Walmart is once again asserting leadership when it comes to customer-centric innovations in the digital business realm, with a slew of recent announcements in areas including sustainability, personalized shopping, and strategic partnerships.
This latest set of developments builds on several months’ worth of innovations and initiatives that set Walmart apart from the retail and business competition. Given the company’s footprint across retail, supply chains, and the global economy, these developments warrant continued attention by Acceleration Economy readers.
Walmart donated the use of its Circular Connector online platform to help capture innovations in sustainable packaging. Along with the U.S. Plastics Pact, Walmart announced winners of Sustainable Packaging Awards in four categories: recycling, reuse, composting, and reduction; winners highlight scalability, low-cost efficiencies, or a customer-first proposal.
The winners were:
- Recycling: Amcor
- Reuse: Deliver Zero
- Composting: Smile Compostable Solutions
- Reduce/Refill: The Clorox Co.
Walmart launched phase one of the Circular Connector in April when it invited innovators to submit their solutions for screening against the company’s sustainable packaging goals. Now the Circular Connector is available for free to everyone and nearly 150 products are publicly available, the company says. The overall goal: help companies get hold of sustainable packaging for their products via Circular Connector.
Digital Shopping Improvements
For time-pressed customers struggling to capitalize on Black Friday deals, Walmart is offering virtual queuing — developed by its global tech and e-commerce product teams — that will hold customers’ place in line for the highest-demand items while they continue shopping. They will be able to see the status of how long they have to checkout in order to guarantee an item.
A new “buy now” function that’s available on most items lets customers purchase directly from item pages and skip the checkout process.
The most viewed and purchased items are now being highlighted in search results to expedite the process of locating popular items or discovering new ones.
Responding to current inflation pressures that are impacting customers, the company is now marking sale items with a green price tag so they can be easily flagged.
An expansion of the company’s augmented reality feature, called “View in Your Home,” lets customers virtually see how a TV would fit in their space before they purchase. It applies to over 200 TVs.
Partnerships With Angi, Netflix
For anyone who’s ever struggled to hang their holiday lights safely and efficiently, this relationship should resonate: Walmart has partnered with Angi (formerly called Angie’s list) so that customers buying lights from Walmart can easily purchase installation by a professional installer on Angi. Lighting packaging includes a QR code that takes customers to a list of installers and they can purchase the services from Walmart. Prices start at $149 — and they can find installers for a project no matter how big or small.
In addition, Walmart has expanded its in-store Netflix Hub to 2,400+ stores. Customers can utilize the hub to purchase streaming gift cards, music, apparel, collectibles, and games from the shows and films they enjoy.
The streaming gift cards can stream trending favorites without needing a credit or debit card. The hubs also offer concession kits with popcorn, candy, and collectible cups to make the home experience more like going to the theater.
Additional Walmart Digital Innovation Insights:
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