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Walmart to unveil new online home shopping experience soon

The global e-commerce behemoth, Walmart is contemplating on unveiling a new online home shopping experience soon that would eventually allow the shoppers to discover products based on their style, according to michigansthum.com report. Apparently, the move, announced recently, is the first glimpse of Walmart’s broader campaign to redesign its site with a focus on fashion and home furnishings, noted the report.

Revamp of Website

The revamped website will be unveiled later this year and will mirror how people shop for different items, said the report. While some purchases such as groceries are transactional, others like fashion and home furnishings require more discovery, later this spring, Walmart is rolling out its new Lord and Taylor dedicated page as part of its partnership with the department store chain’s parent company Hudson’s Bay, the report said.

Slew of Options

Stating that Walmart’s home shopping site will include curated collections and nine shop-by-style options including modern, traditional and bohemian, the report went on to add that Walmart would offer design tips that will help shoppers pull items together.

“With this launch, we’re making it faster, easier and more inspiring for customers to discover the best of our assortment no matter their personal style,” said Anthony Soohoo, Senior Vice President and general manager of a home for Walmart’s e-commerce division told the news agency, AP.

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Ramping up an E-Commerce business

Apparently, the move comes as Walmart, with its eye on Amazon.com, has been working to ramp up its e-commerce business, which still accounts for less than 4% of its total sales. It’s overhauled its shipping strategy and expanded the number of items online to 75 million. In home furnishings, it doubled the number of products online from a year ago and introduced a new Scandinavian collection of furniture for children.

Stiff Competition

Walmart is facing stiff competition both on the home front from players like Amazon but home shopping sites such as Wayfair. Amazon has been growing its home offerings. It sells its own exclusive brands of furniture, sheets and other home goods. It signed a deal with Ethan Allen last year to sell its sofas, lamps, and rugs, and Amazon shoppers can ask Ethan Allen experts for design advice. Boston-based Wayfair is the largest online-only furniture retailer and has a seemingly infinite range of products, but it’s facing more pressure from Amazon as it expands deeper into the home arena. Target has also been stepping up its offerings in home furnishings, both online and in the store. Two years ago, it started offering vignettes in the home area of its physical stores to inspire shoppers to buy.

Walmart’s latest online strategy comes as it hit a snag in its e-commerce business for the critical fiscal fourth quarter, after enjoying a surging e-commerce business over the past few quarters that helped lift its stock. Its U.S. e-commerce business rose 23 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter, a dramatic slowdown from the 50 percent growth in the previous quarter. Shares fell 10.2 percent on Tuesday to post its biggest single-day percentage drop in 30 years. Walmart says it expects its e-commerce business to ramp up this year and sees e-commerce rising 40 percent this year, the same pace as last year, added the report.

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