Walmart.com has announced a major site redesign that may be familiar to some Amazon customers.
New features include product recommendations based on previous purchases and faster payment methods that will get you to the buy page in one click.
But the revamp goes much further, including personalized homepages that take into account local weather and nearest store location. It also has been designed with mobile in mind, so it can be easily viewed on small screens and navigated with your fingers.
The changes are currently live with nearly half of Wal-Mart’s daily online shoppers and will be rolled out to all of its customers soon, according to Ben Galbraith, VP of global products at Walmart, who wrote about the changes in a blog post today.
It’s easy to compare some of these new features to ideas that Amazon implemented years ago. After all, Amazon is famous for its product recommendations that offer you similar items based on your shopping history and speedy payment processes.
Furthermore, it’s hard not to see that Walmart is making these changes while under considerable pressure to see its online business do well, especially given Amazon’s increasing ability to steal share away from physical retailers.
Wal-Mart has seen five straight quarters of sales declines in its U.S. stores division. Meanwhile, its e-commerce sales have increased by 30 percent to over $10 billion in its most recent fiscal year. Still, those revenues are dwarfed by Amazon’s $60.9 billion in annual sales.
However, the updates announced today are not all Amazon copycats. In fact, the redesign benefits from the fact that the company operates physical stores, too.
For instance, product recommendations will be not only be based on what a customer has searched for in the past, or purchased on the site, but also based on its massive trove of data from in-store purchases. It’s also integrating the digital and physical shopping experiences together by identifying the person’s local store, which lets them see a section for coupons.
The check out process, which is all contained on one page for the first time, also allows customers to choose what form of shipping they’d like, or whether to pick it up at a local store for free.
In the past, customers have responded well to changes made on Walmart.com. For instance, when Wal-Mart updated its search tool, it saw a 20 percent increase in shoppers completing a purchase after searching for a product using the new search engine, according to the AP.
Editor’s note: Wal-Mart’s Global eCommerce President and CEO Neil Ashe will be keynoting at this year’s GeekWire Summit on Oct. 2.