This year has brought new challenges for the retail industry. With distance rules and partial closures of the POS, customers are demanding new ways of presentation and innovation from retailers.
Walmart, which has often attracted attention for its culture and willingness to innovate, now wants to actively shape the future of retail. In a current post they have announced that they now want to link point-of-sale and online retail even more closely.
“We have an amazing set of assets that have us well prepared for this next era, but we can’t stop there. We’re moving quickly to use our physical retail stores to not only serve in-store shoppers, but to flex to meet the needs of online shoppers, too, in ways that only Walmart can.”</blockquote
In four new test stores, Walmart is looking for solutions that will enable it to satisfy the physical needs of its customers while also acting as an online fulfillment center. Omnichannel experiences and completely new processes and concepts are the main focus. Over the coming weeks and months, new technologies, digital tools and physical improvements in and out of the stores will be continuously tried out to help employees serve customers better, more individually and more easily.
A look inside the Walmart warehouse (source: Walmart/Forbes)
- Omni range: Walmart is shifting a large part of its clothing range to online retailing and wants to further optimize the categorization of products so that customers can find what they are looking for much more easily. The aim is to find out which products are in particular demand both physically and online, in order to optimize the customer experience.
- Quick inventory: With their new app, the company hopes to speed up the process by moving products from the warehouse to the sales floor. Instead of scanning each carton individually, Walmart employees hold up a handheld device and the app uses augmented reality to highlight the required cartons.
- Experience at the checkout: The four test stores will build up new experimental experiences at the checkout to make transactions even more efficient and improve them through new hardware and software solutions.
In this now dawning era of retail, companies need to be creative to help shape the future. Walmart is leading by example by showing how prototyping, test markets and customer focus can work.
Post picture: Walmart