Walmart iPhone app puts focus on products, not shopping

Nov 6, 2009
Shopping

To kick off the holiday shopping season, mega-retailer Walmart has made its foray into the iTunes App Store. Walmart’s first app incarnation focuses solely on electronics products, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering the variety of departments found in a typical Walmart Supercenter. However, the retailer plans to add more products in upcoming additions. […]

To kick off the holiday shopping season, mega-retailer Walmart has made its foray into the iTunes App Store.

Walmart’s first app incarnation focuses solely on electronics products, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering the variety of departments found in a typical Walmart Supercenter. However, the retailer plans to add more products in upcoming additions.

Within the app, users will find a store locator and products sorted by category, including video games, home theater, computers and TVs. Choose a category and you’ll be asked to narrow your search and select a price range. The free app the displays any items that fit your criteria and from there you can view pricing, a larger product image, a brief product description, the item’s availability (whether it’s available in the store or exclusively online), and product reviews. Users can bookmark items for future reference or launch Safari to buy from Walmart.com. I prefer for apps to open Web pages inline, so this feature wasn’t ideal and I think it causes to be more likely to make their final purchase elsewhere.

The Walmart app does offer an interesting feature for television shoppers. In the TV category, users can tap the camera icon to help them find the perfect television size for their space. Take a photo, and then size the television using the pulling technique to see how big you can go. The feature isn’t foolproof; to get the size of my television to match the finder’s results I had to set my distance as 15 feet away. Impossible, as my living room is only 11 feet wide. Nonetheless, I haven’t seen this feature in any other shopping apps, so I’ll give Walmart kudos for innovation.

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