WalmartLabs bets big on disruptive technologies

WalmartLabs India calls itself the idea’s lab for the world’s largest retailer. Operating as the technology arm of the retail giant, the India team at Walmart Labs, is in the center of the action and has been instrumental in leveraging Big Data analytics to help Walmart gain better insights into how customers are shopping.

Says K Jayakumar, Managing Director, WalmartLabs India, “To provide a seamless omnichannel experience is the holy grail  for all retailers, and we are building solutions that can help us deliver this objective. Our customers can search for a product online, and can pick it up at a nearby store. We are also involved in building global supply chain tools, smart pricing and solutions that suggest the best offers for our customers.”

The India team has a strong focus on analytics, which is a strong differentiator for Walmart. To get an idea of the scale at what the retail giant operates, one has to look at some statistics. The India team processes close to 190 billion rows of data, and integrates hundreds of internal and external data objects into its analytics. Analysis of this data can reveal several interesting insights. For example, one sample analysis showed that about 40% of people who buy online and come to pick up, will go into the store and buy more when they’re there.

Being the technology arm of the world’s largest retailer, the firm is betting big on disruptive technologies, to redefine the future of shopping. “Machine learning algorithms will lead to more personalized customization of services and products. The other big trends to watch out for are robots and drones. While robots will be used to improve efficiencies in warehouses, drones are being tested for being used in last mile delivery,” states Jayakumar on the key disruptive technologies that he believes will change the future of retail.

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