Walmart Shoppers Can Now Pick Out Groceries Through Texting

Walmart has been impacting the way people shop for around 60 years now, observes Time, ever since the company's initial location debuted in Rogers, Arkansas back in 1962. In the early days, shopping was made easier via competitive pricing and an enormous selection of goods. Walmart helped to pioneer the one-stop shopping experience, an effort boosted by the arrival of Walmart supercenters. These massive, approximately 180,000-square-foot shopping meccas (of which there are now over 3,500 in the U.S., per Statista) offer everything from home furnishings to fresh produce and groceries, the company's website notes.

In recent years, however, Walmart's efforts to simplify shopping have been primarily centered around the online or mobile app experience. Having earned about $75 billion in revenue via e-commerce last year, Walmart is on pace to surpass Amazon in this area within the next four years, according to Forbes. Walmart's trademark low prices and convenient store locations (for simplified pick-ups and returns) were cited as reasons for its rapidly growing e-commerce sales.

Now, during the height of the holiday season, Walmart has come up with a new attempt to make shopping easier: texting.

What you need to know about Walmart's text to shop experience

Texting may be Walmart's biggest shopping simplification yet, although the company notes that at present the feature will only be available on Apple and Android devices. Walmart offers free signup for the Text to Shop experience, which is synced up with users' existing Walmart accounts. This connection gives the store an order history to work from. So, for example, if you text "order coffee" or "reorder cereal" those items are placed in your cart. The texting feature has access to all of Walmart's inventory, and once the order is complete, you can also schedule a pickup or delivery. Checkout, meanwhile, is accomplished through the mobile app.

The new texting application was created in collaboration with the company's Global Tech squad, per Walmart. It was originally beta tested in October 2021, Pymnts observes, and its rollout is part of a larger group of recently innovated digital features, which include new voice ordering and video image search technology. The new features are part of Walmart's ongoing effort to make shopping easier as it competes with Amazon for e-commerce dollars.