Walmart.com Shows Off Fresh New User-Centric Design

If there’s one thing the new Walmart.com redesign tells us, it’s that user-centric methodology is the way to go for online shopping.

As we know, Amazon is the pioneer in this space – owning more than half (53%*) of U.S. Retail E-commerce Sales. Their user-centric model help set the tone for an experience the customer have come to expect, and has therefore put more pressure on competitors – like Walmart.com – to follow suit. * Source: PwC, “Global Consumer Insights Survey 2018: New business models in the e-commerce era,” March 13, 2018

Today, we share six noteworthy user-centric design processes from the new Walmart.com. These processes should inspire us marketers think differently about how we interact with shoppers online.

1. Make a Positive First Impression

Walmart.com already offers many features – like one-click re-ordering, grocery pick-up and free 2-day shipping – that put their user first. However, small design updates – like the incorporation of lifestyle photography – brings a more human element to the site and helps the user feel welcomed.

Walmart has also moved away from their heavy blue header bar and has transitioned to a more user-friendly design. This simplified toolbar helps users quickly access the most frequently used features of the site.

2. Personalization is King (or Queen)

To go along with the theme of user-centric design is the enhancement of Walmart.com’s personalization algorithm. These updates tap into the shopper’s unique data – including their location, past purchases, recently viewed items, etc. – to serve up products, solutions and content that are relevant to them much similar to Amazon.com.

3. Make Design Accessible

This new .com also brings a greater understanding and awareness to the topic of accessibility design for shoppers who may have disabilities such as color blindness or difficulty viewing composition, color, contrast, and motion.

For example, new icons in the simplified toolbar use color and type to provide more context for shoppers who may not know what the icon represents.

Walmart.com is also using color and text to call out items within their site. For shoppers with color blindness, these interface graphics provide context even if a color cannot be recognized.

4. Ensure Pages are Scannable

Similar to how we read books, the most common way to read a webpage is from left to right. Similarly, the new Walmart.com has appropriately laid out their pages in this format – called the “F-Shaped Pattern” – which makes them easily scannable. This clear visual hierarchy reduces user’s cognitive load, helping them make choices faster and easier.

5. Provide Some Inspiration

The new Walmart.com includes an expanded Tips and Ideas section that features inspirational lifestyle content like recipes, decorating and fashion trends, entertaining ideas and more. This section has a trustworthy, blog-like feel and allows Walmart to serve products to shoppers in an untraditional way. The content is also sharable, which adds to the blog-like nature of the section and allows the shopper to engage more deeply with the content.

6. Consider Language Barriers 

One area of the new Walmart.com that’s lacking is the ability to translate the site into other languages. Part of the user-centric approach is not only thinking like the user, but also catering to their language preferences. This is a miss as this language barrier may intimidate (or turn off) shoppers who visit the site, resulting in shoppers leaving the site to take their business elsewhere. (Image below – Amazon’s Language Setting Feature)

Key Takeaways for Marketers

Expect Walmart.com to continue going down this user-centric path and reinventing how they compete with other retail/e-comm outlets. Keep in mind that Walmart.com is not done updating all their pages just yet. Pages like Walmart Grocery Pickup, Savings Catcher, and Registry remain untouched, which could cause shopper confusion and drop-off, especially on smaller devices.

Be aware of Walmart’s many non-English speaking shoppers and be thoughtful about how to make the online experience better for them. No one wants to loose a sale due to a language barrier.

Take advantage of this new user-focused methodology and:

  • Bring forward relevant lifestyle content that sparks inspiration and creativity.
  • Use vibrant humanty-focused photography to represent your desired emotion or action.
  • Shorten your CTAs and product descriptions.
  • Use clever icons to assist with navigation.
  • Don’t be afraid of personalization.

Read the full article here on Print Magazine – Strategic Implications from Walmart.com’s Redesign

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