The long-awaited Walmart site redesign is almost here. The “new” Walmart.com will start rolling out to shoppers in May, according to a blog post from Marc Lore, President and CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce.
In the post, Lore outlined three major changes to the site:
- A new look and feel designed to bring a human element to the site, which will include an expanded color palette, more site fonts and relatable photography;
- More local and personalized elements, particularly on the home page. The page will include a new section that showcases top-selling items in a customer’s location. Additionally, the site will also feature a customer’s local store profile, including availability of services such as Online Grocery, order status and Easy Reorder; and
- Specialty shopping experiences, particularly in the home and fashion verticals. While Walmart already has launched a home specialty experience, it will also introduce a new fashion destination headlined by the Lord & Taylor flagship store the company announced late last year.
Lore also revealed that the web site would soon have different layouts depending on product categories, enabling customers to shop for groceries differently from how they buy clothes and accessories or home improvement products.
Judging from the site’s revealed photo, it appears Walmart is scaling back the large presence of its signature shade of blue and company logo, opting instead to focus on clear imagery while highlighting products and services. Walmart’s present site has often been criticized for having too many links on a given page, so the change seeks to declutter the user experience by providing fewer but more personalized links.
With Walmart offering localized merchandise throughout its more than 4,700 stores across the U.S., e-Commerce product localization is the next step toward improving that customer experience across channels. Although online sales at Walmart increased 23% in Q4 2017, this was less than half the growth rate in each of the previous three quarters, which saw revenue boosts of 63%, 60% and 50% respectively.
The site redesign has been a long time coming, with Walmart first saying in October 2017 that it would redesign the site. The overhaul had an initial release date of Spring 2018, with the hope that the revamped site would bring more premium brands to Walmart.com.
In upgrading the site and adding more higher-end brands, Walmart appears to be gearing its e-Commerce experience to a more affluent and online-savvy audience. This comes at a time when fewer people are visiting Walmart’s subsidiary Jet.com, which has seen traffic dip 60% year-over-year. The traffic decline, in addition to scaled back promotions, indicates to many that Jet.com will take more of a back seat to the Walmart brand going forward, especially as the new site rolls out.