Can a Web Design Overhaul Boost Sales? For Walmart.com, Yes
When it comes to ways to boost online revenue, a new web design can do a lot. Walmart.com proved that recently after it rolled out its new site design in May 2018. Likely taking a note from Amazon, Walmart’s new site delivers more personalized suggested products based on a shopper’s history. It also displays trending items based on location (more deer stands in Mississippi and swimsuit coverups in California).
Another major change is a bigger focus on Fashion and Home departments. Images, too, have been overhauled and are now larger and more front-and-center, giving Walmart.com a higher-end vibe than it had before.
Big Results Already
Since the relaunch just weeks ago, conversions have significantly increased, as have interactions, adds-to-cart, and order checkouts. Just weeks before the website relaunch, conversions were 1.2-1.4% of overall visitors, but after the relaunch, they’ve jumped to 2-2.5% and holding steady.
This is all despite lower overall traffic numbers.
Is it simply the new site that’s convincing people to complete their purchases? With a stronger sales funnel than before, it would seem that visitors to Walmart.com have more reasons to buy there.
The conversions are up, but so are the earlier phases of the path-to-purchase. Interaction rates (where customers view products or search for them), add-to-cart rates, checkout starts and conversions all have seen healthy increases that correlate with the launch of the new design.
Is Fashion the Future?
One particular category where conversions are up is Women’s Clothing (conversions aloneup 57%), and that’s likely due to two causes.
The first: unlike the rest of the site, traffic to Women’s Clothing products is up 50% so far this year. And this traffic is largely paid. Perhaps to make the most of the redesigned site, Walmart has increased the amount to paid advertising they use to generate traffic to women’s clothing. Of Walmart.com’s traffic to its Women’s Clothing products, 73.9% of it was from paid sources so far in 2018, compared to just 45.5% in the same time period a year ago.
The second seems to be better merchandising and site design. In the first 5 months of 2018, traffic, was up 50%, but the rate at which consumers added items to their cart, started checkout, and ultimately made purchases in the women’s clothing category were up 59%, 57%, and 57%, respectively.
Walmart is trying to further these gains with moves like a significant new partnership with clothing retailer Lord & Taylor. The high-end department store now offers top brands like BCBG and Nautica at prices, which, while higher than many of the clothing items Walmart has specialized in, are still much lower than in L&T stores.
This bold new move is one to watch to see if a store known for its discount prices can find a niche with slightly higher-priced clothing.
The Right Web Design Can Work Wonders
It would seem, based on Walmart’s results, that a new web design more focused on usability and personalization is appealing to consumers, and can in fact move the needle when it comes to conversions and sales.
Taking risks (the L&T partnership) may end up shifting consumer perception of Walmart from a discount brand to one more fashion-driven, particularly among Millennials. It will be interesting to see if Walmart reduces its paid spend and still attracts high numbers to its Clothing pages over time.
Putting customers at the center is always good business. When you incorporate elements of personalization and customization on your site, you are better able to deliver what your audience wants.