Walmart has updated its Android app (and soon iOS app) to offer an improved in-store experience with search at the center. The new Walmart “Search My Store” feature offers a view into the future of in-store app usage.
The combination of real-time online inventory and indoor location is making possible new types of in-store, digitally-enhanced experiences for shoppers. Payments and personalization will be added into the mix in the near future.
Mobile is the bridge between the digital and in-store worlds. And retailers that get it right will have enormous advantages over pure e-commerce players.
Walmart’s search My Store allows in-store shoppers to use keywords or product names to search real-time inventory, which then returns a list of products, pricing and the precise in-store location where the products can be found. The company claims in-store product search “puts Walmart light-years ahead of other brick & mortar retailer apps.”
Reportedly the ability to search for and find products on store shelves was a highly requested feature among Walmart app users. The company said in an email that “within the first few weeks of launching on Android, more than 99 percent of Walmart stores had been searched by Search my Store.”
In case it wasn’t already obvious this feature sets up paid-search advertising in the app. I haven’t spoken to Walmart about their intentions but it’s fairly obvious that Walmart could start selling ad units in these search results. They could be native or similar to AdWords and appear at the top of results.
I suspect this is on the roadmap for the company.
Imagine a query for LED light bulbs. GE or Phillips could buy an ad at the top of those results featuring a brand message or coupon or both. The potential effectiveness of such ads could be massive, …read more