Yahoo Mail will let people shop from Walmart via their email inbox

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On Monday, Verizon Media added a feature to Yahoo Mail that lets you shop from a not-so-sexy place: Your inbox.

Through a partnership with Walmart, Yahoo email users can now browse, add to cart and buy groceries from the supermarket giant without leaving their inbox. The move comes during the pandemic as more people order online and retailers find more abstract ways to sell merchandise.

"Because of the unprecedented coronavirus challenge, online grocery shopping is now the new normal," said Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media in a statement.

Since Verizon Media owns an email platform, it's "well-positioned to take advantage of the behavior shifts," he added.

How it works

Once you sign on to your email account, you'll notice a dedicated Walmart banner at the top, above your incoming messages. Just click, type in and search for any essential supermarket items you may need and you can check out from there.

Users will get personalized grocery suggestions based on their Yahoo profiles, and you can keep adding items to your cart over time and check out once you're ready.

As odd as inbox checkouts may seem, it's not the first a company has tried to turn email into a one-stop-shop.

Back in 2017, the startup Rebel tried to get people to shop within their inbox before the company was snapped up by the cloud platform giant Salesforce a year later.

Nowadays, retailers will accept a sale wherever they can get it. And Walmart's move into Yahoo inboxes comes amid the coronavirus crisis as advertisers try out new ways to capture people's expanding interest in online shopping.

In June, YouTube moved to make its digital ads shoppable. A month earlier, Facebook and Instagram launched business tools enabling you to browse and buy products directly from a business' profile.

Last year, Google made image searches shoppable. "Today's consumers are interacting with us across a multitude of touchpoints, searching and asking for ideas," the search giant said at the time. "To help inspire them, we're continually thinking of ways to create better shopping experiences."


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