Walmart Website To Get Amazon-Like Overhaul

Currently, visitors to Walmart.com reach a standard homepage with no personalization and few things to buy.

Currently, visitors to Walmart.com reach a standard homepage with no personalization and few things to buy.

For years, logged-in Amazon users have gone to the e-tailer’s homepage and been greeted with all manner of personalized recommendations based on previous purchases, ratings, and searches. Meanwhile, visitors to Walmart.com got… whatever Walmart wanted to put on its homepage. Now the nation’s largest retailer has hopes to out-Amazon Amazon with the rollout of personalized recommendations.

According to the AP, Walmart is looking to completely relaunch Walmart.com in early 2015, but it will start the new, personalized suggestions in advance of the reboot.

With Amazon’s share of the retail market growing, and Walmart’s bricks-and-mortar business flat, Big W needs to stop kicking the online can down the road and finally face the fact that Walmart.com is not the e-tail powerhouse it could be.

In the most recent fiscal year, Walmart.com pulled in $10 billion. That’s a ton of money, but it’s nothing compared to Amazon’s $60.9 billion and is a tiny fraction of Walmart’s $473 billion total for the year. There’s no reason that Walmart.com should only account for about 2% of the company’s business.

A quick glance at the homepages of the respective sites shows one reason why Walmart may be lagging behind Amazon in online sales.

Even someone going to Amazon.com for the first time is immediately given at least 21 things to click on and buy right away:
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Meanwhile, a visit to Walmart.com is dominated by big marketing advertisements for sales. The few items that you can reach directly through the homepage are buried well below the fold:
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Additionally, purchasing an item on Walmart.com takes the user through six (6) screens before finalizing a purchase. That’s way too many for people accustomed to 1-click shopping. The longer you give someone to rethink a purchase, the more likely he is to get cold feet and abandon that shopping cart.

Walmart says it will be replacing its convoluted checkout procedure with a one-page checkout in the hopes of keeping customers from bailing on their buying.