Walmart has been revamping its website to bring hundreds of enhancements to its digital shopping experience over the past year.
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The company said its new experience makes ecommerce “more personalized,” bringing “seamless interactions that make shopping how it should be: fast, easy and fun.”
“And now, we’re improving how our customers can explore the endless aisles of walmart.com with a sleek new look and experience that offers a more engaging way to browse and discover our incredible assortment,” said Tom Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief Ecommerce Officer, Walmart U.S.
“Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift, looking for inspiration to redecorate your home, or just want to browse the hottest trends right now, it all begins with the Walmart app,” he added.
The company has rolled out a completely redesigned homepage, focusing on a customer-centric and curated storefront on both Walmart.com and its app.
Shoppers can now search hundreds of millions of items online, from its 200+ million items across the company’s apparel assortment to its growing 58 million-item home offering, including high-quality furniture.
Walmart’s Marketplace business continues to expand as it onboards more items and brands, making the company’s digital destination “the destination for everything” customers may want or need.
Walmart Still Playing Catch Up
Despite all these changes to improve the shopping experience for Walmart shoppers, the company continues to struggle to catch up to Amazon.
Based on the latest data from Statista, Amazon has 37.8% of the retail ecommerce market share, with Walmart coming in at 6.3% in second place. That is effectively 1/6th of Amazon’s total market share in the United States.
This shows how much of a lead Amazon has on the giant retailer, and while the company has jumped Apple and eBay, it continues to lag well behind Amazon.
Walmart has been trying to add some Prime-like additions to its Walmart+ benefits, such as the addition of Paramount+, Member savings on fuel, a rewards program, free shipping on groceries, and many in-stock marketplace items with a minimum order of $35.
But here we again see a huge difference between Amazon and Walmart. On Amazon, every Prime-eligible item is available with free shipping to Prime members. Yet, on Walmart through its Walmart+ program, buyers must meet a $35 minimum shipping fee on most marketplace items.
Walmart also pushes local grocery delivery as a primary reason to join the Walmart+ program. To some extent, having a different program from Amazon is good. Let’s face it, they have gone through a few versions of this program before settling on this latest feature benefit.
But is that worth the $98? That will depend on your shopping habits.
One of the big questions for sellers is how much has Walmart improved for them. According to recent data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Walmart+ signups have trailed off to around 11.5 million, representing about 25% of Walmart’s online shoppers.
Compare that to 168 million on Amazon, which represents about 70% of its shoppers, and it’s pretty clear they are well behind Amazon in market penetration.
But that doesn’t mean Walmart cannot be a destination for sellers. Last year, we spoke with Ravi Karia, the Managing Director of Universal Textiles UK Ltd and a Walmart Marketplace seller.
As a UK seller, they started on Walmart in Canada before expanding to the United States. He summed it up, “the Walmart Marketplace has been a great place for us to get more sales.”
He also added, “There’s less competition than on Amazon. It’s also easy to list products on Walmart, so we have a huge catalog on there” and reps are extremely helpful, “Walmart’s support reps understand what you’re talking about, and you don’t need to go through 3 or 4 departments to get an answer to your question, which isn’t the case elsewhere.”
Walmart+ may not have the number Amazon has. But the company seems to be focusing on bringing more products online. Just a few days ago, we reported they are even reducing drop shippers to provide a better buying experience.
Altogether, Walmart is making adjustments to its network and while it may not have the coverage of Amazon, they are making improvements that go beyond just the shopping experience online.
The company is heavily invested in grocery delivery, but there are opportunities for sellers to make money on Walmart. And currently, they are offering a deal for new U.S.-based sellers to join the program, offering a referral fee discount and a $500 ad credit.
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