Walmart Shows Off its New and Improved Website
Walmart has invested in an extensive overhaul of their online experience to be a little less like, well, Walmart.
Relaunched last month, the new site creates a more lifestyle-driven experience that showcases relatable photography with more localized and personalized features that are significantly differentiated. A cleaner and more modern shopping experience with decluttered product listings was developed in efforts to attract higher-end brands and encourage shoppers to browse for products. Local offerings are present on the homepage based on your location, suggesting products based on shoppers in that area. If you’re in Chicago, you may see an advertisement for a Cubs tumbler mug.
With ecommerce accounting for 3.6% of U.S. sales, a clean and cohesive web experience is crucial. The website has around 100 million unique visits, compared to 180 million at Amazon, according to comScore Inc. Walmart continues to heavily invest in e-commerce, and the redesign is part of improving profitability. While impressive, Walmart continues to lag Amazon in terms of sales volume and sales growth. Of late, Walmart has created real momentum on the e-commerce side of the business with sales up 33% in the last quarter. They need to be closer to 40% to keep pace with Amazon.
This modernized shopping experience is part of a long-term strategy to broaden appeal and reputation beyond the traditional budget store roots. A partnership with Lord & Taylor signifies a new focus on fashion and home and Walmart Is now selling some of the department stores products on their site. As AI becomes a larger focus for retailers, we only see the shopping experience improving and becoming more personalized. The site also features customers’ local store profiles that includes the availability of services like Online Grocery order status and Easy Reorder, a feature that lets customers easily repurchase items they bought frequently in stores and online. Walmart is betting heavily on using their store base as fulfillment centers, offering click and collect pick-up centers (free grocery pick-up) as well as discounts driven by the Jet algorithm to encourage in-store behavior.
Through this more specialized shopping experience, whether it’s from groceries or high fashion, Walmart hopes that each will make shoppers feel like they are browsing through a specialty store and plans to build out these specialty experiences across all categories later this year. They’re also offering free 2-Day Shipping without member fees. All of this is against the backdrop of Amazon Prime’s dominance in the U.S. and their latest price increase to $119/year.
The battleground between the two retail giants is taking shape. Walmart made a major advancement in site appeal—we’ll see what’s next.