Walmart and its incubator Store No8 are beta testing a text-to-shop feature in an effort to create a new conversational shopping experience for customers.
The launch of the pilot comes over a year and a half after Walmart put the kibosh on its Jet Black program, which enabled upper-income New Yorkers that lived far away from Walmart stores to shop by text. The service was first launched in 2018 but was discontinued after a leadership shakeup.
“We’re learning a lot about when and how customers prefer a conversational experience, and we look forward to making this more widely available in the future,” said Dominique Essig, vice president of conversational commerce at Store No. 8, who added that the tool will be made available to Walmart’s wider customer base in the future.
“By understanding our customers’ preferences, we also solve the paradox of choice and save them time by serving up what we know they love best. Most importantly, we offer Walmart customers the opportunity to shop no matter where they are and to communicate naturally by simply asking for what they want, any way they want.”
In an announcement, Essig noted that while consumers have been using voice-enabled shopping channels for years, text shopping is just getting warmed up.
Walmart’s pilot focuses on personalizing the shopping experience and making it easier for families to shop while they juggle various responsibilities.