Walmart is tapping into AI to roll out a trio of experience-enhancing services for its app.
The goal is to make the Walmart app an “essential retail companion” for users, the retail giant said in a statement announcing the features Wednesday. The three new features seek to deliver a combination of convenience, engagement and personalization.
Walmart’s GenAI search feature performs AI-powered searches to return more relevant results, while its Shop with Friends feature will let users share their fashion finds with others. Its third additional feature, InHome Replenishment, can automate food deliveries.
The search function is live for iOS users with the latest version of the Walmart app, while Shop with Friends and InHome Replenishment are still in development.
With GenAI search, customers can receive shopping guidance by searching with everyday language. For instance, searching the phrase “football watch party” will return all items relevant for such an occasion, rather than requiring multiple searches for everything from snacks to decorations.
The search tool can also account for contextual information such as location and search history to further refine results, with the goal of providing a curated list of products that meet the customer’s needs.
The features in Shop with Friends can help shoppers find the right apparel online — thus reducing potential returns — while making shopping more social.
Customers can use Shop with Friends to mix and match apparel items on a virtual model with similar sizing and shape to their own. Then, they can share that image with friends and ask for feedback to help them decide whether a given item would be a good purchase.
InHome Replenishment is an extension of InHome Delivery, which lets shoppers choose where they want grocery items delivered, whether on their doorstep or directly into their fridge.
The new version will use AI to create a personalized replenishment algorithm that will anticipate customers’ needs and place orders automatically. Shoppers will retain control with options to skip or add items and adjust delivery times.
The new features are in line with Walmart’s broader Adaptive Retail strategy, according to Suresh Kumar, EVP, global chief technology officer and chief development officer at Walmart. The retailer is working to connect in-person and online experiences and eliminate friction in the shopping experience.
“Customers don’t care about separate channels,” Kumar said in an email to CX Dive. “Sometimes they want to shop online, sometimes those same customers come into the store.”