Redefining the game with innovative retail technologies

June 26, 2024 

Hear from Anshu Bhardwaj, SVP and COO for Walmart Global Technology and Walmart Commerce Technologies, on how we’re transforming tech investments into solutions that solve complex pain points and sharing the innovation to strengthen the entire retail community.

Missed the full interview? Watch it here.

Anshu Bhardwaj: You know, having the desire, having the capability is one thing. And then also I will say all of these coming together is a completely separate thing. So, it's a big combination of the offering you have, the team that you're building, how you're going to market. But I do think you asked the question of, you know, why do we see ourselves as a SaaS leader in this space.  The Software as a Service for a retailer to provide to other retailers or other companies is a completely different ball game. But I think 4 key things, if I were to boil it down:

  1. The first one is we as a company are very customer centric. And if I take that a step further, for me in the B2B space, in the B2B SaaS space, the retailer is also a customer. So it's in our DNA to be centric, to be customer centric.

  2. The second one is, as I mentioned, Doug is really focused on stakeholder value and all the investments that we are making in wages. I'm sure you guys have followed in the last decade. We have steadily increased our wage investments for store associates. We've also invested in career pathing, in developing your knowledge and skills. So, we are also very much into that stakeholder empowerment and as a part of stakeholders, because we operate in the communities that we are running our stores in, local businesses are a part of that community. So that's the second thing.

  3. The third thing I think is collaborative innovation. At the end of the day, you know we are the world's largest retailer and great ideas are coming from everywhere, everywhere. So, for us, the ability to take those ideas and put them into action is something that is, I guess it's not just unique to Walmart, though, you know, I guess everybody can do it. But for us, that culture of collaboration, that culture of risk taking, that culture of being open to trying different things is definitely at the root cause of what's causing so much innovation to happen within the company.

  4. And then finally, the fourth thing. At the end of the day, all this needs investment. And I am so forever grateful that the company is investing in technology the way it is because it's really truly powering a lot of what we are seeing today, not just on the Walmart Commerce Tech side, but also on Walmart, you know, Walmart US, Sam's Club, Walmart International. 

So I think these four things coming together kind of creates this secret sauce for us because ultimately we are born and brought up in retail.  We understand retail probably as good or even better than anybody else.  So who better to provide you with these specific solutions that are such pain points that you probably knew existed or you didn't know existed, right?

Anne Mezzenga: Right. And they just don't. Those brands just don't have the experience or the ability to pressure test with 4,600 stores either. You know, you have this tried-and-true method.

Anshu Bhardwaj: Actually, you've touched upon a really, really important point and which I completely failed to mention. Big miss. So, any tech that we're taking to market is running at scale at Walmart, but I'm not just throwing something over the, you know, fence and saying, hey, you know, XYZ, can you try this? No, we have it running for all our 4600 stores and in certain situations around the globe. We tested, we tested the edge cases, the use cases, all of it. And then we’re basically packaging it as a solution externally.

Chris Walton: And, and that's a really, really important point because when you talk about retailing, retailing is still predominantly physical. And so knowing how technology is going to work and operate inside of a store environment is absolutely critical and so differentiating when you get right down to it. 


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