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How To Go To The Learning Center Online Walmart
Walmart just won’t quit. First, its digital payment system got hacked, and it’s invested big in video game consoles and Xbox Live accounts. Now, reports are emerging that millions of shoppers on Target’s website have been able to set up a virtual personal assistant, and snap selfies with the Happy Meals in order to unlock the items in their purchase carts.
Of course, other retailers are also experimenting with virtual assistants. Customers at JCPenney could use Amazon’s Alexa or Facebook Messenger to scan coupons and check the interior of a refrigerator. The voice-based option at Sears, Kmart and Sears Auto Shop let customers ring a dedicated salesperson’s phone to arrange a scheduled repair. Walmart has always sold these technologies through third-party merchants, and some are perfectly acceptable. But why do it itself?
To Walmart, it’s just part of a smart-commerce strategy. The company was right to integrate all of its e-commerce and digital platforms. Although many consumers don’t even know that virtual assistants exist, they come within the digital footprints of all of Walmart’s various retailer-operated websites. They’re a fact of life that makes Walmart a smart place to experiment with these technologies. Here’s why the company’s latest move is the right one.
Virtual assistants are convenient
You might not get text-based customer service from Amazon Alexa. But you’re using its smart home systems. You bought cosmetics on Sephora.com and then walked over to store shelves to choose what you want in your cart. You used Seamless to order pizza, and then watched the video presentation to see what your order would look like on the screen.
Even if you never use Amazon Echo or one of its assistant services, you will use one of these technologies to search, shop and manage your online account. The same is true for social media. Retailers are forced to monetize their audiences if they want to survive. That means offering the next “artificial intelligence” buzzword to users in a safe way.
Virtual assistants are less intrusive
There was always a big “if” attached to the idea of talking to robots: will they actually listen to you, understand you and understand your needs? Digital assistants are by definition unintelligent. Amazon is experimenting with voice-based interfaces across all of its family of products. Hello, Amazon Tap and Echo Look. Yes, Echo Look! No, Alexa-base model. Sure, you can share Alexa’s latest fashion tips through their “hear me now” feature. And yes, Amazon has released a virtual assistant to help customers compare prices. But I’ve been a stickler for conversational, not text-based, AI ever since I tested the terrible voice-controlled waiter in The Shaggy Dog.
Walmart’s virtual assistant lets customers interact like they would any other online platform. When I was looking for toys for my twin nephews’ birthday, there were two options: Amazon and Walmart. Both of them let me pick up the things I wanted, and contact a customer service representative within minutes.
Digital assistants will track clicks and physical behaviors
The other interesting part of this news is that Walmart can track clicks and accounts. Voice activation is a constant currency, and recent research points to e-commerce retail sales improving in large part due to voice assistants. Companies like Pricegrabber and RedLaser can track when you click on a product to see if it sells and when you pick it up in store, enabling you to make purchases faster and more efficiently. However, this is limited to very detailed data that online retailers can analyze to measure ROI, rather than voice-activated channels.
Walmart Connected shopping will keep my shopping up to date. A headset in my home, as I’m in Walmart parking lot, will tell me my cart is still full. Sure, I’ll have to wait for the digital assistant to tell me I’m out of yogurt, and then I’ll get some more. But, let’s face it: it’s super convenient to have, and the best part is that I get to play with the technology before the data is locked away for 30 days.