Walmart enhances digital shopping ahead of holidays

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  • Just in time for the holiday season, Walmart on Thursday announced new online shopping improvements focused on personalization and savings, according to details shared with Retail Dive.
  • Among the updates, Walmart will now have a virtual queue, allowing customers to continue browsing while waiting in line for high-demand products. The retailer is also expanding its View in Your Home augmented reality feature to include over 200 TVs in its iOS app, opening its outfit styling feature for men’s, baby and children’s clothing to select brands and populating searches with the most viewed or purchased products.
  • Walmart also added a green tag to mark products for sale site-wide, as well as a Buy Now button on most products for a faster purchase.

Dive insight:

Walmart is ramping up its digital capabilities ahead of the holidays to make the experience more seamless for customers — and hopefully save them money in the process.

According to a survey it conducted, the bulk retailer found that 78% of shoppers said inflation will have some or major impact on their Christmas shopping.

“Each improvement in website experience helps us create a faster, more engaging, and more personalized experience for our customers, and we’re just getting started,” said Brock McKeel, senior vice president of website experience at Walmart E-Commerce, in a Expression. “The closest store to our customers is in their pocket, and they can count on us to make it easy for them to save time, money and ultimately live better this holiday season.”

Screenshot of the Walmart app stating that a user wants to purchase an item

Walmart’s new virtual queue allows users to continue browsing while waiting in line.

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The retailer has steadily expanded its digital capabilities throughout the year.

Walmart launched a new virtual try-on feature for women’s clothing last month, allowing users to upload full-body pictures to the app and try on selected clothes using machine learning technology. The retailer has also introduced a “Choose Your Own Model” feature for shoppers who want to see how clothes look on models who look like them, improved its gift registration options and expanded its Spanish language search.

The emphasis on online shopping could take some of the pressure off of Walmart’s employees this year. The company announced in September it would hire just 40,000 workers for the holidays – a far cry from the 150,000 it hired last season.

In the grocery space, the company is experimenting with online shopping content that allows readers of sites like Tasty and Allrecipes to buy ingredients from Walmart.

Walmart is among many retailers that launched holiday sales earlier this year. The company held its October Deals event, “Rollbacks and More,” Oct. 10-13, competing with Amazon and Target, which also hosted early savings days during the same period. It also revealed an early, multi-week Black Friday sale that will start on November 7th.