Innovation

Savings Catcher compares competitors' prices. You save.

Price is one of the biggest factors in customers' shopping decisions. We're working hard to ensure we win their shopping trip with our every day low prices and aggressive ad match policy. Now, we're testing a new tool that takes all of this to the next level – Savings Catcher.

Savings Catcher uses a simple code on customers’ Walmart receipts to compare the items they purchased to those advertised in local competitors’ weekly print or digital ads.  If a leading competitor advertises a lower price than what a customer paid at our store, we’ll give them the difference on a Walmart eGift Card.  It’s that easy.  Check out the video above to see how it works.

We’ve been running the Savings Catcher test in several markets – Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Huntsville, Lexington, Minneapolis and San Diego – for a few weeks and we’ve seen great excitement around the tool.  Anne Jurchak, a customer who participated in our pilot, even told the Associated Press “They're doing the work for me, the only thing they're not doing is putting the groceries away.” Anne has saved around $60 using Savings Catcher and bought a new cover for her tablet on Walmart.com “practically for free.” 

Technology is becoming such an important part of our customers’ shopping experiences – they’re checking prices online while they are in our stores. So, we’re meeting them where they are, making it easier and faster to get unbeatable prices on the items they want.  Savings Catcher is another reason customers can trust us – it shows they can find everyday low prices in our stores, we are always working to help them save money, and they don’t have to shop anywhere else.

This tool could lead to e-coupons and automated shopping lists – innovations that can make our customers’ lives easier. I can’t wait to be back on the blog to tell you about our next creation.

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Community

Helping Women Find Their Strong Suits Through Dress for Success

On New Year’s Eve 2014, Samantha pulled into a hotel in Northwest Arkansas, leaving an abusive relationship and destructive lifestyle behind in Texas.

Alone in a new state, with just her daughter, Samantha had no real plan in place, but she did have a goal: building a better life for herself. Two weeks after arriving and still seeking a job, Samantha heard about Dress for Success, a global nonprofit organization that provides professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help disadvantaged women thrive in work and in life.

In 2012, knowing that the local poverty rate was nearly 19% and the unemployment rate was 5.7%, several Walmart home office associates strongly believed that Northwest Arkansas was an important location for the organization's first affiliate in the state. Now nearly three years old, the mission for Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas remains the same: to help women like Samantha find financial independence as they work their way out of negative situations.

Dress For Success Volunteer Helping Client

Marie Paterson, a Walmart human resources associate who is a key leader with Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas, told me, “Volunteering with a local affiliate is especially meaningful because we’re making a difference right here. Our clients are becoming confident and equipped to raise not only their standard of living but also their families’, and they are becoming role models for their children, their friends and communities.”

When Samantha left Texas, friends and family weren’t the only things she left behind. She left behind the clothes and possessions that would present her as professional and hirable in interviews that another local agency had helped her find. Beyond that, she had no idea what to expect from Dress for Success.

Woman Standing at Desk Looking Through Papers

“The actual experience at Dress for Success was so much more powerful than I could have expected,” Samantha said. “Not only did they provide me with one-on-one attention for my suiting, but they did a mock interview and gave me feedback on areas to improve.” Later, Samantha said, she felt prepared and confident enough to ace her interview for her dream job: becoming a key member of the team at a local car dealership.

Now in a much healthier situation, Samantha is looking to the future and wants to be a “giant success” in the auto industry. She is actively looking for ways to reach out to women in situations similar to the one she left in Texas to show them that anything is possible. 

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Innovation

Your Personal Shopper: The Science of My Job @WalmartLabs

Have you ever gotten an email from Walmart about an item you were just browsing on Walmart.com? What about one that featured products that are perfect for your spring-cleaning project? These seemingly instinctive alerts aren’t necessarily coincidental, but rather are created by the targeting team at @WalmartLabs. As a part of the targeting team, I work every day to find the best values for customers and provide them the most up-to-date, relevant, and exciting information.

For me, working at @WalmartLabs allows me to use my passion to make shopping more enjoyable and convenient for our customers. I recently graduated from UCLA, where I received degrees in both cognitive science and geography. From there, I was fortunate to get a position on the targeting team at @WalmartLabs that allows me to fuse my two degrees in a way that can impact others with money and time savings.

My main interest is understanding and analyzing human behavior, and I think retail is a fascinating environment to study the mixture of culture, society, and human emotion. Understanding people requires both understanding the mind and the world where it functions. Using the preferences our customers provide, and transferring them into data-driven technologies at @WalmartLabs, we can create a customer experience that helps make shopping even easier.

Cognitive Scientist Om Marwah at Work in San Bruno

For example, let’s say you use the Walmart app to search for a new hairdryer. You find one you like, but don’t purchase it at that time. The following week, the hairdryer goes on Rollback. As soon as the price is lowered, the idea is that the app would send you a notification to let you know about the change — all in an effort to save you money on the purchase and save you time by preventing you from continuing your search.

Every day, we use technology to make the e-commerce experience much more personalized, and I think customers appreciate that. When an item you want is out of stock, we can alert you when it is available again. If a price drops, you could get a notification. In a world where so much is being thrown at you, we aim to take the work out of shopping and make the experience fun. In that sense, we are really providing a service to our customers.  

Walmart is fundamental to daily life for many. Each day our customers interact with the technology we build, and each day that drives us to innovate more. Whether it’s inventing new services or solving traditional challenges with new technology, it’s never a dull day at @WalmartLabs.

Editor’s Note: Om Marwah is a 26-year-old Cognitive Scientist with @WalmartLabs in San Bruno, California. Om was recently named to Forbes’ list of “30 Under 30 Rising Stars of Enterprise Technology.” 

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Community

Walmart #NWAChampionship Player Gaby Lopez: ‘The Impossible Can Be Possible’

This weekend, University of Arkansas golfer Gaby Lopez will enjoy her third opportunity to join LPGA players on the greens at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Here, she shares her thoughts on the tournament – as well as pursuing her dreams on and off the course.

WMT: You took up golf at age 4 while growing up in Mexico. What drew you to the sport? 

Lopez: My dad introduced me to golf. It all started as a fun game, nothing serious. A couple of years later, Lorena Ochoa became the No. 1 women’s golfer in the world. That was when I knew that the impossible can be possible, and golf became my passion. 

WMT: Tell us about your journey to today, where you’re a standout on the University of Arkansas golf team.

Lopez: Coming to the University of Arkansas has been the best decision I've made. I've grown as a golfer but more important as a person. I'm 100% certain that I have the right people around me, like Coach Shauna (Estes-Taylor) and Coach Mike (Adams), by my side that will always push me to be my best. 

Gaby Lopez smiles on a golf course during the LPGA Tour in Rogers, Arkansas

WMT: During this week’s event, you’re playing in front of hometown fans. What is that like? How does it compare to other tournaments?

Lopez: This tournament makes me feel like I’m at home. The Northwest Arkansas and Razorback communities have opened their doors to me and my family in a very special way. It is a huge honor to be able to represent my school and my country at the same time. Calling the Hogs with all the fans on No. 17 is one of my favorite golf moments - the energy is amazing. I feel blessed to have this opportunity for the third time in my collegiate career. 

WMT: Empowering women to recognize their full potential is a longtime priority for Walmart. You’re certainly a role model for other youth – do you have any advice for young girls on not just pursuing professional sports, but succeeding in whatever they do?

Lopez: My advice would be to always do and pursue what interests you, whether that is golf, sports or anything else. Discipline and passion are two characteristics I think a person needs to be successful, and I think believing in yourself is the most powerful tool of all. 

WMT: What are your own dreams, and what do you envision as your next step?

Lopez: I think everyone who plays the game dreams of being the best player ever and I certainly want to be the best player I can be. But I think more importantly I want to be remembered for what I did off the golf course. I want to finish out my senior season with the Razorbacks and enjoy every minute of the team atmosphere – that is a unique experience in golf. After graduation, I’ll start work on earning my Tour card and see where that journey takes me.    

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Opportunity

7 Fathers, 7 Sons, 1 Distribution Center

Lots of people use the term “work family” casually, but in Marcy, N.Y., it’s quite the literal thing. At one Walmart distribution center, seven fathers and seven sons work alongside each other, all as Walmart truck drivers.

Having your parent as a coworker could be a nuisance for some, but for many of these sons, it’s a privilege. Watch them describe why they’ve looked up to their fathers for years, and why they ultimately chose to pursue the same road with Walmart logistics. 

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