News Feature | May 25, 2017

Two Walmart Supercenters Test High-Tech Features To Boost Customer Experience

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Walmart Store Front

New layouts and Scan and Go checkout technology are among the features being piloted.

Walmart is currently “testing new approaches in two recently opened supercenters" in Tomball, TX, and Lake Nona, FL featuring new layouts and technology to improve the shopping experience, according to a corporate blog post written by Jeff Muench, senior director of Business Development. The pilot is designed to see how new features can help boost the overall customer experience and help raise sales.

The test is in response to what Muench calls “a cultural revolution into the digital age,” and the altered layouts locate services like beauty salons and tech repair near relevant merchandise; consolidate health and wellness departments; and group baby, toys, kids' apparel and kids' shoes together to “form a single destination to ease mom’s shopping journey.”

Walmart has also revamped its  “Scan and Go” checkout technology, which can be used with either smartphones or Walmart-provided handheld devices. This technology is designed to speed up checkout times. New digital produce scales are now also available to make scanning those items easier.

In addition, the stores feature new interactive projection technology that provides information about connected devices like Google Home, Apple TV, Nest, baby monitors and connected thermostats. This information is projected onto walls or tables, allowing for immediate updating of product details. Interactive screens also provide an “endless aisle,” featuring items available online but not necessarily found in stores, and customers can page store staff via WiFi-connection buttons throughout the store.

The pilots also include integrated pickup, not just of groceries but prescriptions and online orders in one easy run through the drive-thru.  A new appointment and ordering kiosk system also allows shoppers to place a deli order, do the rest of their shopping, and return to pick up their order. While the initial test is for the deli only, it could be expanded to pharmacy orders, the Auto Care Center, beauty salon, or other settings.

Ultimately, Walmart asserts, “By rethinking stores and testing new ideas with customers in real-life stores, we are improving customers’ experiences and making it easier than ever for them to get what they need as quickly and easily as possible.”