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Walmart revamps website and app to resemble social media

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Walmart is making browsing its e-commerce site and app more like social media.

Walmart is continuing its digital transformation efforts with a major redesign of its online and mobile customer experiences.

As part of its latest e-commerce initiative, the retail giant is launching a product-focused home page that features a new “social-inspired scroll” with rich imagery and live video. The design enables online customers to browse Walmart’s product selection on its site and app the same way they would scroll a social media app.

In addition, the new Walmart online shopping experience highlights products that are most relevant to a customer at a specific moment, such as holiday gifts or items for watching a sporting event. As a result, the retailer said its suppliers and third-party marketplace sellers will have new, time-sensitive and contextual opportunities for showcasing relevant products and storytelling.

Walmart is creating a more social media-type online social shopping experience, including a focus on video, as TikTok both becomes a more popular online shopping platform and faces a possible ban from the U.S. government. Chief Walmart rival Amazon recently began rolling out a TikTok-like, product- and video-focused digital shopping experience called Inspire.

Interestingly, media reports indicate that Walmart, a long-established TikTok social commerce partner, may take part in creating a new TikTok operation that would be separate from its current Chinese majority owner ByteDance.

[Read more: Report: TikTok may be considering Walmart/Oracle deal again]

Walmart pursues digital innovation

Walmart, which said higher-income customers made up nearly half of its sales gains during its most recent fourth quarter, has been actively redesigning its digital shopping experience to feature more next-generation solutions and experiences.

Examples include a text-to-shop option, its TrendGetter tool enables product discovery through digital photos and images, and the expansion of its augmented reality (AR)-based “View in Your Home feature to over 200 televisions on its iOS app

“We put our customers first, and this new homepage is just one more way we’re improving the online shopping experience to make it more compelling to shop with us while saving our customers time and money,” said Tom Ward, executive VP and chief e-commerce Officer, Walmart U.S., in a corporate blog post. “And we’re giving our Walmart creators the resources, tools and products to help develop their community and inspire customers as they shop online. Looking ahead, we will continue to innovate to deliver an experience that makes Walmart our customers’ first choice for online shopping, every day, every season, for every item.”

Walmart developed its new digital shopping experience in-house in a collaborative effort by its global technology, product, and design teams.

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