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Industry NewsWalmart unveils AI-powered search and replenishment features at CES 2024

Walmart unveils AI-powered search and replenishment features at CES 2024

Walmart Inc. is set to enhance its Inhome Delivery program by introducing automated replenishment, using artificial intelligence to streamline the shopping experience for its customers.

The program aims to track consumer shopping and consumption habits, automatically restocking items without customers visiting a physical store.

Speaking at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Whitney Pegden, vice president and general manager of Walmart Inhome, explained the motivation behind the program and how it will operate. Pegden also discussed how time-consuming weekly household planning can be and explained the frustration of forgetting essential items.

“Customers who are Walmart+ InHome members will soon have access to replenishment. It learns a customer’s purchase patterns to determine the perfect cadence to restock their essentials,” she said.

Grocery Business reached out to Walmart Canada to find out if the retailer had plans to bring the technology to Canada in the near future. In an email, Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs at Walmart Canada, said, “While we have no immediate plans to launch drone delivery, we are learning from other Walmart markets around the world.”

The program is designed to cater to the diverse needs of customers, ensuring that frequently purchased items, whether on a weekly or 17-day basis, are readily available when needed.

“Whether it’s the ones you need every week or the things you need every 17 days, they’ll be there the moment you open the fridge or pantry. And you didn’t have to lift a finger,” she said.

While the specific launch date of the program was not disclosed, Pegden said that the program would not be subscription-based. She acknowledged the usefulness of subscriptions for predictable items like dog food. However, she highlighted the complexity of replenishing a broader list of essentials with varying consumption rates.

“Our replenishment service solves that. It’s personalized and adjusts based on your changing needs. Not only are we going to get you what you need. We’re going to get it to you when you need it and even where you need it, right to your refrigerator,” she said.

Walmart initially launched the Inhome program in 2019, offering customers the flexibility to have products delivered to their doorstep, garage, or directly to their refrigerator. The retailer says the upcoming automated replenishment feature represents a significant step toward enhancing the convenience and efficiency of the Inhome Delivery program for Walmart+ InHome members.

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