Walmart Canada redesigns its website, just in time for holidays

The retailer's new website is mobile, tablet and desktop friendly, with different checkout options

Walmart has redesigned its website, increased the product offering and promising free shipping on most items, with no minimum spend.

“We’ve added tens of thousands of products,” said Simon Rodrigue, vice-president and general manager of e-commerce for Walmart Canada.

As of mid-November, the site had 31,248 online only items with many items sporting price tags not normally associated with Walmart, such as a hot tub for $5,348. In the grocery category, the site had 6,782 items in mid-November that qualified for free shipping.

“Canadians are becoming savvier online,” Rodrigue said. “They are seeking capabilities in their online shopping experience that suit their multi-functional lifestyles. They are also seeking homegrown options, particularly during key shopping seasons such as the holidays.”

Walmart research has found that about 60% of Canadians are currently shopping online for everything from furniture to food.

The redesigned Walmart site can be accessed from mobile, tablet or desktop computers and includes such functions as a one-page checkout process and a guest checkout option, which allows for online shopping without having to create an account.

Customers can choose items using such factors as brand, price, customer rating and by availability online or in-store.

As well, shoppers can see if an item is available at the store of their choice, online or both and can choose the best option and make returns in stores or online, Rodrigue said. And an improved “suggested items” feature provides suggestions on similar items and top rated products.

The English- and French-language versions of the site are identical. As well, the site has a similar look to the American site, which in early November had a snafu that resulted in low price items selling at high prices (such as Kool-Aid packets for more than $70) and other items selling for next to nothing (kayaks at $11, for example). Walmart blamed the problem on a technical glitch and sent $10 e-gift cards to affected customers.

Walmart said it has more than 300,000 unique visitors daily. According to comScore Inc. numbers, Amazon is well ahead of Walmart in visitors, with Amazon sites drawing 11.4 million unique visitors in Canada in September, compared with Walmart’s four million unique visitors.

However, Rodrigue says shoppers should opt for rather than competitors’ sites because of “free delivery, assortment of product availability, ease of use with the fully responsive site and convenience to choose how you want to shop.”

In addition to free shipping for most items, Walmart is participating in a pilot program with Canada Post that provides same day delivery in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, orders placed online can be picked up at more than 5,000 Canada Post locations around the country.

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