Walmart's website gets a mobile friendly makeover

Walmart's (NYSE:WMT) website is getting a makeover with a mobile focus. The retailer on Monday unveiled a redesigned site intended to deliver more personalization and a better user experience.

"We started our new design from the baseline of small tablets, optimizing it for that form factor, and then carefully considered how each area of the site could adapt itself to take advantage of larger screens with different input mechanisms (i.e., fingers versus mice) when available," said Ben Galbraith, VP, global products, Walmart global e-commerce.

"Currently 50 percent of traffic to Walmart.com comes from mobile devices so designing with these customers in mind was a big priority for the site," Bao Nguyen, a Walmart spokesman told Mobile Commerce Daily. "The site was created for tablets first, with big tap buttons and swipe elements that make it easy for tablet users to search and shop with their fingertips."

Images are bigger and the overall design less cluttered to deliver a better user experience on mobile devices.

Personalization and customization are a big focus of the new site. Product searches will be more accurate and suggestions increasingly tailored to specific shopper preferences, based on past visits.

"We're able to deliver much more relevant suggestions because we are now able to draw from the massive trove of data from both online and store purchases," said Galbraith.

There will also be greater integration between the physical and digital stores. "One way we're doing that is through the new 'My Local Store' area of the site that enables our customers to explore the features of their nearby Walmart stores, including a listing of the latest Rollbacks, a selection of coupons and more," Galbraith said. There's also a new store finder feature to better plan store visits.

The site is built on a new e-commerce platform that has been in development for two years. "This platform fully modernizes the technology we're using to build Walmart.com and includes our vaunted search engine, our sophisticated personalization and recommendation engines, and other state-of-the-art components that lay the foundation for future updates to come," according to Walmart.

The changes are being rolled out in phases and currently reach roughly half of Walmart's regular online shoppers.

A revised checkout process is coming soon that reduces the number of steps to a single page.

For more:
-See this Mobile Commerce Daily story 
-See this Walmart blog post

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