Walmart’s Generative AI Search: A Signal for Google to Watch Out

Walmart's Generative AI Search

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, recently unveiled innovative AI-powered tools at the CES conference in Las Vegas, making a significant leap into the future of retail and online shopping. This move is not just a stride forward for Walmart but also sends ripples through the tech world, hinting at potential challenges for giants like Google.

Key Highlights:

  • Walmart introduced a generative AI search feature allowing customers to search by use cases.
  • The feature utilizes Microsoft’s AI models combined with Walmart’s shopper data.
  • It’s initially available on iOS, with plans to extend to the website and Android app users.
  • Walmart also showcased AI tools for product replenishment and an AR social commerce platform.
  • The retailer emphasized the use of technology to enhance the shopping experience, focusing on adaptive retail.

Walmart's Generative AI Search

Understanding the Innovation

Walmart’s new generative AI search tool, developed in partnership with Microsoft, empowers shoppers to search for products based on specific scenarios or use cases, such as organizing a “football watch party” or planning a “unicorn-themed party.” This approach allows for a curated list of products, moving away from traditional brand or product name searches. Initially available to iOS users, the feature is set to expand to Android and web users later this year​​​​.

Beyond Search: Comprehensive AI Utilization

Walmart’s innovation extends beyond search capabilities. They introduced “Walmart InHome Replenishment,” aiming to automate online shopping carts for frequently ordered items. This service, aligned with subscription-based InHome delivery, exemplifies Walmart’s ambition to streamline and personalize the shopping experience. Additionally, Walmart revealed “Shop with Friends,” an AR tool that merges social shopping with AI-powered virtual try-on technology​​.

The Implication for Google and the Market

Walmart’s venture into generative AI search directly competes with Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), which also offers product recommendations based on various factors. This move signifies a shift in how consumers may start their online shopping journeys, potentially bypassing traditional search engines for more integrated retail platforms​​.

Strategic Positioning in AI and Retail

Walmart’s deployment of AI doesn’t stop at customer-facing features. The company is also leveraging AI for internal operations, like “My Assistant,” a tool for store associates now expanding globally. This broad application of AI underscores Walmart’s holistic approach to integrating technology across its operations​​.

Reflecting on the Shift

Walmart’s swift embrace of generative AI for search and shopping assistance represents a pivotal moment in retail and technology. By offering a more intuitive, use-case-driven search function, Walmart not only enhances the customer experience but also challenges the status quo of online search, dominated by giants like Google. As these AI-driven features become more mainstream, they may redefine the pathways consumers take to making online purchases, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and innovation in the digital age.

This evolution towards “adaptive retail,” as Walmart terms it, blends the best of e-commerce and in-store shopping, offering a unified retail experience that could set new standards for the industry. As technology continues to advance, the focus on serving people through innovation remains paramount, with Walmart leading the charge in reimagining the future of shopping​​.


About the author

Allen Parker

Allen Parker

Allen is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about technology. While focusing on and writing on tech topics, his varied skills and experience enables him to write on any topic related to tech which may interest him. You can contact him at