The investments that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) recently made in expanding its online offerings are paying off, according to just-released third party sales data.
Along with selling its own items and inventory on Walmart.com, the company also allows third party networks to sell their goods as well. This practice, which is commonplace among web retailers, allows Walmart to offer a much larger selection of items and to fulfil orders for items whose inventory may be out of stock.
In 2016 alone, Walmart has tripled its online product offerings, going from 8 million listings to over 23 million items. This practice is aimed at helping the retail giant compete with Amazon for online dominance.
One of the largest third party sales networks, ChannelAdvisor, reported that its customers selling on Walmart.com were up 39.7% year-over-year as of Thanksgiving Day on a same-store sales basis. ChannelAdvisor customers account for about 15 million of the product listings on Walmart.com, not including those on recently-acquired Jet.com.
Walmart bought fellow retailer Jet.com earlier this year and immediately named Jet.com CEO Jeff Lore as the head of its online retail division.
Walmart shares rose $0.52 (+0.73%) to $71.35 in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, WMT has gained 15.55%, easily eclipsing the 8.25% return of the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.