Walmart hasn’t shied away or taken it easy when it comes to technological innovation.
Although August is traditionally a time to slow down and recharge your batteries, Walmart has been actively accelerating its technology efforts across the enterprise. While I spent part of the month relaxing on a beach in New Hampshire, Walmart was moving full speed ahead with technology-related initiatives in its merchandising, supply chain and marketing functions.
Read on for more details:
Purchase of Volt Systems
Walmart invested in its ability to forecast customer demand by acquiring Volt Systems, a technology company that develops solutions designed to provide suppliers with improved on-demand visibility into merchant resources. The Volt app provides actual store-level data, actionable analytics and shelf intelligence for suppliers to use in planning, forecasting and optimizing product assortment.
As a result, Volt aims for end customers to get a smoother all-round shopping experience, with reduced friction due to out-of-stocks.
“The agreement affirms Walmart’s continued investment in technology and innovation that enables us to better anticipate customer demand,” Walmart said in a statement. official statement announcing the purchase.
High-tech consolidation center
Walmart is expanding its model of an automated supply chain facility for receiving, sorting and shipping goods. During the month of August, the discount giant will open a high-tech consolidation center in Lebanon, Pa. 400,000 square meters. The facility’s automated technology is designed to enable three times more volume to flow throughout the center and help Walmart deliver the right product to the right store so customers can find the products they need, according to retailers.
The new Lebanon consolidation center will serve all 42 regional distribution centers across the US, with plans to serve fulfillment centers in the near future. The facility will be the second of its kind in Walmart’s supply chain. The first, located in Colton, California, opened in 2019.
Consolidation centers have a specialized role in moving products quickly onto warehouse shelves. Each has the ability to receive bulk goods from suppliers in smaller freight loads, known as less than a truckload (LTL), and consolidate them into larger freight loads, known as full truckloads (TL).
The product is then sent to regional distribution centers where it is sorted for distribution to stores. Suppliers will now be able to send goods to a single location for consolidation, rather than sending separate orders to each of the 42 regional distribution centers.
Walmart partners with streaming provider, BNPL for Walmart+ benefits
Walmart’s latest promotional partnerships for its Walmart+ paid membership program include a major streaming service and a leading buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform. Since August 15, mmembers of the Walmart+ program will receive free access to the “basic” tier of the Paramount+ subscription streaming offering, which normally costs $4.99 per month and includes some paid advertising.
Paramount Global has publicly estimated that Paramount+ has 43 million total members and has said it wants to have 100 million subscribers by 2024. Walmart does not release Walmart+ membership numbers, but Consumer Intelligence Research partners estimated the service had 11 million participants since July 2022.
Walmart has been growing Walmart+, originally launched in September 2020, with several different promotions. In another current example, during the month of August, eligible consumers who spend $300 or more on a single purchase with the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Confirm solution at Walmart, in-store or online, will take a free 90-day Walmart+ membership.
Members of the Walmart+ program, which normally costs $12.95 per month/$98 per year, receive exclusive benefits like free shipping with no minimum order, free in-store delivery and discounted gas prices.