Walmart’s Retail Link on a Mac?

macpcWe’ll leave this blog post up for a historical record (and just in case it’s not settled yet), but the good news is that you should now be able to use Retail Link on your Mac. The new version of Retail Link runs on modern browsers. More details:

We’ll keep you posted on all changes, and 8th & Walton course will always use the most current version of Retail Link.

Walmart’s Retail Link system, the essential Big Data source for Walmart suppliers, is not made for Mac. That doesn’t mean that Mac users have to run out and buy a PC.

The reason that Retail Link is for PCs and not for Macs is that Retail Link requires Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer is a browser: a tool that lets you access the internet. Macs can use Safari, Chrome, and Opera, but not IE.

Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the United States, though its market share is falling. In many corporate offices, it is the only browser allowed. PC users who dislike IE and have a choice can run Retail Link on Chrome by using the IE Tab add-on. While the makers of this add-on are “investigating” a Mac version, as of this writing it is only available for PC.

However, you can run Windows on a Mac machine, allowing you to use Internet Explorer, and therefore Retail Link, on your Mac. Here are the tools you can use to accomplish this:

  • Boot Camp, from Apple, allows you to partition your machine and run the Windows 7 operating system on your Mac. When you’re through, reboot and you’re back to being a Mac user.
  • Parallels Desktop creates a virtual Windows machine running alongside your Mac, so you can use both Mac and Windows at the same time without rebooting.
  • VMWare Fusion is another virtual desktop that lets you run both Windows and Mac programs in the Mac environment.

The virtual desktop options have the obvious advantage of allowing you to use Retail Link without having to reboot before you can use your usual programs. Industry reviews show little difference in performance between the two listed; there are others, but these two are the clear favorites.