Voice Commands Coming to Walmart App?

Retailer shares update on technologies to help shoppers buy faster, easier
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
a woman smiling for the camera
Walmart app
Walmart is testing a voice command shopping feature on its app.

Walmart recently shared some of its latest tech updates in a post penned by several of its product, tech and commerce leaders. Weighing in: Jon Alferness, chief product officer, Walmart U.S.; Srini Venkatesan, EVP, Walmart U.S. omni platforms and tech; Dominique Essig, VP, conversational commerce and replenishment; and Thomas Kang, VP and general manager, Metaverse commerce, Store No8.

The leaders underlined the positive benefits of artificial intelligence on the customer shopping experience. “We believe that generative AI (GenAI), a type of artificial intelligence that can generate text, images or other media from the data it’s trained on, can help Walmart customers spend more time doing the things they enjoy and less time scrolling, tapping and searching. That’s why we’re experimenting with a variety of GenAI-powered experiences that have the potential to elevate our relationship with customers from a shopping destination to a partner in accomplishing broader missions,” they wrote.

[Read more: "These 2 Retailers Are Projected to See Biggest Financial Impact From Generative AI"]

One key AI development is the current testing of a voice experience on the Walmart app. Through this feature, which builds on Walmart’s Text to Shop platform, customers can use voice commands to build their lists, converse with a bot assistant, book pickup and delivery time slots and more.  

Walmart is also testing a new tool that combines GenAI and augmented reality (AR) to help customers find apparel and home designs that work for them. Users can get specific, personalized design ideas, for example, by sharing their budget, theme and other preferences.

Another capability coming down the pike is a form of commerce in the metaverse. Walmart is working on tools that allow customers to buy physical items “contextually” and natively in a virtual world. The retailer recently launched one form of this new commerce via a game called House Flip and is exploring other ways to connect virtual commerce to its stores.

“We’ll continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible. And as we do, we will always keep our customers at the center,” the authors noted.

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Retailers of the Century.

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