Walmart logo

Shipped Nov 2020

Walmart Shopper Performance

Exploring ways to empower Personal Shoppers to pick faster.

Product thinkingUser researchExploratory

Walmart has been aggressively expanding its Grocery Pickup and Delivery services to its 4700+ stores in the US. To help with that, we have an app called GIF (Global Integrated Fulfillment) that store associates use to fulfill grocery orders.

As part of the Grocery team, I explored ways to help Personal Shoppers better manage their time and optimize their fulfillment process.

Walmart's TC-70 device our associates use for fulfillment.

IMPACT

$72 million

saved in labor costs

7% decrease

in overdue orders

THE PROBLEM

How might we empower Walmart Personal Shoppers to fulfill orders faster and reduce late orders?

About 50% of orderse were overdue in Walmart's ~2500 Grocery Pickup and Delivery stores.

We had to address this issue now as Walmart Grocery entered a strong growth stage.

BACKGROUND INFO

Key terminology to know

Personal Shopper - A Walmart associate that fulfills online orders by gathering items around the sales floor of the store.

Pick Walk - One round of picking orders. Usually takes about an hour.

Pick Rate - Number of items an associate picks, over an hour.

Store Pick Rate - Average of individual Pick Rates for a given store.

Walmart's fulfillment process
Fulfillment is broken up into 3 stages (this project focuses on 1. Pick).

EVIDENCE

How do we know this is a real problem?

An accumulation of associate reviews revealed that pain points centered around not having enough real-time performance information.

Personal Shopper complaints
A snapshot of four comments from Walmart associates.

💡 OPPORTUNITY

This began my journey of experimenting with what type of "real-time information" would be the most valuable to the associate for increasing their Pick Rates and fulfill orders on time.

ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH

A day in the life of a Personal Shopper

I regularly followed, observed, and worked as an associate to understand their routine, challenges, and operations.

Working with Personal Shoppers

Three things I learned:

  1. Associates are working 8 hours a day doing repetitive, manual tasks. How can we boost their motivation?
  2. For every pick walk, there's an optimal time the associate needs to pick their items in. This depends on the item, number of items, and its location.
  3. Walmarts are always busy. Like really busy. Associates have to maneuver around the store, help customers, clean messes, all while fulfilling an order. How can we provide value while not distracting them from their work.
Original designs
Mapping out the original experience.

I formulated five hypotheses and explored design concepts. I tested hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 with users and received some interesting findings.

Design explorations
5 different hypotheses.

NEXT ITERATION

The encouraging messaging was well-received during testing so I iterated on this approach (Hypothesis 3).

I updated it utilizing various positive messages to cycle through to the associate while removing the negatives. I also updated the Next Item card to work with a new set of information on the screen.

Recommended designs
New iteration of designs.

USABILITY TEST TWO

Simulating a real pick walk (again)

I tested this updated design. I had associates use their phones with the prototype pulled up. We grabbed carts and organized items for the Pick Walk.

Testing with an associate

Second Usability Test Findings:

Things I looked at Results
Number of wrong items picked 0 item errors.
Comprehension of the Due Time The Pick Due Time was understood and it gave them a benchmark to work with.
Overall feeling of the experience Associates felt really good when presented with positive messaging. Overall, it was a positive experience.
Hypotheses timeline
An overview of the different hypotheses tested.

FINAL

Feelin' good, like I should

Displaying words of encouragement for when the associate is doing well.

Walmart's TC-70 device our associates use for fulfillment.

Calling attention to when you're overdue

Associates fulfill orders a few hours ahead of pickup/delivery times.

So, being overdue means you're past Walmart's recommended pick time. This is part of the company's Grocery guidelines.

An overdue pick walk.

IMPACT

$72 million

saved in labor costs

7% decrease

in overdue orders

KEY TAKEAWAY

Don't overlook emotional design

"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But, people will never forget how you made them feel." I believe the same is true for apps.

Building something that speaks to people on an emotional level is what makes a high-quality experience. This project was a stepping stone for our team to build a more emotional product for our associates.

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