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Walmart Drills Down On Store Optimization Efforts With Extended Scan & Shop Tech Partnership

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Walmart has extended their partnership with digital identification and detection-based solutions company Digimarc, entering into a multi-year deal that aims to optimize store operations and allow for the broader distribution and deployment of Digimarc’s platform across Walmart stores.

According to the companies, the latest terms of the partnership guarantees a minimum payment of $2.7 million in year one – this figure will subsequently more than double to $5.8 million in year two. This investment will cover the planned expansion of Digimarc’s Platform capabilities. According to a recent earnings call, the contract’s remaining $7.3million value million has now been logged in the current quarter.

Digimarc’s solution works through their patented Intuitive Computing Platform (ICP), which allows for the automation of product inventory, ultimately reducing food waste and improving barcode scanning accuracy. Walmart and Digimarc have been working closely together since 2019, rolling out the scanning technology in their paper-based seasonal toy catalog  as part of a key holiday drive. Using an app on their phones, customers could scan and shop hundreds of toys and gain access to early deals. At the time, Walmart also integrated the Digimarc Mobile software development kit (SDK) into its app for both iOS and Android, enabling access to Scan & Shop powered by Digimarc features. 

Since then, the partnership has been extended to home in on improved customer experience and better negotiating the way the grocer handles fresh food management.

[See More: Limited Holiday Deal: Walmart Slashes Its Membership Pricing]

“Walmart is a forward-thinking technology leader with an unwavering focus on customer experience.  We are thrilled to expand our partnership with them and look forward to sharing more details about this expansion in the coming months,” said Digimarc’s Riley McCormack, about the partnership’s extension. 

Amidst a volatile economy and inflationary pressures, the retail giant is staging a number of strategic tech interventions in an effort to gain resilience and remain robust. In October this year, Walmart revealed further investment in leading-edge capabilities, including augmented reality (AR), Buy Now, and a virtual shopping queue. This announcement came after the retailer laid out a set of key website improvements aimed at improving shoppers’ digital experience ahead of the busy holiday season. 

In an earnings call last month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon emphasized the importance of building out digital experiences and leveraging app-based communication methods to meet the ever-changing needs of both consumers and staff.

“As our app becomes more a part of daily life for our customers and members, they find that they can do so much with it, like easily build a shopping cart, schedule a time to pick up an order or have it delivered when it’s convenient for them, skip the line with scan and go, or find an item in their local store,” McMillon said at the time. 

In September 2022, Walmart opened a new fulfillment center in Illinois that aims to overhaul their supply chain, employing robotics, machine learning, and automated storage to streamline delivery times and boost productivity. 

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