Fintech & Ecommerce

Walmart Looks to Generative AI as Grocers Tap Self-Service

At a time when grocers are coming up with the most effective results of using a self-service strategy while simultaneously eliminating the shortcomings of this format, Walmart is actively paying attention to artificial intelligence to make its digital tools smarter and increase their effectiveness.

Walmart Looks to Generative AI as Grocers Tap Self-Service

Walmart Executive Vice President and HR Director Donna Morris says that this company has long realized the importance of self-service for customers who do not need intermediaries and various procedural intermediate stages in the search and subsequent purchase of goods. According to her, consumers need the easiest way to the right products. She also noted that through the use of artificial intelligence-based tools, self-service can become more efficient and meet the needs of customers to a greater extent.

Morris said that Walmart’s executive vice president, Global Director of Technology, and Director of Development Suresh Kumar has a separate group of advisors and experts who are currently working on solutions that will effectively and usefully combine AI capabilities with self-service.

The announcement of Walmart’s intentions came after Instacart announced last week that it was combining its artificial intelligence capabilities and data with OpenAI ChatGPT technology. This initiative will be implemented to launch the Ask Instacart tool, which improves the self-service process and helps to plan meals.

The gradual introduction of artificial intelligence into the sphere of trade is taking place against the background of grocers’ search for self-service options that will replace labor-intensive solutions within the framework of interaction between buyers and sellers. For example, at the end of May, the Morton Williams grocery store chain, which is based in New York and has more than 15 outlets, announced preparations for the use of smart carts. The company has already ordered 100 similar carts.

In early 2023, the Rochester-based regional supermarket Wegmans launched the process of testing the use of smart carts after the completion of the scan-and-go pilot project.

At the same time, not all grocers believe that the issue of self-service will be solved as efficiently as possible with the help of smart carts. Ahold Delhaize Giant Food company reported frequent cases of theft of high-tech baskets on wheels and sharply reduced their numbers in its stores. Ira Kress, the firm’s president, said that over the past five years, the number of smart carts abductions has increased about tenfold.

Grocers, regardless of their attitude to practical solutions in the field of self-service, for the most part, adhere to the position that this format of shopping is critically necessary since it is the most effective solution to achieve and maintain a high level of loyalty from customers. In the United States and the United Kingdom, 61% of store owners expressed confidence that if there is no self-service option, buyers will replace the seller.

As we have reported earlier, Walmart Opens Second Automated Market Fulfillment Center.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.