Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Wal-Mart's website to personalize shopping

04 August 2014, 13:06

New York — Wal-Mart, in its latest bid to compete with nemesis Amazon.com, is making changes to its website to personalize the online shopping experience of each customer.

Wal-Mart is rolling out a feature that will enable its website to show shoppers more products that they may like, based on their previous purchases. It also will customize Wal-Mart's home page for each shopper based on where that customer lives, showing local weather and events, as well as the customer's search and purchase histories.

So if a new mom just bought a stroller or crib on Walmart.com, the revamped website might recommend diapers and car seats, too. And if someone who lives in Dallas searches the website for sports jerseys, Walmart.com could suggest Rangers or Dallas Cowboy gear.

The personalization feature is part of a push by Wal-Mart to improve the online shopping experience of its customers, leading up to a complete re-launch of the site in early 2015. The retailer is looking to boost its business online at a time when its U.S. discount division has seen disappointing sales.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s e-commerce sales increased by 30 percent to over $10 billion in its fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. By comparison, Wal-Mart's U.S. discount division has had five straight quarters of sales declines at stores opened at least a year. Wal-Mart sees big growth opportunity in the online business: Online sales still are only a fraction of the $473 billion Wal-Mart generated in overall annual revenue, dwarfed by Amazon's $60.9 billion in annual sales.

The move to personalize websites for shoppers has become a top priority for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart as they play catch up with Amazon.com, the online king that pioneered customizing content for shoppers. Retailers increasingly are trying to use their reams of customer data they get from mobile devices and computers to personalize their websites and ultimately, boost sales.

Other retailers, including home-improvement chain Home Depot and office-supplies retailer Staples, have been ahead of Wal-Mart in the race to personalize the online shopping experience. In fact, a quarter of customers who visit Home Depot's home page see product recommendations that are based on recent purchase or browser history, according to the company.

Retailers have seen benefits in personalizing their websites for customers, as well as other efforts to improve the online shopping experience. Overall, Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said that changes in customization can help lift a retailer's online sales in the mid-single digits.

Wal-Mart said that customers have responded well to improvements it has made to its website in the past two years, including quadrupling the assortment of items it offers online to 8 million. For example, when Wal-Mart updated its search tool, it saw a 20 percent increase in shoppers completing a purchase after searching for a product using the new search engine.

Wal-Mart has other changes in store for customers. Among them: Over the next couple of months, customers will see a quicker online checkout process: They'll view one page instead of six before clicking on the "buy" button. And the company will be able to update web pages quicker with new products.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Deal with corruption or lose in 2...

A Jubilee Party MP says that the unending corruption claims against the government are killing President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election efforts for 2017. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
MP accuses Raila of making up fal...

An MP has accused CORD leader Raila Odinga of bringing up non existent corruption scandals to hurt the Jubilee government. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave office if you can't handle ...

Leave office if you cannot handle corruption, an MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Give me the chance to unseat Uhur...

Give me the chance to send President Uhuru Kenyatta home, Kalonzo Musyoka tells Kenyans. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Explain your foreign trips since ...

Explain your foreign trips, Musalia Mudavadi tells President Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more...