pumped billions of dollars into building its online business, but it came up woefully short of the numbers that its chief rival Amazon (AMZN) was able to report on a consistent basis. With Amazon's sales in North America growing at an alarming pace, Wal-Mart knew it was running out of time to stop it from poaching a bulk of its current and future customers.

After seeing its numbers steadily decline since 2015, e-commerce sales picked up some speed this year and after the acquisition, the pace seems to have gone up a notch. Wal-Mart's global ecommerce sales have grown sequentially by 7.0%, 11.8% and 20.6% in the first three quarters of this year, respectively.

Walmart CEO and President Doug McMillon said in an earnings call: "It's great to see an improving ecommerce business complement the momentum we have in our stores. One of the reasons makes sense for Walmart is the...