At the forefront of retail innovation, Walmart showcased its GenAI-driven future at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. This groundbreaking approach is set to revolutionize the retail experience, combining advanced technologies such as AI, GenAI, and AR to create a seamless, adaptive retail environment.
Embracing GenAI for a Transformative Retail Experience
Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart Inc., underlined the company’s philosophy of technology serving people. “Walmart’s purpose is to help people live better, and today, more than ever, advances in technology make it feel like anything is possible,” McMillon expressed. The company’s vision is to leverage GenAI and other technologies to enrich customer and associate experiences.
At CES, Walmart presented several GenAI-enabled initiatives:
- GenAI-Powered Search Experience: Available to iOS customers, this new feature allows users to search for products based on specific use cases, offering cross-category results. This approach exemplifies how GenAI can streamline and personalize shopping.
- Walmart InHome Replenishment: This AI-driven system ensures online shopping carts are optimally filled and timely delivered, demonstrating Walmart’s commitment to convenience and precision.
- Shop with Friends: A beta AR social commerce platform that takes virtual shopping to a new level, enabling customers to share and get feedback on fashion choices.
The Concept of Adaptive Retail
Suresh Kumar, Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer at Walmart Inc., introduced the concept of adaptive retail. This approach transcends traditional omnichannel retail, offering a unified experience that seamlessly blends the best aspects of all channels. Adaptive retail focuses on creating personalized, seamless, and flexible shopping experiences.
A novel AI and computer vision technology at Sam’s Club, designed to streamline the checkout process, exemplifies this approach. Additionally, Walmart announced the expansion of drone delivery, aiming to provide ultimate convenience and speed in product delivery.
Empowering Associates with GenAI
Walmart is not just revolutionizing customer experiences; it’s equally focused on its 2.1 million associates worldwide. The company launched ‘My Assistant,’ a GenAI tool for campus-based associates in the U.S. and Canada, streamlining work processes and enhancing productivity. Plans for expanding this tool to associates in 11 countries, with support for multiple languages, were also announced.
Commitment to Society and Environment
Underlining its role as a technology innovator for societal good, Walmart has set ambitious goals for environmental sustainability. The company is progressing towards powering its operations with renewable energy, aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2035. By 2030, Walmart aspires to contribute significantly to clean energy projects, benefiting thousands of households and reducing environmental impact.