Walmart unveils new GenAI search tech for shoppers at CES

Walmart on Tuesday unveiled two new AI-powered tools at the CES conference in Las Vegas to help shoppers quickly search for products and automate the process of re-ordering frequently ordered items.

The world's largest retailer launched a new GenAI search tool developed by combining Microsoft's AI models with Walmart's shopper data to enable shoppers to search for products using specific use cases instead of by brand names or items.

Shoppers will be able to search using terms such as "a football watch party" or "help me plan a unicorn-themed party for my daughter," and receive a curated list of products, instead of individually searching for chips, wings and balloons, it said.

The feature, currently available to iOS users, will be rolled out to its website and Android app users later this year, it said.

Showcasing another use case of AI, the company said it is developing a tool called "Walmart InHome Replenishment," that will help shoppers who use its subscription-based InHome delivery service to quickly populate online shopping carts with commonly ordered items.

Like car and gadget makers, retailers are in a race to find consumer uses for Generative AI technology that has taken the world by storm since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022.

Walmart rival has deployed generative AI tools to help advertisers improve ad targeting and allowing merchants to produce promotions quickly. Volkswagen on Monday announced at the CES conference that it would incorporate ChatGPT into its cars.

On Tuesday, Walmart also announced the expanded availability of an in-house AI tool called My Assistant to employees based in 11 countries and launched an AI and computer vision enabled service that would eliminate the need for shoppers to get their receipts verified by an employee at its Sam's Club stores .

Currently running as a pilot in 10 Sam's Club stores, the technology uses a combination of cameras and AI-processing technology in the exit area of stores to capture images of carts and verify payment for all items within a basket.

Walmart said it expects to rapidly expand this tech to nearly 600 clubs by the end of the year after shoppers consistently rated the wait times at the exit as a "pain point."

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