Walmart.com's planned overhaul features a host of tools designed to solve some of customers' top complaints about shopping online.
Walmart is overhauling its website, the company announced Tuesday, and the new version is nothing like the Walmart.com we know.
Aesthetically, the redesign is simpler, cleaner, and more engaging than the current site — which is mostly an impersonal display of static product images.
Aside from the sleek new look, the site upgrade features a host of tools meant to solve some of customers' top complaints about shopping online.
The tools, many of which are featured prominently on the new Walmart.com homepage, are designed to make it easier to reorder items, check the status on orders, explore services at nearby stores, and discover products that are trending locally. The "trending products" tool will be updated daily, Walmart executives said.
"The goal here is to build a deeper emotional connection to our customer base by creating a more compelling look and feel and a cleaner, more modern, digital shopping experience," Marc Lore, the CEO of e-commerce for Walmart US, told Business Insider in a phone interview.
The new site is set to roll out at the beginning of May.
The changes are long overdue for the world's largest retailer as it goes head-to-head with Amazon in the battle for shoppers both online and offline.
Walmart's e-commerce sales sharply slowed over the holidays, falling to 23% growth from 50% in the previous quarter. A website redesign could help deliver the boost Walmart needs to reach its target of 40% online sales growth for fiscal 2019.
In addition to offering personalized shopping services, the new website will feature "specialty" shopping experiences that encourage browsing and product discovery over purely "transactional" shopping, Lore said.
A new fashion landing page, for example, will feature "relevant, bold imagery and seasonal stories" with more "human elements" — meaning the site will feature people, not just products. The Lord & Taylor online store announced late last year will be a part of the new fashion hub.
"We know customers shop differently depending on what they are purchasing," Lore said in a blog post published Tuesday. "Customers shopping for groceries and household essentials want to quickly re-buy what they always purchase, while those looking for a new couch want to be inspired while browsing the different options."
The website redesign comes as Walmart expands online grocery pickup to 1,000 additional stores, adds pickup towers for online orders to another 500 stores, and expands Mobile Express Scan & Go, which allows shoppers to scan and pay for items with their smartphones.
Walmart also last year rolled out free two-day shipping on all orders over $35 and launched discounts for customers who ship online orders to stores.