Tag Archives: leveraging technology to engage customers

Leveraging Technology to Improve Processes at Walmart

A recent SupermarketNews article said that Walmart plans to roll out warehouse automation that will improve speed and efficiency at regional distribution centers.

The plan involves activating robotics technology in 25 of Walmart’s 42 distribution centers, which will include a fleet of fully autonomous robots and proprietary software to improve throughput while boosting warehouse capacity,

“This move will fundamentally alter how products get to stores,” said Joe Metzger, executive vice president of supply chain operations at Walmart U.S.

“Right now, product arrives at one of our regional distribution centers and is either cross-docked or warehoused until we need it. The products are moved or stored manually… This system uses a complex algorithm to store cases like puzzle pieces using high-speed mobile bots, operating with a precision that speeds the intake process and increases the accuracy of freight being stored for future orders. By using dense modular storage, it also expands building capacity. And by using high-speed palletizing robotics to organize and optimize freight, it creates custom store- and aisle-ready pallets, which take the guesswork out of unloading trucks.”

Another good example of improving processes to drive the customer experience while keeping costs down!

More Technology for Food Shoppers

Our previous few posts have focused on technology in supermarkets, used both by the stores themselves and the shoppers.

Along the same trend, as reported in a recent SupermarketNews article, Walmart will literally launch a “technology-driven” pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2021.

The new plan involves a partnership with self-driving car company Cruise to operate an entire fleet of all-electric delivery vehicles powered with 100% renewable energy. The project will support the retail giant’s initiative to reach zero emissions by 2040.

As part of the pilot, customers can place an order from their local store and have it delivered, contact-free, via one of Cruise’s all-electric self-driving cars.

“Technology that has the potential to not only save customers time and money but also is helpful to the planet is technology we want to learn more about,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product, Walmart U.S.

“This year, we’ve had our foot on the accelerator expanding our pickup and delivery services, so customers can get the items they need quickly and safely,” he continued.

So, the trend continues…

Where Everybody Knows Your Name?

A recent SupermarketNews article shared information on software that might turn-back the clock when it comes to customer engagement.

The piece, entitled Moving From Transactional to Personalized Relationships in Grocery, references a time when “the neighborhood grocer knew all of his shoppers by name, and more importantly knew their shopping habits and preferences. It enabled a level of personalized service that benefitted both parties tremendously.”

The article goes on to say that through the use of technology and the data-driven insights it provides, the opportunity exists for that kind relationship to return. Personalization can now be scaled across a broad customer base with online tools and digital communication channels.

The journey involves four “stages of maturity” according to the white paper that is accessible through the article, which are:

  1. Static & Minimal Digital Presence
  2. Basic Digital Engagement
  3. Digitally Active Customer Experience
  4. Data-Driven Personalization

Once a supermarket reaches the fourth stage, it is suggested that they will be able to fully leverage the data and insights that their investments and strategic partnerships have been able to deliver.

“These grocers are leveraging real-time data to make strategic adjustments on the fly,” the article says. “…and using predictive data science to plan for the future.”

Read more in the article…