Wal-Mart also began to sell home products with technology.
Recently, Wal-Mart announced the latest online home product purchase plan on its official website, and launched a 360-degree real-view 3D virtual showroom. When you open the page, consumers can view the furniture as if they were real-life maps and purchase the products directly online.
Like the similar services that IKEA launched before, this service is also designed to solve the problem that online purchase of home products cannot directly measure the size and space effect, to help consumers more easily choose the right products. However, it seems that Wal-Mart's virtual showroom is more like a model room, and consumers can't combine the goods with the real situation in their own home.
Next month, Wal-Mart will also launch a new service called “Buy Room”, which packs all the products displayed in the room and saves the trouble of individual selection. Wal-Mart will first offer five such showrooms, each containing 20 items. This is the first time Wal-Mart has tried to package and sell home products.
July is the peak season for renting, and it is also the day when college students are preparing for school. Wal-Mart will launch this service at this time, targeting the college students who will be setting up the entire dormitory or apartment at the beginning of the new semester. However, it said that although the service would be more suitable for apartments or dormitories in small spaces at the beginning, they will continue to improve this function to meet the needs of more groups after they receive more consumer feedback.
The online home market is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. In addition to retail giants such as Amazon and IKEA, there are a large number of online home electronics trade shows. Among them, Wayfair, the largest home e-commerce company in the United States established in 2002, has ranked first in the list of the fastest-growing listed retailers in the US commercial media Total Retail in 2017, surpassing Amazon. Wayfair's net revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was $1,439 billion, a year-on-year increase of 46.2%, higher than market expectations.
Wal-Mart's emphasis on online business is also increasing. Last year, Wal-Mart's home business division replaced the leader, and the former CEO of decorative home brand Dot&Bo, Anthony Soohoo, served as senior vice president and general manager of all US home e-commerce retail businesses including Walmart.com, Hayeneedle and Jet.com. In February of this year, Wal-Mart redesigned the more concise and generous homepage page and launched the choice of purchasing products by style. In addition, it acquired a virtual reality startup, and then had an e-commerce platform, Allswell, which sells bedding.
In the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, Wal-Mart's online sales increased by 33% year-on-year in the first quarter, continuing the 23% year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of last year. Online sales are expected to increase by 40% throughout FY18.