Walmart Inc., the largest brick and mortar retailer in the world, said Tuesday that it has made several changes to its online site, as it bets that a clean and more modern website will help to take away market share for its biggest rival Amazon.com.
Walmart, which in October announced that it would be redesigning its online site, has invested heavily in e-commerce and is using its 4,700 U.S. stores to make shopping online easier.
The company, based in Bentonville, Arkansas is allowing its shoppers to pick up as well as return orders from online in its stores and announced in March it was planning to expand its home delivery for groceries to reach over 40% of households in the U.S.
The new changes, which will take hold at the beginning of May, include many new colors, fonts as well as informal photos. The retailer did not comment on how much was spent on its redesign.
Walmart had not updated its online site since 2014 and even at that time the changes were not very dramatic, said a spokesperson for the company.
The new homepage for Walmart will be personalized to the location of the customer, allowing them to purchase products that are currently trending where they live and see which of the online services are provided in their location, said Marc Lore, head of the e-commerce business for Walmart.
Lore added that the website’s layout would soon be very different depending upon the product categories, allowing customers to shop differently for groceries from the way they purchase clothes, accessories or home improvements items.
Lore added that the changes were received well by the different brands on the website. The brands will now have more area and several different ways they can advertise. Retailers, including Alibaba and Amazon often give brands areas on their sites to increase the traffic and boost the amount of products offered online.
Walmart in February announced that its sales online had increased by 23% in the quarter that had most recently ended, which was less than 50% of the growth rate for each of its previous three quarters. Walmart posted revenue from online sales in the U.S. of $11.5 billion for its full year, while total sales across the U.S. ended the year at $318.5 billion.
The slowdown in growth for online sales raises concerns amongst analysts that Walmart might not keep up the pace with companies such as Amazon.