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October 10, 2023
Walmart has announced a series of new technology experiments to make shopping “easier and more convenient” for customers.
The tests are looking at generative AI-enabled shopping features, including an interior design assistant, a search tool and a voice-command shopping assistant.
The generative AI-powered search feature is designed to make recommendations based on a customer’s purchasing needs, with the tool created to understand the context of a user’s search and generate relevant responses. For example, a user could search “unicorn-themed toddler birthday party,” with the tool understanding the sub-categories, rather than requiring separate searches for party decorations.
This search feature can also “condense reviews into concise summaries” to help shoppers make more informed decisions.
The retailer’s voice-shopping capability allows customers to shop hands-free, using only voice commands to search for items and communicate with a virtual shopping assistant that can answer specific questions, offer personalized product suggestions and provide details on specific products.
The plan builds on the success of Walmart’s Text to Shop, which launched last year and allows customers to create a virtual shopping list where they can add items to their shopping carts from their phones.
The retailer is also bringing augmented reality capabilities to consumers, providing a virtual interior design assistant to help customers select furniture and homeware based on budget and style preference. Users upload a photo of the room in question, with the AI assistant populating the virtual space with items.
“With this tool, which is in early-stage development, customers can simply share their budget, theme and any other preferences to receive personalized assistance, powered by GenAI, in designing a room,” a company statement said.
The new features come on the heels of Walmart rolling out a generative AI tool, My Assistant, for its corporate employees in August. The app was made available to 50,000 company employees to help streamline administrative tasks such as draft-writing and summarizing documents.
The retailer has wider plans to automate its operations. Walmart says it plans to have 65% of its stores serviced by automation by 2026, and launched a drone delivery service in collaboration with Wing in September.
Assistant Editor, IoT World Today
Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.
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