Disrupt SF 2015

Walmart Easy Textual content

One of many very cool issues about hackathons is that you simply study what sort of know-how that individuals are actually utilizing. We’re all questioning what the recent “developments” are going to be at certainly one of this stuff. On the Disrupt Hackathon, we’re studying fairly a bit. An early development is SMS. Shock!

There’s Magic, Fb M, Operator and now Walmart Easy Textual content. The latter is what you’d anticipate — an assistant for purchasing at Walmart, which is a ridiculously giant retailer with tons of things. All you need to know is whether or not they have the sweet you need and what aisle it’s in. That is predictable since all Walmart shops are laid out the identical, just about.

Disrupt SF 2015

You merely textual content “hello” to the quantity above and also you’re able to ask concerning the merchandise you’re interested by:

Disrupt SF 2015

Want extra assist than the assistant may give? Textual content “chat” and also you’ll be related to a reside buyer help agent to reply extra nuanced questions. You may also see what aisle you’ll be visiting because of a Walmart retailer map.

Disrupt SF 2015I chatted with the staff, which consists of hackers Clara and Rachel Tsao and their longtime pal from highschool Devin Finzer.

Rachel advised me “We constructed this app as a result of we’ve all the time been annoyed in shops, particularly Walmart. It’s such an enormous retailer.” and Clara added “I need to get my scorching cheetos and get proper out.”


On why texting is an fascinating medium for private assistants versus heavier native apps, Clara stated “The demographic of huge shops was our inspiration, most customers don’t know the right way to obtain apps or they don’t know find out how to discover an app. Plus, asking them to make use of their knowledge plans is an enormous a part of it. We actually needed one thing that helped them discover what they want and it’ll drive them to the app.”

I used to be shocked that Walmart Labs wasn’t testing one thing like this already, but when these three maintain hammering away at it, making it smarter with AI and tapping into extra elements of the Walmart API, it might truly flip into one thing sustainable. Devin advised me “(SMS) It’s a strong interface, it’s one thing that individuals are increasingly accustomed to. It’s a gateway to an app.”

The gateway to the official Walmart app, maybe?