Online room for improvement
Wells Fargo retail analyst Matt Nemer put several leading retailers to the test this week with an innovative approach to research. According to Barron’s, he went on a $5,000 shopping spree on the websites of some of the largest Internet-only and traditional retailers. He said Amazon.com offered the best shopping experience, and he rated the retailer at outperform. Walmart.com was said to have higher prices than Amazon’s, but had strong customer service and didn’t showed up as well in searches. Target.com meanwhile had questionable customer service, and the company didn’t show up well in searches. According to Barron’s, Nemer characterized the Target.com online experience as poor, while he said he was pleasantly surprised that Walmart.com is making strides online. Nemer initiated coverage on Walmart at market perform, writing that the company’s multichannel selling strength is tempered by its lower return international investments and increasing competition from dollar stores. Target is in the midst of major overhaul of its online systems and shopper experience that is expected to be ready for the 2011 holiday season.