Walmart (WMT) is looking to attract more online shoppers, and in the vein of any good rom-com about attraction, the mega-retailer is giving itself a makeover.
The new site, which will debut at the start of May, will feature “relatable photography” and specialty shopping experiences tailored to specific departments, such as its recently launched Ikea-style online home-furnishings portal. Last November Walmart teased its intention to create a “premium fashion destination” featuring a partnership with department-store Lord & Taylor.
It is a “dramatic step change for us,” said Walmart U.S. E-Commerce Chief Marc Lore in the release.
The revamp also includes more localization and personalization, such as purchases that are trending nearby and the store profile of a customer’s local Walmart.
Amazon has pushed retailers big and small to learn to compete better online.
The emerging e-grocery race between Walmart, Amazon, Kroger (KR) and others appears to be translating to a push for Walmart’s grocery options — a glimpse of the new site points to its free grocery pickup option getting prominent placing on the redesigned homepage.
And like Amazon’s Dash buttons for refilling orders, Walmart is touting its Easy Reorder option to top up on previous buys made online or in a physical store. The nation’s largest brick-and-mortar chain, which has over 4,700 stores in the U.S., offers discounts for picking up online orders in store as well as free two-day shipping on orders of $35 or more — minus the need for a membership fee, a la Amazon Prime.
Walmart Mum On Jet.com
The announcement made no mention of Jet.com, Walmart’s subsidiary and 2016 acquisition that aims to attract urban millennials. Walmart CEO Doug McMillion recently said the company is curbing its marketing investment in Jet. Walmart’s overall slowdown in e-commerce growth — though still up 23% in Q4 after a 50% pop in Q3 — prompted brief speculation that Lore, Jet’s founder, might step down. He has repeatedly refuted the claim.
In Tuesday’s announcement, he said that there is “more to come.”
Meanwhile, Target (TGT) introduced on Monday a same-day service to deliver in-store purchases to shoppers’ homes. The $7 feature will be available in 60 Target stores across Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., by the end of April.
Walmart shares advanced 1% in the stock market today, trying to get back to its 200-day moving average. Amazon stock climbed 2.6%, fighting to reclaim its 50-day line. Target rose 0.9%, back above its 50-day.
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