Has Walmart found a digital answer for empty store shelves?
There’s a lot going on at Walmart these days as the retailing giant continues its aggressive push to create a seamless shopping environment between its stores and online businesses. One example was revealed yesterday by Walmart CFO Brett Briggs who told attendees at the Raymond James Investor Conference that the retailer is testing an endless aisle solution in some of its toy departments.
Pilot departments have a touchscreen where consumers can search for products that may be out of stock in that store. They simply find the product and then order it online for delivery to their home.
Mr. Briggs, according to a report on TheStreet site, said the device can also help those who are in a store and have no idea what to buy.
“It asked me some questions: ‘Do you want a gift?’ ‘Yes, I want a gift.’ ‘Is it for a boy or girl, or it could be either.’ ‘Choose either.’ ‘Pick the age you want.’ It chooses the best sellers for that age,” he said.
Walmart is using technology in a variety of ways to make the shopping experience more convenient for its customers. The company recently announced two new features on its mobile app that enable customers to place orders at the chain’s pharmacy and money service locations in advance so they can skip lines in stores.
“These capabilities are the latest example of how we’re bringing together all of the conveniences of Walmart — great stores, convenient pickup, easy checkout and a top-notch app — to deliver one seamless shopping experience for customers,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, Walmart Services. “We’re delivering a new and better experience in areas of our business that are essential for busy families. By making them faster and easier, we’re living up to our promise — to save customers money and time.”
Walmart is also expanding its grocery pickup program, adding the service to up to 600 locations this year. Last year, CEO Doug McMillon credited the “growth of pick-up in stores and clubs” with helping to drive e-commerce revenues.
- Has Walmart Finally Created the Endless Shopping Aisle? If So, Amazon Should Be Worried – TheStreet
- Walmart App Upgrades + New Store ‘Express Lanes’ = Faster, Easier Shopping – Walmart
- Walmart plans aggressive expansion of grocery pickup – The Joplin Globe
- Will Walmart’s price push pull customers away from Aldi? – RetailWire
- Can Walmart grow its online business profitably? – RetailWire
- Will Walmart’s Scan & Go catch on this time around? – RetailWire
- Will doubling down on e-commerce pay dividends for Walmart? – RetailWire
- Is Walmart on a roll? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see endless aisle technology as a viable answer to the out-of-stock question at Walmart? What other technology being used or tested by Walmart do you think has the greatest potential to help it grow its business going forward?