Artificial intelligence is “converging in the hands of customers and companies” and will expand marketing and sales beyond traditional channels as the tech becomes more common.
That’s according to Anshu Bhardwaj, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Walmart Global Technology and Walmart Commerce Technologies. Bhardwaj discussed the changing nature of retail in a world powered by artificial intelligence at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show convention in New York City on Jan. 14.
She said ChatGPT captured the imaginations of the public and businesses and will take marketing to a new level. “I think what AI is now allowing us to do is go from an omnichannel retailer to becoming an adaptive retailer, and adaptive retailer basically means I can intersect you at the point of your convenience to get you what you want, how you want,” Bhardwaj said.
That adaptive retailer will intersect with customers through new technologies such as Walmart’s “Text to Shop” feature, released in December of 2022, which enables customers to use text messages to add items to a cart and place orders, she said.
Bhardwaj explained that the Text to Shop is making the omnichannel shopping experience conversational by allowing customers to simply state into their phone that they want to buy a specific product like 2% milk.
“You can access the full catalogue that Walmart has online,” she said. “You can text and say, ‘Great Valley 2% milk, I want to shop for that,’ and it gets delivered to you. You have the full experience of omni-adaptive retail.”
Walmart is also using artificial intelligence language models to power its new search engine that enables shoppers to make general inquiries such as “football watch party.” Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon released the new search engine tech at the CES tech convention in Las Vegas earlier this month showing that vague or undefined searches will result in a variety of products like chips and soda.
“It basically gives you all the categories – snacks, beverages, and anything else, whatever else you need for the party,” Bhardwaj said.
Eugen Boglaru is an AI aficionado covering the fascinating and rapidly advancing field of Artificial Intelligence. From machine learning breakthroughs to ethical considerations, Eugen provides readers with a deep dive into the world of AI, demystifying complex concepts and exploring the transformative impact of intelligent technologies.