Walmart is eliminating 2 of the biggest obstacles to buying home goods online

  • Walmart is launching two new ways for customers to shop for home furnishings online, with a 3D virtual tour function and an ability to "buy the room" on display.
  • The tour, which launched on Thursday, allows customers to see what items look like in a virtual space so that they can envision them in their own.
  • The "buy the room" feature, which will launch in July, allows customers to buy a group of items that all go together.

Walmart is looking to make it easier to buy home furnishings online.

Home furnishings is a big category for online shopping, but it faces risks as these items can be more expensive to ship, and customers often have a hard time predicting what the items will look like in their own homes. 

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Products that are surprisingly cheaper at Walmart than Amazon
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Products that are surprisingly cheaper at Walmart than Amazon

1. Dixie paper plates (150-count)

Amazon price: $22.90

Walmart price: $10.97

Difference: 108.75 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com

2. Bounty paper towels (12-pack of super rolls)

Amazon price: $34.86

Walmart price: $21.97

Difference: 58.67 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com 

3. Reynolds Wrap heavy-duty aluminum foil (75 square feet)

Amazon price: $5.69

Walmart price: $3.58

Difference: 58.94 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com 

4. Dyson v6 cordless vacuum

Amazon price: $355.00

Walmart price: $175.00

Difference: 102.86 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

5. Stanley Tools 6-piece vinyl-grip screwdriver set

Amazon price: $29.99

Walmart price: $15.11

Difference: 98.48 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com 

6. Red Solo Cups (50-pack)

Amazon price: $9.00

Walmart price: $3.88

Difference: 131.96 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com 

7. Rachael Ray 15-piece cookware set

Amazon price: $120.59

Walmart price: $99.00

Difference: 21.81 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com 

8. Samsung 55-inch 1080p smart TV

Amazon price: $596.44

Walmart price: $547.99

Difference: 8.84 percent

Photo credit: Walmart.com 

9. Equate 200 mg ibuprofen tablets (1,000 count)

Amazon price: $15.45

Walmart price: $12.97

Difference: 19.12 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

10. Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 Black Luxe Edition headphones

Amazon price: $129.99

Walmart price: $89.10

Difference: 45.89 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

11. Igloo 28-quart Island Breeze cooler

Amazon price: $29.53

Walmart price: $17.47

Difference: 69.03 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

12. Stanley Rip Claw fiberglass hammer

Amazon price: $12.99

Walmart price: $7.88

Difference: 64.85 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

13. Scotch Magic Tape, ½-inch by 450 inches (2-pack)

Amazon price: $5.79

Walmart price: $4.95

Difference: 16.97 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

14. Keystone Energy Star dehumidifier (50 pint)

Amazon price: $179.00

Walmart price: $164.52

Difference: 8.80 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

15. Brita large 10-cup water pitcher (with filter)

Amazon price: $39.99

Walmart price: $31.19

Difference: 28.21 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

16. ProForm Performance 400i treadmill

Amazon price: $599.98

Walmart price: $549.99

Difference: 9.09 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

17. MD Sports pingpong table

Amazon price: $128.00

Walmart price: $109.00

Difference: 17.43 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

18. Black + Decker 6-slice convection toaster oven

Amazon price: $53.51

Walmart price: $42.96

Difference: 24.56 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

19. Symphony black beveled wall mirror (28 x 34 inches)

Amazon price: $42.95

Walmart price: $24.99

Difference: 71.87 percent

Photo credit: Walmart

20. Keurig k425 single-serve coffeemaker

Amazon price: $145.99

Walmart price: $129.99

Difference: 12.31 percent

Photo credit: Walmart 

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Walmart is looking to change that with two new initatives for customers to shop furnishings online, it announced on Thursday.

The first, which has already rolled out, is a 3D virtual tour of an apartment filled with items available for purchase on Walmart.com. Shoppers can click to move through the virtual space, and if they see something they like, all they need to do is click the yellow icon. That will take them to the product page on Walmart.com.

The items are displayed in the virtual space artfully, allowing customers to get a real idea of how it might look in their own living spaces. This contrasts with the mystery involved when most home furnishings are bought. Often, an item will be too big or small to fit in, resulting in a costly return.

The second feature, which Walmart is launching in July, is the ability to buy an entire group of items that the retailer has already picked out and organized into a "look." The items will already match, meaning that customers don't have to worry that they'll clash.

The feature will launch with five collections, and each one will feature 20 hand-picked items. The initative is designed for customers like college students, who are apt to buy furniture for a space all in one go — and might not have a careful eye for design yet.

To test it out, go to Walmart.com/virtualroomtour.

The two initatives follow the new home experience that Walmart launched online in February, which refreshed the way it sold home furnishings online. Walmart has already been getting "great feedback from customers" with regards to the initiative, Anthony Soohoo, Walmart's head of home furnishings e-commerce, said in a blog post announcing the new features.

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