Walmart eases holiday gifting with new digital features

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Walmart eases holiday gifting with new digital features

By Dan Berthiaume - 11/24/2020

Online Walmart shoppers can now shop for gifts with an expanded set of filters, and keep their holiday purchases secret.

According to the discount giant, 87% of its customers plan to seek out deals earlier to better prepare for the holiday season. In response, Walmart is adding new categories to the digital gift finder tool it introduced in 2019.

The gift finder tool allows customers to provide information based on the recipient and their price range, and are served up personalized recommendations. Additional filters for 2020 include nostalgia & retro; preassembled gift sets; and gift cards and e-gifts, including options in categories like food, entertainment, and apparel that can be sent in the mail or digitally.

Walmart has also added an egift card feature to its app. Customers can select the gift card design, the amount, write a message, add the recipient’s information and hit send. 

In addition, Walmart lets customers mark an item as a gift, which hides the price from the recipient, ensures it’s enclosed in a Walmart box (to keep the contents a surprise), and emails a customizable gift message in a digital gift receipt to the recipient. Chief Walmart rival Amazon is enabling its Amazon Alexa voice device to hide the names of items that might be gifts, and customers can also mark an item as a gift during checkout and Alexa will not reveal the names of the items. Customers can also change their settings for item names in the Alexa app to hide all titles.

Also new for 2020, Walmart is labeling items that can be sent as gifts with a “gift eligible” icon on the checkout page, in search results, and on item pages. Customers can search for products with a new gift-eligible filter, to more easily shop for items that can be sent as gifts. And customers can see if a package is shipped in the manufacturer’s original box. If a shopper wants to keep a gift item surprise, but it normally ships in the manufacturer’s box, they can make arrangements to pick it up at a Walmart store or have it shipped to another person’s house, instead.

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