Just in time for the holiday season, the biggest retailer in the US (or is it the world?) has brought out an iPhone app. Walmart is the official app from the retail giant. Its App Store description promises that it is ‘designed to help you find great products that fit your budget, and to make your Walmart shopping experience fast,easy, and fun ‘. Hmmm, Walmart and fun “ not two words I normally put together I have to say “ but using an app may well be a whole lot more fun than tramping round a store.
The first version of the app is focused on, and limited to, Electronics and some of its key features include: search and browse the electronics catalog, bookmark your favorite products, share products using email and Facebook, quickly find a local Walmart store, buy products from the Walmart.com site.
I have spent a little time with the app, and have a few quick thoughts on it, as well as some screencaps to share.
The Walmart app is fairly basic in this first version, but performs well enough on the things it does do.
The Store Finder used my current location (after asking permission of course) and showed me a scary number of Walmart locations in my general vicinity
If you tap on one of the locations you get some details on distance away, and an address and phone number listing
The ‘At This Location ‘ bar takes you to a screen listing the facilities and features that the site has
Even the Electronics section is a bit limited in this initial version of the app “ there are no cellphones / smartphones included, for instance. The sections that are offered are: TVs, Computers, Camcorders, Digital Cameras, DVD & Blu-Ray, GPS & Navigation, Home Theater, iPods & MP3 Players, and Video Games.
Browsing through the Computers section is OK, but definitely not as good as on, say, a Best Buy or similar web site. The product descriptions, for example, are very sparse.
If you choose to buy a product, you ‘re taken out of the app and over to the walmart.com site.
I think the Walmart app is a decent first effort. It ‘s a little like the stores in some ways “ quite basic and not a lot of frills, bells or whistles. If you ‘re a devoted Walmart shopper and like to look at it for electronics purchases, this may be a winner for you. If you ‘re not, I don ‘t think this app is enough to win you over. The app is set to add coverage of further areas beyond electronics in future “ and it should have broader appeal at that point.
You can get the Walmart app in the App Store now, and it ‘s free.