Walmart launches Text to Shop feature

Monday 30 January 2023 12:47 CET | News

International retail chain Walmart has recently introduced  Text to Shop feature, which allows clients to shop for their favourite in-store products via text. 

Mobile consumers across both iOS and Android devices can now text the retail giant the items they want to purchase online or from their preferred local store or easily reorder items for pickup, delivery, or shopping, across the US territory. However, the chat experience doesn’t seem the most user-friendly, with customers complaining about the difficulty to navigate the new feature, despitethe simplicity behind a text-based shopping experience.

Conversational commerce on the rise

As customers continue to expect simpler ways to browse and shop for their favourite items, retailers are looking to strengthen their relationship with end-users to lock in revenues and a solid clientele based. 

Conversational commerce or shopping via text is an area that has seen increased investment over the past couple of years, with various startups entering the market and giant social media apps, including Meta and Snapchat introducing similar programmes for their Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat users. 

Walmart didn’t fall behind on the trend, investing in technology companies that explore the conversational commerce, designing, prototyping, testing, and deploying these new shopping capabilities. Its new Text to Shop feature was built in-house, with the beta version being available for around a year before its official December 2022 public debut, even though it was only accessible through an invite basis.

 International retail chain Walmart has recently introduced  Text to Shop feature, which allows clients to shop for their favourite in-store products via text.


A system yet to be perfected

In theory, chat-based shopping aims to simplify the overall shopping experience by bringing it to a more familiar texting interface, which could potentially gain a new segment of shoppers – users who aren’t familiar with online shopping. However, Walmart’s new feature is yet to be perfected, as users who tested the platform’s capabilities experienced hiccups in the process.

The initial steps of getting started are easy, as customers just have to sign into their Walmart accounts and agree with the terms. The bot will automatically send a helpful intro and useful tips on how the system works. It is even set to recognise certain words as commands, including ‘reorder’, which allows customers to easily reorder their preferred products for easy planning. 

On the down side, the chat bot doesn’t automatically warn customers if they already have pending items in their abandoned carts from previous online orders, which will prompt some to have surprises at the checkout. 

At the same time, the bot will not allow customers to choose between pickup, delivery, or shipping at the beginning of the session. The feature is incorporated in the bot’s AI but after choosing each item in the cart, which could turn the entire process into a frustrating experience for beginner users. 

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Keywords: ecommerce, ecommerce platform, online shopping, mobile payments, mobile money, m-commerce, subscription commerce, retail, product upgrade
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Walmart
Countries: United States
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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