Walmart is giving its online home shopping experience a makeover. Following in the footsteps of competitors like Houzz and Wayfair, the retailer has adopted a new layout that lets shoppers browse items by style, from “farmhouse” to “Scandinavian.” Is the strategy enough to make Walmart stand out in the crowded home decor space?
Ranked Gifted in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box, the retail giant has been aggressive in its digital investments. So it’s no surprise that Walmart is going after the home goods market, which generates around $58 billion in sales and is expected to grow that number 11% annually between now and 2022. However, this space is increasingly competitive, as Amazon and Wayfair—now the largest online-only furniture retailer—vie for dominance among established retailers including West Elm and Crate & Barrel.
Offering multiple products styled together in curated rooms could certainly motivate shoppers to buy more. But Walmart is hardly the only retailer to adopt this layout: Houzz and West Elm already let consumers browse by style, and Ikea offers up an Inspiration tab with sweeping visuals of different rooms and product info listed beside each one. Even Home Depot has introduced an aesthetic aspect to its e-commerce lineup: an interactive Pinterest board where shoppers can explore virtual rooms in 360-degrees and shop the items inside.
Walmart’s new layout is touted as a similarly visual experience, but it’s really more like Wayfair’s—a set of filters for users to use when refining their search. This makes sense, since Wayfair has often been discussed as a good acquisition candidate for both Walmart and Amazon. However, it’s less of an aesthetic update than a practical one.