Walmart’s new tech keeps eye on consumers

Imagine not having to deal with the ckeck out line–and just shop right in the aisle where you are. Walmart is considering letting shoppers buy products in the aisles in an effort to improve the customer experience.

Those shoppers with an iPhone 4 or 4S can buy some products simply by scanning the bar code and entering their Apple ID.  The retailer is also exploring how the use of NFC (near-field communication) can help customers make purchases by phone and in set up a social network to talk with other shoppers in its stores.

Walmart could use trend information from social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to let the world know about that cool item you just scored. The company says it may set up a database that will take advantage of the huge amounts of information it has about shopping behavior and combine it with social-networking data.

So the next time you start looking online at Wisconsin Badger football jerseys or post your Madison travel plans on Facebook about catching a game, Walmart knows it’s time to start stocking the shelves with red and white merchandise. Eventually, the retailer will set up a mobile social-networking service uniquely Walmart’s, where shoppers and sales associates could post comments about products and services. Even the online store will tap into social networking. All of this is in the pilot stage right now, but Walmart hopes to impact billions of dollars of merchandise and sales.


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