LAS VEGAS, Nev. (OBV) – Walmart delivered the keynote presentation during the Consumer Electronics Show, unveiling how the company’s retail experience will evolve technologically by using AI.
The Consumer Electronics Show was held in Las Vegas, Nev., last week.
Walmart representatives said the shopping experience of tomorrow will be customer-centric, interconnected, frictionless and consistently exceed expectations.
The Arkansas-based company outlined its plan for innovation, highlighting how technology will benefit customers.
“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’re 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.”
Walmart showcased how artificial intelligence (AI), GenAI and augmented reality (AR) will redefine how shopping is done.
The company unveiled the following technological innovations for future shopping during the Consumer Electronics Show:
- A new GenAI-powered search experience that is now available to iOS customers. It is described as an enhanced search experience enables customers to search by specific use cases, such as a football watch party versus individual searches for chips, beverages or a high-definition television. It generates relevant, cross-category results.
- A preview of Walmart InHome Replenishment, which utilizes AI and the company’s replenishment knowledge to ensure customers’ online shopping carts are filled with the right items at the right time and delivered as needed.
- Shop with Friends, a beta social commerce platform that utilizes AR and enables customers to share the virtual outfits they create with friends and get feedback on their fashion finds.
Walmart representatives said the purpose of their adaptive retail model is to create personalized, seamless and flexible shopping experiences.
“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’s 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.”
Sam’s Club, a chain of warehouse club retail stores operated by Walmart Inc., also unveiled a new innovation at the electronics show. Walmart representatives said the new Sam’s Club technology will save club members from having to wait in line for receipt verification while leaving the warehouse.
“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,” a Walmart news release states.
Walmart personnel also announced expanded drone delivery to 1.8 million additional households in the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex – 75 percent of the area. Seventy-five percent of the 120,000 items at a Walmart Supercenter meet the size and weight requirements for drone delivery. Drone delivery enables customers to receive their items within 30 minutes.
The company also announced plans to expand its GenAI tool, My Assistant, globally. Employees in 11 countries will be able to use 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,” the news release states.
Finally, Walmart presented renewable energy and environment-friendly operations plans
Walmart currently uses renewably energy to power over 47 percent of its operations. Representatives say the company is headed toward more than 50 percent of operations being powered by renewable energy by 2025 and 100 percent by 2035.
Company officials said Walmart will continue its transition toward emissions-free energy by enabling up to 10 gigawatts of new clean energy projects into service on- and off-site – equaling 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,” Walmart officials said.