Technology News

Walmart Robots Scan Shelves & Restock Items Faster

Walmart is testing automation to handle tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual, like scanning shelves for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices, and wrong or missing labels.

Technology helps Walmart save time

Whether it’s at work or at home, things like a smartphone or a car’s voice-activation software free up valuable minutes of your day.

That’s exactly the idea behind something new Walmart is testing in a small number of our stores: using automation to handle tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual, like scanning shelves for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices, and wrong or missing labels (see the video above).

This new shelf-scanning technology frees up time for Walmart associates to focus on what they tell Walmart are the most important and exciting parts of working at Walmart – serving customers and selling merchandise.

Walmart has tested this technology in a small number of stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and California.

And based on these initial tests, they're expanding it to an additional 50 locations.

As with all things Walmart rolls out to their stores, the feedback from associates and customers will guide them in how and where they use this technology in the future.

This combination of people and technology is helping make Walmart stores more convenient and easier to shop, ensuring that products are available when our customers want them.

It’s just another example of how Walmart is using technology to save their associates and customers time.

From Clicks to Bricks

Half of US internet users have bought items online and picked them up in-store in the past year, an increase of 15 percentage points over 2015.

However, L2’s Digital Drive to Store report finds that few retailers promote this feature adequately.

Retail US: Promoting Features That Drive to Store
October 2017

Retail US: Promoting Features That Drive to Store

*Excludes Footer | Source: Walmart.com

Walmart also uses its return policy to drive digital customers to stores. After you place an order on Walmart.com, the brand sends a receipt with a barcode that allows you to return the product at any Walmart location. In November, Walmart will release a mobile app feature to further improve this process. The app allows customers to process online returns, scan a QR code to return the item in an express lane, and receive a refund the next day.

However, the brand does not promote this convenient returns process frequently on its site and fails to mention in-store returns on the homepage, category pages, or product pages. Many customers prefer to return items to stores, so highlighting the convenience of in-store returns could further incentivize online orders and store visits.

Source: Griffin Carlborg, L2

 

Related: 7 Essentials of Supply Chain Labeling Success

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