9 ways Walmart is changing how Arizona customers shop

Lifestyle | 15 Feb |

It was an important year of innovation in Arizona Walmart stores, as the company made good on its promise to make shopping easier for Arizona customers, saving them time and money through the rollout and expansion of several in-store innovations. The company also supported its more than 34,000 Arizona associates through increased training, new handheld apps, robotics and other technology designed to make their daily tasks easier. Walmart will continue to lead retail innovation in 2019.

“Walmart is committed to creating shopping experiences that suit our customers’ needs and lifestyles. Whether they prefer to shop online and pickup at one of our Pickup Towers, pay in the aisle with Check Out With Me, or utilize our new Grocery Deliver service to shop completely from home, we offer something for everyone from Apache Junction to Yuma,” stated Peter Abbott, Walmart Market Manager for Arizona.

The following are examples of the customer-focused innovations launched or expanded in Arizona stores.  

Grocery Pickup and Grocery Delivery

Our customers love our online grocery pickup option. It gives them the convenience of shopping online and the ease of quickly picking up groceries without having to leave their cars. The best part: It’s all at no additional cost. Grocery Delivery is also proving to be a hit with our customers. To use either service, customers shop online or through a mobile browser at Walmart.com/grocery

Currently, more than 40 Arizona stores offer grocery pickup, with additional expansion planned for 2019. More than a dozen stores in the cities of Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, Surprise and Tucson currently offer grocery delivery to metro-area customers.  

Walmart Pickup Towers

Walmart Pickup Towers are 16 feet tall and function like high-tech vending machines, capable of fulfilling a customer’s online order in less than a minute. Simply choose from millions of items available on Walmart.com and select the “Pickup” option at checkout. When the item arrives at your local store, an associate loads it into the Pickup Tower and you will receive notification. When you arrive at the store, step up to the Pickup Tower and scan the barcode sent to your smartphone.

Currently,15 stores across Arizona are equipped with a Pickup Tower, with additional expansion planned for 2019. 

Check Out With Me

Walmart launched a new program called Check Out With Me. Outfitted with cellular devices and Bluetooth printers, associates at all Arizona Supercenters can check out customers and provide a receipt, via print, text or email, on the spot. 

Dotcom Store App

The Dotcom Store App allows associates to help customers shop via Walmart.com, using a handheld device, when a customer requests an item that is not available in stores or is out of stock. Customers receive either a printed ticket or email/text with a barcode that allows them to pay at any register in-store using any payment method (cash, check, credit/debit and Walmart Pay). This technology is available in all Arizona stores. 

“Arizona customers have more options than ever before– whether they shop in-store, online or a combination of the two. To truly have a competitive edge, retailers must continue to innovate to meet the evolving needs of shoppers, all while saving them time and money,” commented Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Handheld Apps

The company has rolled out a suite of apps available to all salesfloor associates across Arizona, placing critical information directly into the hands of those assisting customers every day. A few examples of these apps include:

The Price Change App: product price changes are categorized by aisle so that associates receive them in the order they should be made, creating an efficient path through the store. 

The Availability App: automates information about products that are out of stock and shows the associate specifically what time the out-of-stock occurred. 

VR Training

As part of the company’s commitment to training and innovation, Walmart will begin training all associates using immersive, virtual reality technology at every Walmart store in Arizona by the end of the fiscal year. This builds on the success of virtual reality training at Walmart’s nearly 200 Training Academies.

Store Maps

The Walmart app now features a store map uniquely created for each Walmart store in Arizona, helping customers quickly and easily find everything from the hottest toys to every day essentials. Just open the app in store or at home and search for the item– the map will show the item’s exact location and new in-store signing helps customers quickly orient themselves within the store. 

Third-Party Returns in Stores

Customers returning items sold by third-party sellers on Walmart.com can now drop off what they want to return at Walmart instead of having to coordinate directly with the seller. All they have to do is package the product they would like to return at home and bring it to the store where an associate will help print the return label and send the item back to the seller. All Arizona stores offer Third-Party Returns. 

FAST Unloader

Today, product is unloaded as it arrives at the store through a complex, highly manual process that has seen little innovation over the last 20 years – until now. We’re currently testing a new system in our backrooms- known as FAST- that automatically scans and sorts items off our trucks based on priority and department, allowing our associates to spend less time unloading in the back room and more time on the sales floor with our customers.

Currently, our Phoenix Supercenter on 75th Ave. is among those testing the FAST technology. Click on the photos below to learn more about how it works. 

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