Back to Top

Beyond Shelves and Scanners: How AI Reimagines Walmart’s Shopping Experience


When Walmart announced its participation in CES 2024 with a keynote, there was initial scepticism. However, the purpose became clear as the retail giant revealed its collaboration with Microsoft to develop AI-powered shopping experiences. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon outlined in the keynote how AI integration across its website and apps will analyze shopper behaviour to provide personalized suggestions for future Walmart’s Shopping.

The AI driving these experiences, with Microsoft’s involvement, relies on large language models facilitated through their partnership. Walmart plans to utilize a combination of retail-specific search functions based on its proprietary technologies and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service.

Accessible on iOS and Android mobile devices and the company’s website, Walmart’s new generative AI-powered search functions aim to enhance the digital shopping experience. Instead of traditional searches for items like soda and chips, shoppers can use natural language to request product recommendations tailored to specific events, such as a birthday celebration or a game day watch party.

During the keynote, McMillon emphasized that the algorithms are designed to showcase relevant product categories post-search, presenting a “curated list of the best items.” These algorithmic shopping initiatives are positioned to directly rival Google’s AI search tool SGE and Amazon’s product listing program powered by large language models.

While much of the focus appears to be on consumer-facing applications, Walmart clarified that the new AI search functions are not solely for the benefit of shoppers. They also aim to provide tools for store associates, streamlining job-related tasks and workflows. As an example, at Sam’s Club (owned by Walmart), a new AI tool will soon eliminate the need for employees to manually check shopping receipts as customers exit stores, demonstrating the broader applications of AI within the retail environment.


In addition to its AI-driven initiatives, Walmart teased the introduction of ‘Walmart InHome Replenishment.’ This feature will leverage artificial intelligence to predict when items in a shopper’s cart need replenishing, enhancing the convenience of its existing ‘InHome’ program available to Walmart+ subscribers since 2019.

Beyond AI, Walmart is set to incorporate augmented reality into the shopping experience. The company revealed a beta social commerce offering named ‘Shop with Friends.’ Utilizing augmented reality, this feature allows shoppers to virtually share outfits with friends for feedback while actively shopping.

Furthermore, Walmart’s Shopping plans to expand its drone delivery testing program to include more shoppers in Texas. Approximately 1.8 million additional households will gain access to drone delivery services, aiming to provide customers with the capability to receive their orders in as little as 30 minutes.

Share Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More