Walmart sells its digital technology to other retailers – Quartz

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Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is making some of the same technology it created to power its business available to small and medium-sized retailers.

The company announced today that it will begin selling the “technologies and capabilities” it has developed to create a seamless shopping experience across its digital and physical channels. A spokesperson for the company said that retailers will, for example, have access to the same software and systems that Walmart uses to show shoppers which stores and pickup times are available for online orders, and which ones allow shoppers. to choose different options such as curb versus interior. Pick up at the store.

The spokesperson said that retailers will also be able to use software developed by Walmart for its in-store employees, who must select all products for online orders, validate if items are in stock and handle substitutions, knowing approximately how much. long before a client arrives. for pickup, and get notified when they do.

Walmart is partnering with Adobe, a technology provider, and will integrate Adobe’s commerce platform with Walmart Marketplace, where approved third-party sellers can list products for sale. The Walmart spokesperson said that companies in Adobe’s commerce platform will be able to easily register on Walmart Marketplace (provided they meet the requirements) and access Walmart’s distribution network to offer a two-day shipping across the United States.

The company will make its technology available in the coming months, the spokesperson said. He will post pricing and other details closer to launch.

Technology as a new source of income for Walmart

The move is a way for Walmart to generate revenue from tools it originally designed for its own use in an effort to transform its business for the digital age and keep pace with Amazon. Online and offline shopping continue to mix, and Walmart believes providing technology that allows businesses to navigate change will unlock a new revenue stream, the spokesperson said. And while Walmart isn’t the only company providing this type of software, it believes it has a unique opportunity due to its size and expertise.

Walmart wouldn’t be the first retailer to take advantage of the technology it designed for itself. Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing platform built by Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon’s new CEO, also started as an internal project. Amazon realized that the infrastructure it had designed could be of use to others, and in 2006 opened it up to other businesses with the launch of AWS. Today, Amazon says that “hundreds of thousands of businesses” are using it.

Retail services are a little different from IT, but the new company could help Walmart grow profits and get more out of the heavy investments it has made to reshape its business as e-commerce grows. developed. Some of the capabilities it has developed in recent years include a cloud-based payment system, technologies such as mobile check-in that make it easier and faster for shoppers to purchase online and withdraw in-store, app-based payment for customers shopping in physical locations and artificial intelligence that allows Walmart to choose better substitutions when a product from an online order runs out. (Customers can approve the suggested substitution – and of course, whether or not they do, feed Walmart’s algorithms so it can make smarter decisions in the future.)

Although Walmart is focusing on this first batch of services for now, according to the spokesperson, it will assess opportunities to offer to others in the future.


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