Walmart provides smart substitutions
Supermarket giant Walmart is using AI to help shoppers choose the best substitute for an out-of-stock item
In the past, Walmart’s Personal Shoppers would go through a manual process to determine the best way to manage a substitution, but there are nearly 100 different factors that can go into that decision. Trying to account for all of these would not only be too difficult, but it would also be incredibly time consuming.
To help ensure a substitution that will result in a happy customer, Walmart has created a technology solution to help identify the next best item for customers if an item they selected is out of stock.
The tech uses deep learning AI to consider hundreds of variables — size, type, brand, price, aggregate shopper data, individual customer preference, current inventory and more – in real time to determine the best next available item.
It then preemptively asks the customer to approve the substituted item or let the retailer know they don’t want it - an important signal that’s fed back into our learning algorithms to improve the accuracy of future recommendations.