Walmart Plans to Use 3D laser Scanning for Online Grocery Shopping

wally world joins the world of 3d scanning

“Once bitten twice shy” is the old saying, but today it well describes many people’s online shopping experience.  A lot of people have got burned on the internet. If it hasn’t happened to you, then it’s probably happened to your friend.  First, they go looking for something online. They see a picture of what they want to buy and then click ‘order’. Finally, when it arrives in the mail the sad truth is discovered; they have just been ripped.  Maybe it was a tote bag that looked good quality online, but it turns out to have a weak zipper that breaks a week later. Or maybe those big rolls of toilet paper turned out to be about as big as your fist. There seems to be a fine line between making photos look great and just flat out taking people for a ride.

The same thing is happening with online grocery services. Purchasing groceries online sounds like a really good idea.  Of course most customers prefer seeing the fruit in person, so that they can squeeze it and get a good look at it, but the option to have it delivered is too hard to pass up.  Without even leaving your home, you can have all your groceries delivered to your doorstep. The problem is that too many produce items have not matched up to the picture advertised. Of course it is hard to blame the retailers.  Who is going to put a picture of a bunch of ugly apples in the advertisement? The fruit advertised is going to look perfect, but the truth is that fruit comes in all shapes and sizes. There are always some ugly bug chewed fruit in the mix, and we can’t expect sellers to just toss them out.  The problem is that people like to get what they think they will get, and that’s not always the case. For this reason, the problem has left many customers not so happy.

With 3D laser scanning, Walmart is looking to change the online shopping scene so that customers will no longer complain about the food they receive.   To do this, Walmart is working on a patent for a system called Fresh Online Experience. The idea is pretty simple. It allows people to see a 3d scan of the food before they buy it.  If they don’t like what they see, they ask for an exchange and the Walmart worker will make a new selection and upload another 3d scan of it. Once they are satisfied with the selection, they can agree to the purchase, and it will be delivered.  Of course there will always be those who are just too picky no matter what the selection is. For this reason, people are only allowed a certain number of changes.

This sounds like a pretty good move for Walmart.  It is going to get more customers happy about shopping online through them, and it is going to help them compete with major online grocery delivery services like Amazon.  As it seems, online delivery is going to big in the coming years. In order to keep up with the front-runners, they are going to have to make the customers happy, and 3d scanning has been one tool that has enabled Walmart to get that done.  

Keep reading: more articles about 3D laser scanning

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