Yesterday morning, I listened to a senior executive talk about Walmart’s plans to integrate across all retail channels and I didn’t hear what I’d hoped to hear. In fact, I texted in question after question, but none of them were even asked in the Q&A section. I was bummed because I think Walmart can be a force for change in the industry and in Northwest Arkansas, where I happen to live.
Here’s a list of 22 things that I wish I would have heard:
- Walmart is committed to turning NWA into the world’s leading technology center for retail (online, in-store, anywhere)
- Walmart is moving dotcom to NWA (both Jet & WM) in order to jumpstart this transformation project
- Walmart is starting a $1 billion tech fund that will provide funding to the burgeoning e-commerce tech community in NWA
- Walmart is partnering with the University of Arkansas to start an ecommerce MBA focused program
- Additionally, Walmart is giving a $100 million dollar gift to the University to endow an e-commerce research and technology development center
- By 2025, Walmart expects that 80%+ of its e-commerce talent will be locally educated, trained and sourced
- Walmart is reimagining their stores as a retailing platform and they are opening up API’s to allow third parties to develop exciting new tools and solutions for the retail giant
- Ditto for the Walmart app and dotcom.
- Walmart just launched a new page on their corporate website with 10 challenges they are opening up to the public to offer solutions
- Walmart will fund three years of R&D for each of the top solutions selected (see #9) by a very impressive panel of retail and tech luminaries
- Walmart is using its supply chain prowess and its foundation funding to end hunger in the city of Chicago. Forever.
- From there they will continue to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the top 10 cities in America and they are looking for innovative social and tech entrepreneurs to help
- Walmart committed to providing the most comprehensive and accurate information on total product sourcing and supply on every item it sells in store and online
- Ditto for the ingredients of all products
- Walmart also announced a new partnership with Google Maps to develop a new Store View platform of every store in the chain and update it weekly
- This Store View platform will provide an open API for third parties to be able to build applications on top of it to enhance shopper navigation, information and inspiration
- Niantic, the makers of Pokemon Go, is announcing today that they are building a lite AR layer app that will allow in-store gamification promotions to be built on top of Store View
- Walmart will take mobile coupons, integrating with all major clearing houses
- Walmart has developed a new feature on its app that allows individual consumers to share all of their Walmart shopping data with third parties in exchange for micro-payments to the shopper they can either received directly or in the form of store credit
- This means that for the first time, consumers can actually profit from data about their spending habits (instead of big data aggregators), and brands can get access to a treasure trove of retail and shopper data that has otherwise sat buried on servers in a warehouse in Colorado, leading to a boom in innovations that will make shopping easier, more fun, and less costly all the way around
- Walmart has moved beyond its initial testing and has decided to buy Lyft as its backbone to develop the most comprehensive scale of home delivery ever undertaken by a retailer, and you can start delivering within 48 hours
- Walmart is encouraging all of its suppliers to start running Digital Demo programs with SMACK
Well, I can dream.