Walmart is taking its text-to-shop solution out of beta.
The discount titan is now making a text-to-shop experience available for free on iOS and Android mobile devices. To use the feature, customers can text the items they need, and items are automatically added to their cart. They choose from the full selection of Walmart’s products, including items from their local store and from Walmart.com.
Text to shop is seamlessly connected to customer’s Walmart accounts, meaning the feature has access to shoppers’ usually ordered items. As a result, shoppers can text “reorder” to quickly review and add frequently ordered items to their cart. Text-to-shop users can also swap out items as needed.
Once a customer is done shopping, they then review their cart and check out via text or the Walmart app, followed by selecting time slot for pickup or delivery of their order.
Text to shop is a step forward in Walmart’s voice-activated shopping offering. Initially launched in 2017 in partnership with Google, voice-activated shopping enables customers to purchase from an assortment of hundreds of thousands of items available via Google or Apple voice device.
The customer’s voice command will automatically open the Walmart app and add their preferred version of a product (so for example, a customer could simply ask for milk and receive the brand and package size they typically order without having to specify). Walmart introduced its own voice-activated shopping experience as a direct counter to its chief rival Amazon’s Alexa voice-controlled device, which has also served as a digital commerce platform for many years.
Walmart developed text to shop with its Store No. 8 technology incubator and global technology team, who beta-tested the solution with customers in select areas and incorporated their feedback. According to Walmart, it used the beta test period, initially announced in October 2021, to learn about when and how customers prefer to use a conversational shopping experience.
“Between balancing your busy schedule, performing at work, managing your household, preparing meals — and ensuring you’ve got everything you need, when you need it — you’ve got a lot going on,” Dominique Essig, VP, Conversational Commerce, Store No8, said in a corporate blog post. “At Walmart, we know that keeping track of your household shopping list is often a mental task you manage as you go about your day. That’s why Walmart is excited to offer our customers a new and convenient way to shop — by simply texting us.”