eCommerce

Walmart Testing Robots To Fill Grocery Orders More Quickly

Walmart

Taking a page from Amazon.com, Walmart announced late last week that it will be testing robots to help it fill online grocery orders quicker.

According to a press release, the company said it is collaborating with Alert Innovation, the startup, to launch a pilot using the automated robot which is being called Alphabot.

“Our online grocery service is already a huge hit with customers, allowing them to quickly and conveniently order groceries online, select a pickup time and have those groceries delivered to their car in minutes. Alphabot will work behind the scenes to make the process even easier by automatically bringing items from storage to associates who will consolidate the items in the order. For our pickup associates, that means less time walking the store aisles in search of products and more time ensuring customers are getting the absolute best in fresh produce, meats, etc.”

The Alphabot system was developed for Walmart and will be installed at its supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire as part of its grand re-opening. The 20,000 square foot extension connected to the store will be home to the new system and will serve as the grocery pickup point with drive-thru lanes for customers. When completed, Walmart said automated mobile carts will get the ordered items stored warehouse-style in the new space and then deliver them to employees at one of four pick-up stations. The personal shoppers then pick the orders, assemble them and deliver to customers. Personal shoppers will still handpick produce and other fresh items.  “With the aid of Alphabot, our associates will have more time to focus on service and selling, the two things they often tell us are the most enjoyable part of the job, while the technology handles the more mundane, repeatable tasks. Although this is a small pilot, we expect big things from it. We have a lot to learn about this new technology, and we’re excited about the possibilities of how we can use it to make the future of shopping – and working – even better,” Walmart said.

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