When the online grocery rush began during the pandemic, Walmart built an AI-based feature called “Customer Choice” that uses historical and real-time shopping data to predict when items might be out of stock. If a customer who is shopping online chooses an item that may need a substitution, Walmart now shows them up to five options so that people can choose which alternative they prefer. Those choices are then stored for future shopping orders. The company built a working prototype of the feature within two weeks. The quick deployment helped Walmart nearly double its e-commerce sales year over year in Q2 2020, during the heart of the pandemic.”
“Marc Lore, the head of Walmart eCommerce US, will leave the company at the end of January, Recode reported.
Lore originally joined the company when he sold his startup, Jet.com, to Walmart for $3 billion in cash in 2016.
Walmart’s e-commerce boomed under Lore’s leadership. The retailer’s annual sales growth in ecommerce surged to 50% in 2018, and recently recorded a 97% yearly increase in the quarter ending on July 31, 2020.”
“At a time when the coronavirus has sent record numbers of consumers online instead of to the mall, livestreaming is filling the social vacuum. There’s no better example of the trend’s proliferation than Walmart and TikTok, which on Thursday (Dec. 17) announced a “first of its kind” event scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. EST on the Walmart profile page on TikTok. At that time 10 TikTok creators, including Michael Le (@justmaiko), a dancer with 43 million followers, and other creators will participate in a one hour shoppable variety show, called the ‘Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular.’”
“Moreover, during the first quarter of 2020, Walmart’s eCommerce business in the US grew 74%. This was up to 97% in the second quarter, largely attributed to more customers shopping online during the pandemic.”
“Microsoft Corp., Walmart Inc. and Oracle Corp. have all expressed interest in the breakout app, the success of which rests on addictive video feeds powered by ByteDance’s AI-driven content-recommendation engine.
China announced new restrictions on artificial-intelligence technology exports that could further complicate the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, while intensifying the tech battle between the world’s two largest economies.”