How a solution to bring the checkout experience to the outdoor Garden Center laid the foundation for global solutions today like curbside checkout, Scan & Go and self-checkout in the U.S., Canada, Japan, U.K. and more.
July 22, 2021
By Wes Sweet, Vice President, Walmart Global Tech
When our tech team was asked to make the checkout experience at the Garden Center easier and faster for our customers, we knew we had to use a solution for our current problem that could also provide flexibility for the future. We implemented a system we had been prototyping called Cloud Powered Checkout (CPC) that ultimately changed the entire point of sale landscape for Walmart and reinvented checkout experiences globally.
Cloud Powered Solutions
Our CPC system has enabled our Global Tech teams to accelerate with these new innovations and customer experiences. And this past year saw some of our most meaningful launches which scaled globally such as reinvention of self-checkout in Seiyu and providing a key benefit of Scan & Go to Walmart’s first membership, Walmart+.
Tech Enabled Features
What do all those solutions have in common? They were all made possible using CPC, a highly scalable technology system built by Walmart Global Tech that manages and processes billions of transactions globally. As our technology needs expanded to meet various experiences across our multiple brands and international markets, we needed a more flexible POS system that would enable our business. Our previous solution utilized primarily stationary terminals and was written in a coding language that isn’t broadly taught or used, so it was a hindrance on our developers. It was also tightly coupled to a proprietary operating system and limited our options for different experiences such as mobile.
The approach used when creating CPC was to think of it as an eCommerce system first and leverage common microservice architecture. CPC was built in a way to be multi-cloud native and leverage containers, which gives us flexibility for where we operate, aids with resiliency if we needed to run in a different cloud or at the edge in a store and improves latency on the backend which translates to a faster, seamless customer experience. The web and native front end support any hardware and easily integrates with any business services using standard API patterns. This makes it easier for our tech teams to deploy additional features for new customer experiences. Implementing CPC allowed us to better connect our online and store customer journeys and customize the checkout process for each market’s customer base.
Building a Solution for All
CPC is currently leveraged in all U.S. stores and clubs and in most of our global markets. We have onboarded over 30 applications across five countries. Because we built CPC using a microservices strategy, it makes the solution highly customizable.
An example of this is how our stores in Canada are using CPC to create a new self-service checkout experience with a different layout and hardware supplier than our other markets. Developers can take the easily discoverable services and client framework and build them together in a way that meets the requirements, works with their existing systems, and provides a customer experience applicable to their business needs. The loosely coupled approach unlocked our many businesses and markets to rapidly develop unique experiences for their checkout without being bottlenecked by the priorities of a central technology team.
As we look to the future of retail, it’s exciting to see how our cloud powered checkout system can enable us to simplify, stay nimble and deliver a positive customer experience.