This is page 2 of:

Walmart’s Auto Shopping List: The Next Killer Mobile App?

May 29th, 2013

Indeed, the auto-generated list could be better than a handmade list. Shoppers typically write down items that they’ve run out of and maybe where a family member has pointed out that something is about to run out. An app that uses historical buying from that person and projects likely imminent outages is powerful.

When the shopping history gets lengthy enough, the potential of this functionality gets even better. With a few months of data, it could make superb guesses as to when milk, eggs, bread or orange juice are likely to run out. With a few years of data, it could flag in July that the shopper almost always buys cranberry juice. (Turns out this shopper’s cousin’s family always spends a few days with them on the Fourth of July and one of their kids lives on cranberry juice.) It could anticipate and flag charcoal—or liquid propane—in June as well, if that’s when that shopper typically stocks up.

It could also be smart about things like diapers and baby food, knowing which related items should be recommended. If that item suddenly pops up on the list, a checklist of related items might be quite well received by a new mother. The app could also be smart enough to know to stop recommending infant diapers after a certain amount of time and to change its baby-food recommendations to coincide with both age and changes in diaper size. It could flag any purchase of honey less than a year after diapers appeared, with a note that anyone younger than 12 months should not consume honey. (This could be boring or irrelevant to some but a literal life-saver for others.)

Thomas touched on the obvious, that it could also factor in dietary or budget restrictions. But to the extent that it would do that by examining the full ingredient list of every item (especially prepared foods, which tend to have a huge ingredient list), it could become indispensable.

That’s why this specific bit of possible functionality has so much potential. For lots of reasons, this is one that shoppers are likely to actually use and use often. Then, when you layer discounts and special promotions atop, you have the ability to radically change buyer behaviors in-aisle.

If Walmart starts to control even a healthy minority percentage of every shopping list on a mobile in America (and beyond), a lot of retail execs are going to start losing a lot of sleep. Maybe Walmart will know to add warm milk, whisky and melatonin to their next shopping list?


Comments are closed.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.