Home Bots & Business Wal Mart embraces AI

Wal Mart embraces AI

by Marco van der Hoeven

Earlier this year, at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon delivered a keynote speech, setting the stage for how the retail giant plans to integrate AI into its operations. The event, which drew an estimated 130,000 attendees and 4,000 exhibitors, provided a platform for Walmart to outline its technological advancements, particularly in AI, to improve customer experience and operational efficiency.

McMillon emphasized the transformative role of AI in retail, especially in enhancing the Walmart and Sam’s Club apps. He discussed plans to streamline the supply chain and introduced the concept of drone delivery. During his speech, McMillon consulted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the ethical use of AI, highlighting the need to maximize benefits while being aware of unintended consequences.

Walmart, which holds the No. 2 spot in the 2023 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 for North American online retailers and ranks ninth globally in gross merchandise value, collaborates with Microsoft, a leader in AI technology and the largest shareholder of OpenAI. Microsoft’s involvement extends to providing various services to top retailers, including web analytics and cloud services.

A significant announcement was the introduction of a new AI-powered search feature in the Walmart app, developed in collaboration with Microsoft using Azure OpenAI. This feature, already available for iOS users, is set to expand to all app users shortly. It utilizes Microsoft’s large language model in conjunction with Walmart’s data, enabling users to receive more relevant search results. For example, a single search query for a Super Bowl party can generate a list of items ranging from TVs to snacks.

McMillon also revealed updates to the Walmart and Sam’s Club apps. Sam’s Club Chief Merchant Megan Crozier highlighted the digital integration within physical stores, mentioning features like scan-and-pay and AI-assisted shopping reminders. Sam’s Club is also implementing AI and computer vision technology for receipt verification, allowing for a smoother exit process for customers.

Additionally, Walmart introduced the “Shop With Friends” feature, leveraging AI and augmented reality (AR) to enhance the shopping experience. This feature allows users to virtually try on outfits and seek feedback from contacts. For Walmart+ customers, the company unveiled the InHome Replenishment service, using AI to automatically restock essential items based on customer usage patterns.

On the supply chain front, Walmart’s Chief Technology Officer Suresh Kumar discussed significant changes. The company is merging its separate supply chains for non-grocery, perishable, and e-commerce items into a unified system. Automated machine learning is being deployed in Walmart Fulfillment Centers to optimize product allocation based on various data, including sales history and social media trends.

Furthermore, Walmart announced plans to expand drone delivery, aiming to cover 75% of households in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area by the end of 2024. This service, touted as the fastest delivery option, is expected to significantly enhance customer convenience, with delivery times as short as 10 minutes within a 10-mile radius.

Misschien vind je deze berichten ook interessant