Walmart has announced a partnership that will help it start selling e-books in a space that is largely dominated by its archrival Amazon. The deal with e-reader maker Rakuten Kobo will see the retail giant start selling Kobo e-readers, e-books and audiobooks in U.S.
Walmart’s e-commerce segment has shown massive growth and its grocery unit remains unassailable even as a fierce battle looms in the wake of the Amazon-Whole Foods alliance.
Walmart’s resolve to pursue technology is apparent in its new “Scan & Go” app which looks like a manual version of Amazon Go. Users simply need a smartphone to breeze through the shopping experience. The app scans barcodes on items to be purchased and one only needs to click on a button to pay. However, shoppers who do not own smartphones are not left out. They can use hand-held scanners within the stores. On the way out of the shoppers will only need to show their digitally generated receipt to a greeter, saving precious time.
In its quest to enhance customer experience, Walmart is consolidating similarly colored items together in an effort to visually endear customers and positioning produce strategically at store entrances in a wider layout overhaul as reported by Forbes. Employees are also tipped on how to discerningly select produce for customers’ online orders to their satisfaction.
In a patent filing last year Walmart outlines an autonomous machine that’s essentially a floating warehouse complete with launching bays for multiple drones that would in turn make deliveries to shoppers’ doorsteps. Flying at between 500 feet and 1000 feet high, the warehouse can also be operated remotely.