- Walmart is perhaps the best example of the commonly used mantra “every company is now a technology company”: The world’s largest retailer has invested heavily in building out its tech team to create new offerings, like express delivery.
- But it also partners with a slew of outside AI partners — some which it purchased — that help with operations like store cleaning, supply chain negotiations, and ad placement.
- “This is a company that had really focused on execution in more traditional ways of doing business and was a little behind the curve in the last few years. It’s significantly caught up,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser told Business Insider.
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No company embodies the ongoing digital push underway across corporate America better than Walmart.
Walmart has transitioned into a software behemoth over the last several years as it strives to catch up to Amazon in e-commerce. For example, it has invested in emerging technology like artificial intelligence across the enterprise, from robotic cleaners in physical stores, to applications that autonomously manage the company’s intricate web of suppliers around the globe.
While Walmart relies on vendors for some of the tech, it’s also building much of it in-house through an army of thousands of data scientists and software engineers. The system for its recently-launched express delivery offering — which relies on AI to make real-time calculations based on factors like weather conditions and labor costs to figure out the fastest way to get products to a customer’s door — was all built internally.
“This is a company that had really focused on execution in more traditional ways of doing business and was a little behind the curve in the last few years. It’s significantly caught up,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser told Business
Walmart (WMT) – Get Report on Wednesday unveiled a new store redesign that works with its mobile app to help customers make contactless transactions.
“As part of the overall signage, the exterior and interior of the stores will reflect the Walmart app icon,” the Bentonville, Ark., company’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, said in a blog post.
“As customers enter the store, they will see colorful iconography and a store directory that encourages them to download and use the Walmart app while they shop.
“Throughout the store, bold, dimensional typeface … directs customers to the exact section they are looking for, while aisles are marked with letter and number combinations to guide customers from phone to product.”
The company said it tested the design in select stores — it didn’t say which — and was pleased with the customer feedback.
The new store design will roll out across Walmart’s 200 Supercenters by the end of this fiscal year and at nearly 1,000 store locations by the next fiscal year., the company said.
“We were inspired by airport wayfinding systems as best-in-class examples of how to navigate large groups of people,” Whiteside said.
The retail chain’s revamped stores will also feature contactless checkout and payments with access to Walmart Pay, and Scan & Go, which will enable customers to use their mobile phones to scan items and pay.
The news comes a day after rival Amazon (AMZN) – Get Report launched palm-scan signatures for payments at its stores.
Last week Walmart said it will hire 20,000 temporary workers to help with increased demand during the holiday season.
Walmart will use drones to deliver coronavirus diagnostic kits to customers’ residences, the company also said last week.
Walmart’s stock at last check was up by