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Walmart just unveiled a new technology

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gdale6
Moderator Emeritus

Walmart just unveiled a new technology

  • Walmart unveiled a new technology, called Alphabot, for its grocery business.
  • It says the platform should enable it to pick, pack and deliver shoppers’ online grocery orders faster and with fewer headaches.
  • It has been testing Alphabot since the middle of 2019 from a Walmart Supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/08/walmart-unveils-a-new-technology-for-its-grocery-business-alphabot.h...

Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES 11
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology

Well, TBH, unless they hire a robot to do the picking. I have no faith in their claims, at least not based on the "help" my local store employs...

 

That said, these rollout test center always seem to have more knowledgable/intelligent associated to empliment the process.

 

The disconnect is when it's rolled out to other less qualified locations.

Message 2 of 12
coldfusion
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology

Interesting, I pick up big-ticket items at that exact store.  This explains a couple of things. 

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Message 3 of 12
coldfusion
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology


@Anonymous wrote:

Well, TBH, unless they hire a robot to do the picking. I have no faith in their claims, at least not based on the "help" my local store employs...

 

That said, these rollout test center always seem to have more knowledgable/intelligent associated to empliment the process.

 

The disconnect is when it's rolled out to other less qualified locations.


Believe me, the staff and much of the clientele would fit in at just about any other store. 

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Message 4 of 12
Revelate
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology

I'm somewhat surprised it's taken this long.

 

Amazon has been doing something similar in their warehouses for at least the last 3 years (and they get that technology from a third-party so it's not propertiary), though to be fair there are groceries which aren't packaged nearly as well as vs. basically all shippable items and they are in more varied shapes.

 

Saw a shopping cart in the news lately that'll recognize items placed into it and had a payment terminal built into it... between that and what Amazon Go is already doing and this new Walmart announcement, I wonder which way it will wind up going in the short-term (5ish years or less).

 

Long-term I expect full automation, and probably 1-2ish hour delivery to boot but that may be a decade or more out potentially depending how regulations shape up in various pieces of that entire solution.




        
Message 5 of 12
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology


@Revelate wrote:

Saw a shopping cart in the news lately that'll recognize items placed into it and had a payment terminal built into it... between that and what Amazon Go is already doing and this new Walmart announcement, I wonder which way it will wind up going in the short-term (5ish years or less).


I read about something like that a while back, and I think it will be nice to finally get something like that in stores. No more "price check" at the registers. Anything that shortens my visit is  plus! And with a built in POS we could essentially go straight out the door bypassing the register altogether, no more lines! 

 

 

Message 6 of 12
iced
Valued Contributor

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology


@coldfusion wrote:

@Anonymous wrote:

Well, TBH, unless they hire a robot to do the picking. I have no faith in their claims, at least not based on the "help" my local store employs...

 

That said, these rollout test center always seem to have more knowledgable/intelligent associated to empliment the process.

 

The disconnect is when it's rolled out to other less qualified locations.


Believe me, the staff and much of the clientele would fit in at just about any other store. 


Agreed. We could share a whole thread about the various things not quite right in the head with NH, but needless to say it's not exactly a paragon of intellectual or technological proficiency and it indeed would fit right in with shoppers in TX, AL, or any of a number of other states.

 

On the larger topic, this sort of thing will probably gain traction in some areas and not so much in others. Amazon was (and is) pushing this type of technology pretty hard, but there's only so far some demographics want to go with online/hands-off shopping. In some markets, the idea that you need someone to pick out and deliver your groceries is still seen as tacky, lazy, and a few other 'murican traits, mostly negative.

 

In others, I'm sure this will be seen as the greatest thing since sliced bread being delivered to your door.

 

What struck me the most in this article is just how many people buy food -- in particular perishable, non-prepared food like produce and meat -- from Wal-Mart. Maybe I've become ultra-elitist in my old age, but the only thing Wal-Mart's produce, meat, and dairy has going for it is the price. I've seen some pretty sad vegetables and dairy/meat with expiration dates I didn't believe in their stores before. Granted this was a few years ago and I've since sworn off buying anything fresh from them, so maybe they've improved a little, but they need to improve a LOT to get to where they're going to be attractive as a primary grocery store in places that are dominated by Whole Foods and similar stores. Or...maybe they're just not into that demographic and will stick to the red meat and potatoes parts of the country that shop by price above all else.

Message 7 of 12
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology


@Revelate wrote:

I'm somewhat surprised it's taken this long.

 

Amazon has been doing something similar in their warehouses for at least the last 3 years (and they get that technology from a third-party so it's not propertiary), though to be fair there are groceries which aren't packaged nearly as well as vs. basically all shippable items and they are in more varied shapes.

 

Saw a shopping cart in the news lately that'll recognize items placed into it and had a payment terminal built into it... between that and what Amazon Go is already doing and this new Walmart announcement, I wonder which way it will wind up going in the short-term (5ish years or less).

 

Long-term I expect full automation, and probably 1-2ish hour delivery to boot but that may be a decade or more out potentially depending how regulations shape up in various pieces of that entire solution.


You know I actually think all this hype and excitement about delivery and the like will settle out and the real cost will settle in. Results, an end to free (if there is free) and maybe to delivery in total. In today's world everyone seems to quickly try to one up the next business and after reality settles in we see a change in the land scape.

 

Look at the change in the credit card benefits and how fast everyone jumped on the changes. Suspect a change in the economy may even see the credit world relaxing benefits and reducing them together so we don't all jump ship. Maybe, I am too old and have watched to many marketing ploys over the years but, I don't think the present landscape will last? Smiley Sad

Message 8 of 12
pinkandgrey
Senior Contributor

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology

This won't contribute to this conversation at all, but I would personally never let someone else pick out groceries for me lol. I'm way too particular. 

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Message 9 of 12
Revelate
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Walmart just unveiled a new technology


@Anonymous wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

I'm somewhat surprised it's taken this long.

 

Amazon has been doing something similar in their warehouses for at least the last 3 years (and they get that technology from a third-party so it's not propertiary), though to be fair there are groceries which aren't packaged nearly as well as vs. basically all shippable items and they are in more varied shapes.

 

Saw a shopping cart in the news lately that'll recognize items placed into it and had a payment terminal built into it... between that and what Amazon Go is already doing and this new Walmart announcement, I wonder which way it will wind up going in the short-term (5ish years or less).

 

Long-term I expect full automation, and probably 1-2ish hour delivery to boot but that may be a decade or more out potentially depending how regulations shape up in various pieces of that entire solution.


You know I actually think all this hype and excitement about delivery and the like will settle out and the real cost will settle in. Results, an end to free (if there is free) and maybe to delivery in total. In today's world everyone seems to quickly try to one up the next business and after reality settles in we see a change in the land scape.

 

Look at the change in the credit card benefits and how fast everyone jumped on the changes. Suspect a change in the economy may even see the credit world relaxing benefits and reducing them together so we don't all jump ship. Maybe, I am too old and have watched to many marketing ploys over the years but, I don't think the present landscape will last? Smiley Sad


You stated it yourself: credit card benefits and rewards are basically marketing, really no different than any other advertising which waxes and wanes but doesn't fundamnetally change things.

 

Computers?  Changed things.

 

iPhone?  Changed things.

 

Amazon?  Changed things.

 

I'm talking big giant structural changes to the economy... credit cards did that a long time ago arguably, and moving to a cashless society is just going to be a blip.  Better and autonomous delivery systems, might not be inevitable in our lifetimes but it's just going to be a better way of doing a fundamental task: that will change things too.

 

Unless you're suggesting 3D Printing comes back with a vengeance to be consumer usable, I don't see how we don't wind up with consumer stuff being generated out of the home which mandates some delivery system... and I would suggest the trend of brick and mortar is still going to be down and to the right in terms of sales vs. online for all that online isn't even the majority yet.




        
Message 10 of 12
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