Code Eight, a Walmart subsidiary, is currently testing out a new personal shopping service that is aimed at assisting middle and upper-class consumers. This service will provide them with various product recommendations and offer the opportunity to make purchases via a text messaging service. Currently, the service is experimenting with the following categories: health and beauty, household goods, and apparel. Users are able to order products in these categories by texting a photo of the desired item. They can also request products and allow a general service bot to decide what they need. All household items will be delivered, for free, within a 24 hour period. Purchases within the other categories will be delivered within 48 hours. Right now this service is available for no charge. However, there are plans to start charging a membership fee.
Additionally, Walmart is also working on a new venture called Project Kepler. One of the primary goals of this project is the creation of brick-and-mortar stores without checkout lines or cashiers. Some retail and grocery stores are already experimenting with self-checkout lines, but still offer actual cashiers. The idea of this project is to make the entire store self-checkout. However, this development may be damaging to employee morale, considering that Walmart employs numerous employees around the globe.
Amazon Go has a similar concept and uses sensors and cameras to monitor and charge users for what they remove from shelves. But, it seems that there are some slight issues with the associated technology, and the project’s launch has been experiencing some delays.
Currently, Walmart has not provided any comments. There is no word on when the cashier-less stores will become public. Experts believe, however, that we should start seeing this new technology roll out within the next decade.