- Adding to its suite of AR and AI-driven digital features, Walmart is deploying generative artificial intelligence to improve its search capabilities, assist shoppers with complex purchases, help customers prioritize product features and show review summaries, the retailer announced Friday.
- Walmart is also testing a voice-assisted, hands-free shopping tool on its website. The retailer is testing voice commands, voice assistant conversations, booking pickup and delivery time slots and other functions, according to the announcement.
- The company is also experimenting with a spatial design tool that uses generative AI and augmented reality tech to help customers design rooms based on budget, theme and other criteria.
In addition to the numerous other tech features, Walmart said it is developing virtual commerce, meaning shoppers can buy physical items within a virtual environment. The retailer has tested its capability within the online game House Flip, but it aims to connect its virtual reality commerce capability to its stores.
“We’re constantly searching for ways to innovate and use emerging tech to make shopping easier and meet the needs of our customers. We’ll continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible. And as we do, we will always keep our customers at the center,” the company noted in its statement.
Walmart’s virtual commerce experience builds upon its previous experimentation with the Roblox platform. Last month, the retailer unveiled its Walmart Discovered experience on Roblox. In August, it introduced the Supercampus experience on Roblox featuring Crayola, Bic and other back-to-school brands.
Walmart has introduced other artificial intelligence and augmented reality capabilities in recent years. In June 2022, the retailer rolled out a “view in your space” feature, which lets shoppers visualize furniture and decor in their spaces. It also began testing an in-store AR feature to let customers and employees open the Walmart app, point their mobile devices at shelves and find products based on their preferences.
Walmart recently laid out its intentions to experiment more with artificial intelligence. In August, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion noted on a Q2 2024 earnings call that the retailer foresees opportunities for AI in customer personalization, associate operations and supply chain streamlining. The retailer aims to deploy generative AI to make “shopping easier and more convenient for our customers and members, and helping our associates enjoy more satisfying and productive work,” McMillion said on the call.
Walmart’s experimentation with voice-assisted commerce follows its Text to Shop rollout last December. With the tool, customers can text the name of a general item, and the retailer will add the brand and type typically ordered in their shopping cart for the customer to order it, change the quantity or remove it.