Mobile, customer data converges to influence in-store buying

Walmart's app will anticipate what customers need using past purchase data

Imagine automatic shopping lists generated from data about customers’ past shopping behaviour sent to phones.

It’s just one of the ways Walmart is looking to use customer data from mobile-influenced purchases.

At a wireless conference this week, Gibu Thomas, Walmart’s global head of mobile, said that the world’s largest retailer is looking at mobile to improve the in-store shopping experience.

Even more impressive is that in-store buying influenced by mobile use is expected to be about twice as big as e-commerce sales by 2016.

Not surprising as mobile drives about one-third of the traffic to, as the majority of Walmart shoppers have smartphones. That figure rose to more than 40 per cent during the holiday season last year, Thomas said in a report.

Another boost to sales by smartphone? Walmart’s app. The retailer found that customers who have the app make more trips to Walmart and spend up to 40 per cent more when they’re in store.

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