Walmart Takes on Amazon in Latest Website Remodel

The Amazon Fire Phone has become the top-selling smartphone on the best-selling smartphone list, and there may be a reason for that: if there’s one thing Amazon knows how to do, it’s sell products online. Amazon’s been known for its low retail prices that’re far more competitive to shoppers than even many in-store prices that would drive customers down the street to purchase the item within minutes.

While the Amazon Fire Phone may or may not appeal to you, Amazon’s certainly made a name for itself in its online retail practice and site recommendations. The online retail giant’s had such success with online sales that retail giant Walmart is now changing its online experience to better compete with Amazon.

Walmart has been known mostly for its brick-and-mortar retail stores, but the latest figures show that Walmart’s brick and mortar businesses have had sales declines for the last five quarters now. This has led Walmart to see the value of its online retail presence, so much so that the company wants to steal a few moves from the Amazon playbook.

Walmart intends to revamp its site by providing more search suggestions and recommendations for customers, with a complete website revamp in early 2015. If a shopper buys baby food, for example, Walmart hopes to suggest diapers, baby toys, and possibly even clothes and car seats. If a consumer purchases dog food, the new site will recommend dog toys, dog collars, and even certain healthy dog foods that may be a better nutritional fit than what you feed your pet on a regular basis.

If it’s Christmas and you want to get your wife some jewelry, perhaps you’re looking for earrings but end up getting recommendations for necklaces, bracelets, watches, and even a diamond ring or two.

Walmart has made website changes within the last two years, and has seen as high as a 20% increase in sales when the company updated its online search tool. And Walmart is not alone: even Staples and Home Depot have started offering more customized shopping recommendations for their customers as well – a trend that’s unlikely to go away in years to come.

Once the new Walmart site is revamped in 2015, it’ll provide better optimization for mobile shoppers who utilize smartphones and tablets, and it’ll allow each shopper to customize his or her shopping experience based on where they live, the weather in their area, and so on. I imagine that pick-up options will be localized to the street and city in which a consumer lives – so that even if you want to visit a local store, you won’t have to stand in line and be annoyed.