American retail giant Walmart has been trying to grow its digital footprint to compete against the likes of Amazon, but it has something that the Jeff Bezos-led conglomerate doesn’t have – a huge base of physical stores.
With that in mind, Walmart has opened new test stores which will enable them to experiment with omnichannel technology and processes.
Two of these test stores are already operational and more are set to open soon.
To explain their functionality, John Crecelius, Senior Vice President for associate product and next generation stores at Walmart US, said “Their purpose is to find solutions that help our stores operate as both physical shopping destinations and online fulfillment centers in a way that has yet to be seen across the retail industry.”
To that end, these stores are focused on bringing online and in-store inventory categories such as apparel under one channel, accelerating inventory management from backroom to sales floor, speeding the pick-up rates for online orders and putting to use experimental checkout technologies.
Additionally, Walmart is looking at integrating technology in the lives of its employees with an app that uses augmented reality to identify the boxes that are ready to go to the sales floor which eliminates the need to scan each box individually.
The company is also introducing ways to combine signs present in stores with handheld devices to enable workers get to the right location to pick online orders.
This is Walmart’s effort to integrate digital and in-store shopping.
The retailer had announced the revamping of 1,000 of its stores to get customers to use the Walmart app while shopping and provide contactless checkout options.