The dreaded weekly grocery shopping. Maybe you load up the family and venture to the nearest wholesale store, or maybe you head to the local market with a well-planned list in hand. Either way – wouldn’t it be great if you could skip the trip to the store altogether?
Many grocery chains are making this possible with online grocery ordering. Simply add items to your cart, select a pickup time, and go. Walmart is taking this one step further by offering customers Voice Order. With Voice Order, customers can use their Google voice assistant to add items to their grocery list. The list continues to build until the customer is ready to select a pickup time at a store near them.
“We know when using voice technology, customers like to add items to their cart one at a time over a few days – not complete their shopping for the week all at once,” says Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital operations for Walmart U.S. “So, this capability aligns with the way customers shop.”
Voice Order not only lets customers grow a list but uses AI to select their items based on past purchases. “If a customer says, ‘add milk to my cart,’ we’ll make sure to add the specific milk the customer buys regularly,” Ward explains. “Instead of saying ‘1 gallon of 1% Great Value organic milk,’ they’ll simply say one word: ‘milk.’”
Voice Order is one of the ways Walmart is claiming a stake in the changing retail market, linking channels to create a fluid customer experience. “The ultimate piece here is the recognition that there is only one customer. There isn’t an in-store customer and an online customer,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer for Walmart. “The more we can treat you as one customer and make sure that you’re having an interconnected experience, the better we can serve you as a customer.”
By delivering frictionless shopping, Walmart grew online sales by over 40 percent last year, and it’s time for other companies to take notice. According to a report by Dimension Data, fewer than 9 percent of organizations have managed to connect their channels and are faced with “fragmented and disjointed tracking of customer journeys, user behavior, and channel performance.”
So, what’s the holdup?
Stay tuned as we answer this question and more in upcoming articles.