Walmart, a name synonymous with retail, is also becoming a formidable force in the technology sector, operating as a conglomerate of multiple tech companies. Walmart executive Anshu Bhardwaj shared this insight on the Retail Gets Real podcast, revealing the company’s extensive tech portfolio. Walmart’s tech ecosystem is vast, encompassing 17 different entities specializing in areas ranging from cybersecurity and advertising to customer data, real estate, computer vision, and financial services. This diversity was highlighted during a live podcast recording at Retail’s Big Show.
Bhardwaj, who has been with Walmart for 14 years, played a key role in the company’s strategic acquisitions from 2010 to 2014, aimed at integrating innovative products and ideas to transform Walmart’s engineering capabilities. A notable acquisition was Kosmix in 2011, which was rebranded as Walmart Labs and became a cornerstone for future technological advancements.
Central to Walmart’s tech endeavors is a customer-centric approach, with Bhardwaj emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology to enhance the shopping experience. She encourages her teams to merge retail expertise with technological innovation to address customers’ changing needs. A prime example of this synergy is the success of Sam’s Club Scan and Go technology, which was launched nationwide in September 2016. This innovative solution, which combines computer vision, in-app payments, and machine learning, was realized when a product manager identified its potential to improve customer experience by eliminating checkout lines.
Walmart’s commitment to innovation, strategic acquisitions, and a focus on customer service solidify its status not only as a retail leader but also as a dynamic technology group, accomplished at navigating the complexities of the digital age.