Walmart Testing New Automation Solutions

As one of the nation’s biggest retailers, Walmart is often on the cutting edge when it comes to technological solutions. Recently, the store has put the concept of automation to use use by enlisting it to take over some of the more predictable and repeatable tasks in its stores that are normally handled by humans.

For example, Walmart is using automation to scan its stores’ shelves for items that are out of stock and prices that are incorrect. Automation is also being used to deal with missing or incorrect labels.

This new approach is not displacing human workers, however. Instead, it is freeing up their time so they can focus on what many say is the best part of their job: helping customers and selling items.

It is currently being tested in selected stores in California, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. So far, the initial tests look promising, prompting the store to expand it to another 50 locations. Associate and customer feedback will be used to determine the future direction of this technology.

Making Returns Easier

Walmart is also using technology to make a process that can be a hassle for many consumers – returning merchandise – a lot more convenient. When people purchase items online, they receive a barcode that will allow them to return the goods to any Walmart location of their choosing. This has the added benefit of getting online shoppers into the stores, where they may just pick up a few other items they otherwise wouldn’t have.

This month, Walmart will release an app that will enable customers to process their online returns, scan QR codes to return items using one of the store’s express lanes, and then get a refund the following day. Few customers are aware of these options, however, so experts believe that Walmart could inspire even more online orders by promoting these services a better.

This blog post was based off of an article from Supply Chain 24/7. View the original here.

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