Walmart is using artificial intelligence to help both customers and Personal Shoppers choose the best substitute for an out-of-stock item. In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, food and grocery delivery apps experienced a rapid change in customer behavior, which led to a skyrocketing boost of their user base.
Walmart recently surpassed Amazon as the # 1 shopping app on both Google Play and the App Store. The decision on how to substitute is highly complicated and very subjective to each customer, as wrong choices can negatively impact customer satisfaction and increase costs.
Walmart’s artificial intelligence-powered platform takes into account numerous factors that are involved in decision making before showing substitute options to its customers, which would be extremely difficult and time consuming to do if performed manually.
The implementation of this technology into grocery delivery is not something new. Last year in May, Walmart reported how it used artificial intelligence technology to determine eligibility for its newly launched express delivery service in the United States.
Srini Venkatesan, Vice president of Walmart Global Tech, said, “The technology we developed uses deep learning artificial intelligence that can consider hundreds of variables – size, type, brand, price, aggregated buyer data, individual customer preferences, current inventory, and more in real time to select the best next available item.”
He further added that the customer is asked to approve the suggested item or to tell the platform that they don’t want it, as it is an important data which the company uses to refine its artificial intelligence platform to provide better suggestions.
Walmart officials said, “Following the deployment of this tech, customer acceptance of substitutions has increased to over 95%.” The company intends to further improve its platform by continuously learning from consumer feedback to ensure complete customer satisfaction.