Global retail giant Walmart is not just a familiar face in the world of shopping; it’s a technology powerhouse comprising multiple tech companies working together.

Walmart executive Anshu Bhardwaj sheds light on the conglomerate’s diverse tech portfolio in a recent episode of the Retail Gets Real podcast.

Diverse technology ecosystem unveiled

Walmart’s technological prowess extends far beyond its well-known e-commerce platform.

According to Bhardwaj, the company houses 17 different technology entities, each focusing on distinct aspects such as cybersecurity, advertising, customer data, real estate, computer vision, and financial services.

The revelation came during a live recording of the Retail Gets Real podcast at Retail’s Big Show.

Strategic acquisitions fuel innovation

Bhardwaj, with a 14-year tenure at Walmart, was instrumental in the company’s strategic mergers and acquisitions between 2010 and 2014.

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The strategy was clear – to bring in significant players with substantial products and ideas to revolutionise the engineering landscape.

The acquisition of Kosmix in 2011, later rebranded as Walmart Labs, marked a turning point, providing the foundation for subsequent acquisitions.

Customer-centric approach drives innovation

The amalgamation of these technology companies has enabled Walmart to craft a seamless shopping experience for its customers.

Bhardwaj emphasises that all technological innovations are centred around serving customers, fostering innovation, and enhancing creativity.

She challenges teams and colleagues to explore innovative ways of combining retail expertise with technology to meet the evolving needs of customers.

Innovative solutions: Sam’s Club Scan and Go

Highlighting the intersection of retail acumen and technology, Bhardwaj discussed the success of Sam’s Club’s Scan and Go, launched nationwide in September 2016.

The technology components, including computer vision, in-app payments, and machine learning, were available, but the breakthrough came when a product manager recognised its potential.

The manager, equipped with domain expertise and a keen understanding of customer pain points, successfully implemented the solution, eliminating the need for customers to stand in checkout lines.

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, Walmart’s focus on innovation, customer service, and strategic acquisitions cements its position not just as a retail giant but as a multifaceted technology conglomerate.