Walmart is in the process of building huge self-service kiosks inside its stores in a move the retailer feels will make it easier for customers to access their online orders. The idea has been in the works for quite some time. The first giant kiosks came to the public eye last year inside Walmart’s store in Bentonville, Arkansas. The retailer is now rolling out more of the same and at the moment, the giant kiosks are operational in more than a dozen of Walmart’s stores countrywide. Some of the cities covered include Gilbert, Auburn, Enterprise, Glenpool, Midlothian, and Gwinnett.
The kiosks have been termed as pick up towers. They are quite massive with each of them standing at about 16 feet tall and around 8 feet wide. The giant kiosks are strategically located at the entrance of the store so that people who have already ordered online can come right in, pick whatever they want and move on. The kiosks are simple and are designed to offer the ultimate customer experience. To use them, you’ll need to scan the barcode that comes with the purchase receipt given after the online order. Once the barcode is scanned, the machine opens up and the order is delivered through a conveyer belt. The customer picks it up and he or she is good to go. All this takes roughly 45 seconds.
There is a feeling that the giant kiosks offer a more convenient and efficient solution to customers, especially if compared to the regular in-store pickups that have been available at Walmart for quite some time. The regular in-store pickups were a little bit bulky. One customer picking up her order in the Gilbert store in Arizona noted that with in-store pickups you had to wait for some time as the employees sort out everything. The giant stores seem to have solved this and the fact that they are at the entrance adds to the ease of accessing orders.
The big sized kiosk is capable of holding a lot of items and shopping goods. In fact, the main reasoning behind the huge size was to ensure this capability. Although they’ll take a significant portion of the floor space inside the store, they are quite versatile and a much better improvement of the pickup lockers. Walmart has already tested the lockers as part of its strategy to add more efficiency to its online order pickups but so far it seems the giant kiosks are adding more value. The retailer has also piloted a similar giant kiosk concept on its grocery business.
This is part of a series of moves Walmart has taken over the last few months to try and cement its place not just as a brick and mortar store but also as an online retailer. With Amazon bringing on the heat, Walmart has looked for more innovative ways to grow its business and so far the company is doing quite well. There is already a discount program that targets people who decide to pick orders made online in any of the Walmart stores across the US. The giant kiosks will also play a part in merging Walmart’s online and store business and we can’t wait to see more rollouts in the near future.