Wal-Mart to Use Covid as Excuse to Track Customers

Business Technology U.S.

Claiming that it is trying to slow the spread of Covid, Wal-Mart is asking more customers to download its shopping app.

The nation’s largest retail chain recently redesigned the interiors of its stores to make them look and feel more like airports. The idea, it says, is to get people in and out of stores as quickly as possible.

“Airports were a place that inspired us because, by nature, you don’t spend an awful amount of time in airports, so you don’t know your way around. But you need to get a lot of people somewhere in a timely fashion,” said Janey Whiteside, EVP and chief customer officer at Walmart.

Ostensibly, in an effort to get customers in and out of stores in “a timely fashion” the company is encouraging customers to download its app and have it open throughout their visit to a store to make their shopping experience seamless.

“People walk around the store with a phone in their hand looking down and looking up, and we wanted to integrate those things, so when they look at their phone they can look up at [the same thing] in the store,” Whiteside says.

A CNN article, however, may reveal what Wal-Mart’s true goal is in redesigning their stores.

“In a push to get more people to download its app and use it while shopping , Walmart is encouraging shoppers to download it prior to entering to assist in navigating the store, search for more options online and pay once finished.”

By combining tracking data with purchasing data, building a real-time database of all of its customers would be simple for Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart’s redesigned stores debuted this week. The company hopes to have 200 stores redesigned by the end of the year and 800 more by the end of next year.

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