Photographs courtesy of Walmart
Walmart wants to be the destination of choice for quick and easy shopping, while thinking about it, when customers know exactly what they want– as well as when they are unsure of what they need.
That’s the idea behind Text to Shop, an offer that Walmart began publicly testing last spring. With the service, still in beta testing but available for a free trial at https://texttoshop.walmart.com– customers can text or say “reorder coffee,” for example, and Text to Shop will add their regular coffee selection to their Walmart.com cart. If they need an item they have never purchased before, they can ask if Walmart carries it and the retailer will provide a product recommendation based on the query and ask if the user would like to see more suggestions.
“Shop as fast as you text,” Walmart offers on the service’s website. And Walmart is betting on speed as the name of the game, especially for millennial and Gen Z shoppers who might not want to worry about opening an app, scrolling, and searching for items. they don’t have to.– no download is required to use Text to Shop, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
In a January 24 blog post, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer. shed some more light on the offer, detailing the company’s investments in conversational commerce and how Text to Shop seeks to solve customer problems.
Walmart’s work on voice and text shopping aims to “meet customers where they are,” wrote Walmart’s Desiree Gosby and Dominique Essig, both global vice presidents of emerging technologies and e-commerce at the company. business. The goal, they write, is to create shopping experiences that provide the ability to “communicate naturally, allowing customers to simply ask for what they want, however they want.”
“Think about the last time you made pasta for dinner and realized you were almost out of sauce,” Gosby and Essig offered. “Then consider how easy it would be to just ask your smartphone or speaker to add more pasta sauce to your Walmart cart, the moment you realize you’re low. Once your cart is full, you schedule grocery delivery or pickup using the same voice shopping experience.”
For needed items that are remembered after the fact, or when pickup plans go awry, customers can adjust their Text to Shop order and receipt method after the order is placed.
The service is the product of a collaboration between Walmart’s No. 8 Store Innovation Incubator and the retailer’s global technical team. Text to Shop uses the global team’s proprietary conversational platform, for which three patents have been granted and 22 are pending, Gosby and Essig noted. “We are excited to continuously create innovative shopping experiences for Walmart customers,” they wrote.
During Walmart’s last two fiscal quarters, the company touted market share gains in grocery stores at Walmart stores in the United States as well as a continued increase in online sales.— up 6% and 8% year-over-year in the second and third quarters, respectively. Walmart is expected to report its fourth quarter fiscal 2022 results on Feb. 17.