Supermarket giant Walmart is to trial a new feature that would see shoppers text their grocery lists to the store using a chatbot.
The project is part of Walmart’s Store No. 8 research and development group and ties into the company’s plans for conversational commerce.
The Text to Shop feature is designed to connect to existing Walmart accounts and users can text with the chatbot to find items as well as add and edit ones in their trolleys. It also allows shoppers to schedule a delivery or checkout, with different transactions available at checkout.
Walmart’s Store No. 8conversational commerce vice president Dominique Essig said: “We’re learning a lot about when and how customers prefer a conversational experience, and we look forward to making this more widely available in the future.
“By understanding our customers’ preferences, we also solve the paradox of choice and save them time by serving up what we know they love best. Most importantly, we offer Walmart customers the opportunity to shop no matter where they are, and to communicate naturally by simply asking for what they want, any way they want.”
The news comes as Former Walmart e-commerce chief Marc Lore has even begun a new conversational commerce technology start-up called Wizard Commerce, which recently raised $50 million.
Wizard is based on the shopping platform Stylus, which was technically acquired by Wizard, although it’s primarily the same staff and leadership.
Essig said: “This type of innovative customer experience is exactly what we build every day. And while Walmart has offered voice shopping for years, text shopping is just getting warmed up,”
“Our hope is that conversational commerce can help ease the stress of the never-ending to-do list.”
More to follow…