This is a two-fold story. One about my experience with Walmart Pickup that then lead to why I have another reason to love my Google Assistant. (Read Why I Love my IOT Light Bulb and Outlet (Part 1) for the first reasons.)
My local Walmart recently added Pickup as an option for this store. I had a friend who highly recommended it using it at a different location. My conundrum this week was, when and how do I go grocery shopping? Sunday I was lazy, Monday I have class after work, Tuesday my Mom is coming over, Wednesday is class after work, my best night would be Thursday. Well I was running out of lunch stuff for my son for Wednesday lunch…well crap how am I going to make this work? Sunday night light bulb…Walmart does pickup, so I order what I needed and set a day and time to pick it up; I choose Tuesday just in time for Wednesday lunch. This experience had me thinking about all the customer mapping and decision trees and ideation sessions and usability studies Walmart must have gone through to make this a completely seamless process for me as a customer using several different digital channels working seamlessly together. I ordered online, ecommerce platform, I got an email confirmation that dynamically listed all my order details, that’s no small feat if you’ve ever done dynamic emails. In that email confirmation I was instructed to download the Walmart Grocery App. So, I do that on my mobile phone, so now I am on a different platform on my mobile device. I’m instructed to check in prior to leaving to pick up my order in the app on my phone; Walmart is now Geo tracking my location to know the precise minute I left and a general timetable of when I’ll arrive based on my default store. When I pulled into my parking spot the app told me I was all set and my associate would be out to assist me shortly; I did nothing in the app, just parked and it told me to wait. She comes out with a handheld device that has my order, she reviews the substituted items (which my pickup email also told me what items where substituted) and has me sign off on my order and then she helps to load my groceries. Here again, she’s on another device and possibly another platform, but they’ll all have the same data. I then get a receipt email with a survey to rate my experience, Walmart is capturing user data right after the purchase so that they can learn from the customer if there was a bad or good experience and how best to improve the overall process. My associate also asked me to fill out the survey, so it was both a verbal and electronic request for customer feedback. Can you even image all the customer mapping, logistics and planning that went into getting at least three different platforms and devices synced to create a seamless customer experience?!?. Oh, and they got all the dynamic emails to trigger at the right time with the correct order data, as an email marketer I was impressed!
The second part of my story is connecting my Google Assistant to my Walmart Grocery account. I was talking with my mom after picking up my groceries and I told her the only thing that would make the next experience even better would be if my GA could order my items for me from Walmart…guess what it can!
I did a quick Google search “Can I connect my Google Assistant to my Walmart app?” and bam, I got 5.7 million results, I pick the first one and read the quick steps and now I can order from GA in Walmart and my grocery shopping is done!
Looking at the blog that answered my question, “How to voice shop at Walmart using Google Assistant” the blog is written very succinct as to what steps I would need to take to connect my Google Assistant with my Walmart Account; the action principle. They begin by telling me my problem is a real option…fantastic! (There have been times that my problem is a problem with no solution, yet.) Then they proceed to tell me the exact steps of how to link my Google Assistant to my Walmart account and how to ask Google to talk to Walmart and then Walmart became my Google Assistant so that I could order from Walmart and add items to my shopping cart. They also go one step further and explain the Walmart experience after I add items to my cart that I’d have to log in to the Walmart App or site to complete the purchase, they used the question principle (when I was reading the early steps, I thought “I hope it doesn’t order for me before I can review”, they anticipated a question that wasn’t part of setting up the Assistant). These steps helped by completing the end to end customer journey, setting up the connection, adding items and what to do next to get my order delivered.
As a busy working student single mom, I need all the things I can in my life to make it easier and GA and Walmart knocked it out of the park; one for the AI to get me one step closer to completing my purchase and Walmart for having easy and convenient pick up service. Amazon is good for some things…but my local Walmart for groceries is f’ing fantastic!
“Using the Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience”, Harvard Business Review, Adam Richardson, November 15, 2010, https://hbr.org/2010/11/using-customer-journey-maps-to
“How to voice shop at Walmart using Google Assistant”, Pocket-lint, Maggie Tillman, April 2, 2019, https://www.pocket-lint.com/smart-home/news/google/147645-how-to-voice-shop-at-walmart-using-google-assistant