Walmart is using machine learning to help analyze customer data as part of its push to improve personalization and enhance the customer experience, according to Laurent Desegur, vice president of customer experience engineering at WalmartLabs, who spoke at VentureBeat's MB 17 conference this week, VentureBeat reports.
Walmart, which is currently the world’s second largest online retailer, has 11,700 stores and 140 million weekly shoppers in 28 countries around the world, according to the report.
Unlike Amazon, Walmart has both brick and mortar and virtual operations, and can use tech to combine data from both to draw on customer insight. Walmart revenue from e-commerce grew 63% year-over-year last quarter, boosted in part by the purchase of Jet.com last summer.
Walmart is no stranger to working with cutting edge technologies to give it an edge. Last fall, the company announced it was testing blockchain technology to speed up the process of identifying and removing recalled food.
The retail giant is also a fan of "innersource" — the concept of sharing firewall-protected open source software internally, to enhance IT innovation companywide. The strategy makes it so IT teams within Walmart move more quickly because they don’t have to start new IT projects from scratch.
But Walmart is facing some stiff competition, especially because of Amazon’s impending purchase of Whole Foods. To keep up with the changing market, advanced technologies may be the answer. The more insights Walmart can draw from its customer base, the easier it will be for the company to respond to market shifts and demands.