Shoppers will see more personalization based on where they are and what they've bought before on Walmart's website, as the retailer and several other stores try to build stronger connections with shoppers used to the customization of Amazon.
Walmart says it's including a section that highlights top-selling items in a customer's location, feature services such as online grocery that are available in the area, and make it easy for people to buy again items they've bought most often in stores and online. It's part of a site overhaul set for next month.
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Building an emotional tie with shoppers starts with emotional content, and that will make people more likely to shop there, said Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart.com's U.S. division. "We're going to continue to get smarter over time," Lore said, though he declined to offer details about further personalization.
Several retailers have made efforts toward personalizing their websites for customers, but large-scale success has been elusive. Often, customers get deluged with offers based on an item they bought just once.
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Amazon set the standard with recommending products based on what shoppers bought or searched for early in the dot.com years. But now personalization involves localization and even customizing products, says Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research.
"There are different spins of personalization,'' said Mulpuru-Kodali. "The challenge for retail is to figure out what, based on all the data, is actually useful."
Walmart has been relying on Lore -- who founded Jet.com, which Walmart later bought -- to update its online feel. The company is trying for a more upscale look, and later this year will launch a dedicated Lord & Taylor page as part of their partnership.