Tuesday 18 June, 2013
Wal-Mart knows its customers use mobiles as shopping tools. That’s why it’s doing what’s smart and releasing its own mobile app that can be used both in-store and at home. The app is designed to suit customers’ shopping habits and needs and is available for iPhone and iPad.
How the Wal-Mart App Works
The Wal-Mart app can be used in stores or at home. In-store, customers can use the app to view store stock, scan items with QR codes and get real-time information on deals, rollback and inventory. Shoppers can scan items to get more detailed information about products as they shop.
The app can actually help you find the items you’re looking for. It has an interesting feature called a geo-fence. Once you walk into one of the nearly 4,000 Wal-Mart locations spread across the United States, the app automatically knows which store you’re in. It then gives you information only for that particular store, including the locations of items you need.
At home, the app can be used to browse and search for products, find out about deals and sales, order prescription refills, and plan your shopping trip with lists. Geographic features let customers locate the nearest Wal-Mart. Of course, the app will also be used as a tool to advertise to customers.
A Personalized Shopping Experience
Ecommerce has changed the way people shop by making it more personal and individualized, which is a wonderful thing in an age of faceless corporations. Although Wal-Mart is seen by many as the scourge of small town business and the very opposite of personalization, this wasn’t the idea it was founded on. When Sam Walton opened his first store, he wanted it to offer a totally personal experience. The new app seeks to recreate this personal shopping experience.
Customers’ Needs First
Wal-Mart was smart about its app development. It started with its customer needs. How do people shop at their stores? What would make the experience smoother and more seamless? What would save them money, which is at the core of Wal-Mart’s massive appeal? The company then designed an app that would make it easier to buy from them.
Bringing Ecommerce to Brick and Mortar Stores
The company’s developers are working on a feature that functions as a sort of ecommerce shopping cart. You scan each item as you shop and it rings everything up for you by the time you reach the cashier. The idea behind this feature is to reduce waiting time and make it even easier to shop at Wal-Mart.
The new Wal-Mart app was unveiled at a keynote speech at a CITA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas in May 2013 by Gibu Thomas, global head of mobile at Wal-Mart.