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Walmart revamps app to bolster the in-store experience


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Walmart has updated its app with new features meant to improve and facilitate in-store shopping, according to a company blog post. Now, when consumers enter a Walmart location and open the Walmart app, the app will shift into “Store Assistant” mode, where several new in-store tools will be available.

Walmart’s app now offers a number of new tools to improve the in-store shopping experience.

  • The app will feature in-store maps with product locations. Walmart is creating in-store maps for each of its locations to tell consumers what aisle and shelf area a product is located in. This could help consumers find what they need in Walmart’s sprawling stores, and even in its smaller store concepts. Walmart Supercenters are, on average, nearly 178,000 square feet, which can make them difficult to navigate, but these maps can make that process easier.
  • Walmart has improved the app’s shopping list capabilities, including the ability to see if products are in stock. When making a shopping list, consumers can now check what products are in stock at a specific location, and how much their shopping carts will cost when they check out. With 80% of Walmart shoppers making a shopping list before going to a store, according to the blog post, these improvements should help consumers make successful trips to Walmart locations, as they’ll know if the products they need are there and if they’re prepared to pay the cost. This benefits Walmart, as it may be less likely to lose sales to other retailers due to stocking and pricing issues.
  • Store Assistant also makes it easier for consumers to access in-store services like Walmart Pay and the store’s pharmacy. These services are front and center in the app’s in-store redesign, as are Walmart’s scanner and shopping lists, making all of these tools more accessible, which may spur usage.

The retailer is looking to better incorporate smartphones and bolster its shopping experience through its app. Consumers are already using their smartphones in-store when they shop, but if Walmart can get them to use its app for in-store searches, it can better control and improve their shopping experience. And Walmart appears to be committed to this plan, as the blog post hints that it will continue to add new functionality to the app. This strategy could pay dividends going forward, as Gen Z is more likely than any older generation to use their smartphones when they shop, and Walmart is creating a shopping experience that will better appeal to this important consumer group.

Generation Z, also known as iGen or Centennials, is arguably the most pivotal generation to the future of retail. By 2026, the majority of Gen Zers will reach adulthood, and their spending power will reach new heights. Retailers and brands need to start establishing relationships with Gen Zers now to ensure success in the years to come.

But Gen Zers, who we define as those born between 1996 and 2010, are different from older generations, and understanding their characteristics and preferences is essential to capturing their attention — and their dollars. Though members of older generations have grown accustomed to using the internet, Gen Zers are the first consumers to have grown up wholly in the digital era.

They’re tech-savvy, heavy internet users, and mobile-first — and, most importantly, they have high standards for how they spend their time online. Retailers and brands — which have spent more than a decade trying to catch up to millennials’ interests and habits after ignoring them and the digital revolution for too long — must leverage Gen Z’s tendency to be online at all times, and make sure to meet the generation’s heightened digital expectations.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has written a detailed report on digital commerce and Gen Z that:

  • Explores the current and future spending power of Gen Z.
  • Examines Gen Zers’ interest in brick-and-mortar shopping, and identifies how retailers and brands can capitalize on it.
  • Provides insight into the generation’s digital expectations, and analyzes what they mean for selling to Gen Zers online.
  • Discusses the influence of quality and social media on Gen Z’s purchase behavior, and considers potential courses of action for retailers and brands.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
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