Bentonville / AR. (wama) The way people buy and discover goods has evolved into a seamless integration of online and offline experiences. Customers expect retailers to provide a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience. During a keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Walmart Inc. unveiled how some of the latest technologies will enable the world percents largest retailer to deliver a new type of commerce – one that is customer-centric, interconnected, frictionless and consistently exceeds expectations. In addition, the company outlined its plan for ongoing innovation; specifically, how the technology it builds will benefit customers and members, its associate team and society.
«We build technology to serve people and not the other way around,» said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart Inc. «Walmart’s purpose is to help people live better and, today, more than ever, advances in technology make it feel like anything is possible. Our technology roadmap is compelling and we’re very excited about it, but we are clear that we are a people-led, tech-powered company. People, our customers and associates, come first and we’ll put technology to work to serve them better than ever.»
Customers and Members
At CES, Walmart showcased how technologies like AI, GenAI, and AR will reimagine Walmart percents role as a shopping destination to serving as a customer percents concierge, acting as their partner in achieving broader missions. Specifically, Walmart revealed:
- A new GenAI-powered search experience now available to iOS customers. The enhanced search experience allows customers to now search by specific use cases, e.g., a football watch party versus individual searches for chips, wings, drinks and a 90-inch TV. It generates relevant, cross-category results.
- A sneak peek into Walmart InHome Replenishment, which uses AI and Walmart’s decades of replenishment expertise to ensure customers’ online shopping carts are filled with the right items at the right time and delivered into a refrigerator in a kitchen or garage.
- A beta social commerce platform called Shop with Friends that takes AR shopping to the next level by enabling customers to share the virtual outfits they create with friends and get feedback on their fashion finds.
But adaptive retail is not limited to search and discovery; it percents about creating personalized, seamless and flexible shopping experiences from start to finish.
«While omnichannel retail has been around for decades, this new type of retail – adaptive retail – takes it a step further,» said Suresh Kumar, global chief technology officer and chief development officer, Walmart Inc. «It percents retail that is not only eCommerce or in-store, but a single, unified retail experience that seamlessly blends the best aspects of all channels. And for Walmart, adaptive retail is rooted in a clear focus on people.»
With that in mind, Sam percents Club unveiled a new technology that aims to solve a key concern for its members – waiting in line for receipt verification when exiting the club. The technology uses a first-of-its-kind application of AI and computer vision technology to deliver new levels of convenience as members exit their club.
Walmart also announced another step in its goal to offering customers the ultimate convenience of getting items in as soon as 30 minutes by expanding drone delivery to 1.8 million additional households in the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex – 75 percent of the area. Of the 120,000 items in a Supercenter, 75 percent meet the size and weight requirements for drone delivery.
For our Associates
While many companies concentrate on developing exceptional technology for their customers, Walmart is also focused on providing the same level of experience to its 2.1 million associates worldwide. Last August, the company launched a GenAI tool for U.S. and Canada campus-based associates called My Assistant, which was created in-house by Walmart percents tech team.
Walmart announced plans to expand its proprietary My Assistant tool. In the year ahead, campus associates in 11 countries will be able to interact with My Assistant in their native language. From speeding up the drafting process, to serving as a creative partner, to summarizing large documents, My Assistant is changing how associates work and solve problems.
For the Society
As a company that develops tech for good, Walmart has been on a journey to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment since 2005. Currently powering more than 47 percent of its operations with renewable energy and on track to power more than 50 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2035, Walmart also announced ambitious clean energy goals at CES.
By the end of 2030, the company aims to advance its transition toward emissions-free energy by enabling up to 10 gigawatts of new clean energy projects into service on- and off-site – the equivalent of the annual power consumption of more than 2 million households. This will enable tens of thousands of U.S. households to save on their electricity bills.