Fast, simple & accessible: How Walmart helps you shop smarter

We helped Walmart to build “Find My Item” (FMI) WeChat Mini-program that allows customers to easily search for products, check for inventory and quickly locate the search in store.

Being one of the first MNCs to enter China, Walmart opened its first store in Shenzhen in 1996, and has grown to 424 Walmart retail stores and 19 Walmart wholesale stores in the past years. The “Find My Item” mini program is one of the first initiatives from the retailer to build smarter stores, lean and informed by data. We jumped right in the project, shortly after Wiredcraft shipped the membership mini program for Sam’s Club.

Advancing Towards O2O

We helped Walmart create a WeChat mini-program called “Find My Item” (FMI) that allows customers to easily search for Walmart products through their mobile device and check for inventory as well as other related information. When a customer enters a Walmart store, they can use FMI to quickly locate products or bookmark them for future purchase.

On the brand side, the data provided by FMI search helps Walmart to optimize procurement decisions and launch tailored promotional campaigns.

Technical Strategy

We faced two technical challenges when building FMI: building a search engine for products and queries in Chinese, and designing the in-store maps.

For the search engine, we chose Elasticsearch, an open source search engine with elasticsearch-analysis-ik plugin for Chinese words.

The particular challenge was to put together a ranking algorithm that both made sense for the end user and the business stakeholders: guessing users intent - when typing “rose”, is the user looking for a flower, a color, or a product name - while being able to weigh in business factors as well as the type of information to parse and to prioritize in a multitude of possible scenarios.

The second challenge was to establish a sound basis for the instore visualization: we used leaflet, an open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly maps, initially designed to build real time map but modified for our purpose: building indoor map.

Key Features of FMI

  • Locate a Store: Users can find a nearby store by using GPS or by selecting their city and district from a drop-down menu
  • Search for Items: Users can type in keywords to search for items and check the real-time stock, price, and reviews.
  • In-Store Navigation: Users can get in-store navigation for specific products in a selected Walmart store
  • Bookmark Items: Users can favorite items and check bookmarked items in My Bookmarks.

Need Help for Your O2O Strategy?

In addition to Walmart, we’ve also helped Etam, NYU, and Nike to design their online to offline digital experiences. If you need some help on your O2O strategy, let’s have a chat.

Posted on July 25, 2018 in Case studies

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