Wal-Mart Takes Its Mobile Efforts To The Next Level

Wal-Mart is ramping up efforts to connect with millions of customers ahead of the holiday shopping season. And the retail juggernaut is using the mobile platform to do so.

According to an official announcement from the retailer this week, Wal-Mart is releasing new mobile apps that will integrate coupons and voice recognition into the browsing and shopping experience.

As part of the effort, Wal-Mart is launching its first iPad app while the company’s iPhone app is getting refreshed.

As you might expect, the iPad and iPhone applications allow consumers to shop online as well as review product availability at their local Wal-Mart store. Orders placed via the apps can either be shipped or picked up.

“As customers use more smartphones and tablets, the Wal-Mart customer is doing the same thing,” says Gibu Thomas, Wal-Mart’s SVP of mobile and digital.

In addition to being able to access mobile coupons, the new iPhone app serves up a shopping list with integrated voice dictation – a reality made possible thanks to Nuance’s speech recognition. The coupons and other associated discounts come from Coupons.com.

According to Thomas, 90 percent of Wal-Mart consumers prepare and bring to the store a shopping list on a weekly basis. Coupled with coupons and voice recognition, Wal-Mart has high hopes for its apps ahead of the grand-daddy of all shopping seasons.