Walmart kicks off back-to-school season with 3D online shopping
TECHNOLOGY

Walmart kicks off back-to-school season with 3D online shopping

BY By Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A discount giant is making it easier for co-eds to decorate their dorm rooms.

Walmart is enhancing its new website with two new services that will streamline how customers browse and make purchases across its home furnishings offering. On Thursday, the discount giant will begin testing its 3D virtual shopping tour, a service that enables customers to virtually browse a curated apartment. The service features nearly 70 items from both national brands and Walmart’s private label offerings.

Walmart will also enable customers to buy a completely decorated room. In July, the discounter is launching “Buy a Room,” a service that will allow customers to add a group of items to their online shopping cart, and buy a complete look.

Initially, the service will highlight dorm living, and feature five curated collections. Each room will feature up to 20 of the most popular items college students need to outfit their living space.

“While we are launching these new features for dorm rooms and small space living, we know that they could have applications elsewhere and will continue to listen to customer feedback to determine how to implement them more broadly on the site,” said Anthony Soohoo, senior VP and group general manager, home, U.S. e-commerce, Walmart.

For example, Walmart plans to continue build out its home assortment, and plans to add a new coastal style, he added.

The new solutions are an extension of Walmart’s new digital home furnishings shopping experience. This is one of many elements featured on Walmart’s redesigned website, which was introduced in February.

Walmart’s new dorm room shopping experience comes on the heels of Amazon’s own push for the upcoming back-to school shopping season. On Wednesday, the online giant launched its redesigned “Back to School” and new “Off to College” stores, two concepts that feature low-priced classroom supplies and dorm room essentials. Both online sections feature a curated selection of merchandise, and streamlined searches to locate items.

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Kroger establishing digital headquarters

BY Marianne Wilson

The growing importance of digital to supermarket operators is evident in a new move from The Kroger Co.

The supermarket giant announced that it has established a separate headquarters for its digital team in downtown Cincinnati. It will house approximately 600 existing Kroger digital associates at first, who are being relocated from another facility. The retailer said it expects to grow its digital team to more than 1,000 over the next three years.

“As part of Restock Kroger, our plan to redefine the grocery customer experience, we are investing in innovative digital and technology infrastructure,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “Our new Digital HQ is an important step on our journey to create a truly seamless shopping environment.”

Kroger recently announced an exclusive partnership with British online grocer market Ocado and acquired online meal-kit company Home Chef, with both moves intended to evolve and grow its digital business. Last week, the chain reported its first quarter digital sales grew by 66%.

“We decided to locate Kroger’s Digital HQ here because we love Cincinnati,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We believe growing our digital team here will support Cincinnati becoming a destination for digital and tech talent.”

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The Home Depot reportedly adding lockers for online order pickup

BY CSA Staff

The nation’s largest home improvement retailer is making it even easier for customers to pickup their online orders.

The Home Depot is installing lockers that will securely store customers’ online orders until they are ready to pick them up, according to USA Today.

When customers arrive in-store to pick up their online order, they will be directed to rows of orange boxes located at the front of the store. They will unlock a designated locker, and retrieve their order, all without employee assistance, according to USA Today.

With 45% of Home Depot’s online orders picked up at stores, the lockers will “simplify that process by providing customers with the convenience of self-service and time savings,” Home Depot spokeswoman Lana Johnston said in the report.

To read more, click here.

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