Expands Spanish Language Search to Serve Fast-Growing Demographic


In a nod to consumers’ increasing embrace of e-commerce, Walmart said Wednesday (July 13) announced it is expanding its Spanish-language online search capabilities to better serve its fastest-growing demographic.

“For years, we’ve spoken about our focus on creating seamless omnichannel shopping experiences that save our customers time and money,” wrote Senior Manager, Product Rini Joshi and Senior Director, Product Amit Vasant Bande in a company blog post.

“We know language can be a significant barrier to a great shopping experience, so we’ve been hard at work to fix that by expanding the Spanish search capability on,” they wrote.

About 18% of the U.S. population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, a percentage that is projected to grow to 28% by 2060, the blog post says. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spanish queries across the Walmart app and website increased more than five times their pre-pandemic levels.

“This rapid shift in behavior highlighted the need to provide these customers with a Spanish-first online shopping experience,” per the blog post.

Last year, Walmart launched a search translation feature on and in the Walmart app, enabling customers to search in Spanish for 600,000 commonly purchased items, using natural language processing (NLP) to detect language, discern nuances and translate queries. The update will allow customers to opt in or out of the translated query, the blog post says.

Related: Grocery Sales Shaping Walmart’s Last-Mile Evolution

Meanwhile, the grocery category is a critical one for Walmart, with more than 50% of its revenues from food and beverage sales. That translates to about an 18% share of spending on those items, overall, compared to Amazon’s less than 2%.

PYMNTS data found that Walmart’s high foot traffic hasn’t resulted in a massive rise in its retail spend on site, which according to the most recent sales figures, is up about 3%, excluding fuel.

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