Walmart Inc. is preparing to define “the future of retail” using technologies like machine learning and augmented reality at a new Sam’s Club store in Dallas, which goes by the name “Sam’s Club Now.”
The new store will serve as a proving ground for the retailer to test out new concepts like mobile checkout, electronic shelf labels, in-store navigation technology, AR, and AI-infused shopping, among other things.
“We’ll use all available technologies — including computer vision, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, just to name a few — to redefine the retail experience,” said Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com and Executive Vice President of Membership and Technology, in a statement. “Majority of technologies that we’re building here are technologies that we’ve developed in-house… this allow us to iterate and move pretty quickly with it,” he added.
Shopping at the 32,000-square-foot store, staffed with concierge-like “Member Hosts”, will revolve around Sam’s Club’s existing Scan & Go app. The specialized Sam’s Club Now mobile app allows customers to scan items as they shop, pay from their phones and skip the checkout line. The app, however, is reportedly being infused with the integrated way-finding and navigation system, augmented reality features, an A.I.-powered shopping list and other features the company wants to try out.
While testing AR to “bring products to life”, the app is using a combination of machine learning and customer purchase history. It then pre-populates the customer’s shopping lists automatically. The app will also allow registered customers to place pickup orders or same-day delivery orders.