Few things are as frustrating as trucking down to the store to find a particular item, only for it to be sold out and leave empty-handed. Walmart thinks it has a solution to this problem.
Today, Walmart announced a new app that lets in-store shoppers order and pay for items online that are sold out in stores. If an item isn’t available in-store, customers can track down a Walmart an employee who uses a device with the app to take the order and set up shipping details. Then the customer gets a ticket to pay for the item at checkout.
Customers could always whip out their own smartphones and basically complete this process themselves. But the new app creates an official pipeline for employees to take advantage of the company’s vast inventory to quickly backfill sold out items.
Walmart says this new experience is part of a series of apps to help employees better serve customers. It’s also another example of Walmart’s wide-ranging technological investment to tie together its digital and brick-and-mortar experiences as it battles Amazon and other e-commerce players.
Walmart has invested heavily in grocery delivery and ways to order things online and pick them up in stores. In October, Walmart introduced Sam’s Club Now, a cashier-less concept store in Dallas that is much larger than Amazon’s automated checkout offering Amazon Go.