Shopper Experience

Walmart has a new ecommerce look. It will boost retail media

After a redesign, Walmart's app and website have a more visual, social style.

walmart app

Walmart's revamped app. (Courtesy photo)

Shopping on Walmart’s digital properties will have a new look this week.

The news: The retailer is rolling out a new look for its app and website that is geared toward creating a more engaging experience. The changes are taking place as Walmart continues to emphasize its third-party marketplace, and gain more digitally-savvy customers at a time of rising inflation.

What’s new? Walmart said the revamp included the following:

A redesigned homepage that is designed with more curation and a “product-focused experience” in order to provide inspiration, and focus around specific occasions such as holidays or big events. This timely focus was evident at launch on Monday, as Easter, spring Mother’s Day and Earth Day were in focus throughout the homepage.

Elements of the new shopping experienceinclude rich imagery, live video and a social media-like scroll that allows for browsing.

Who benefits? Walmart broke down a few ways that the redesign benefits its constituencies:

Customers will be able to more easily browse and discover items.

Suppliers and marketplace sellers will have new opportunities to showcase more relevant products and better tell their stories.

Creators will have more resources, tools and products to build community and inspire customers. This comes after Walmart launched a new creator platform last year.

Under the hood: The Walmart Global Tech product and design teams collaborated to bring the redesign to life.

How we got here: Walmart’s ecommerce operation was supercharged during the pandemic, as demand for online shopping accelerated and the retailer coalesced its offerings around an omnichannel approach that included capabilities like curbside pickup and membership through the Walmart+ subscription program. What grew out of necessity during a health emergency has now become the future of the business. This year, Walmart continues to put a big emphasis on ecommerce growth by expanding its third-party marketplace, building out automated fulfillment operations and growing a retail media network that is powering a higher-margin digital business alongside the existing selling of goods.

The redesign figures to be an important component in driving and retaining traffic on Walmart's ecommerce stores. Adding more visual and social features also shows that the retailer took the opportunity to provide a UX update so that its ecommerce site aligns with how people use the internet now.

On the company’s most recent earnings call, CFO John David Rainey noted the importance of strong website traffic to the business.

“As we get more assortment on the marketplace, we get more eyeballs coming to our website, that allows more advertisers or makes advertisers want to spend money there, too, with the larger audience,” he said.

So, along with customers and brands, the redesign will also create more opportunities for retail media growth. It’s an area that Rainey has said will become more important as a profit-driver for the business in the next five years. Last decade, advertising from brands and retailers helped platforms like Facebook and Instagram drive outsize growth. This decade, retailers themselves are implementing more social experiences and advertising. Given the growth of online shopping and changes to privacy, companies like Walmart are now positioned to reap the benefits.
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With retail media, brands can reach customers with advertising on the websites where shopping is taking place. This proximity to the point of sale provides an opportunity for brands who are already selling within a marketplace to take advantage of opportunities to elevate their position in search results, and stand out from a crowd of listings. This is the same goal that many brands have when they purchase highly-trafficked space in a store. But instead of checkout aisle and endcap placements, there are now sponsored products in search results.

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