Sunday, June 30, 2013

“Get on the Shelf” Comes Back for Year Two, Bigger and Better!

Today marks the official launch of the second annual Get On the Shelf (GOTS) contest. So we’re calling all entrepreneurs, business owners, and inventors to submit their products for a chance to sell them on and potentially on shelves in select Walmart stores. The @WalmartLabs team created the GOTS platform as an experiment last year and it was such a success we’re bringing it back.

The @WalmartLabs team prides ourselves as inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs so we’re thrilled to have created this platform that celebrates and offers other inventors the chance for their products to reach new customers on a Walmart scale.

Last year’s program was widely successful and we received more than 5,000 product submissions and more than 1 million votes for the grand prize winner, Humankind Water. Runners up PlateTopper and SnapIt Eyeglass Repair Kit also were carried on and you’ll see them available at select Walmart stores. Armed with such enthusiasm, our team wanted to roll out a bigger and better program for this year.

The platform we created for the program is scalable and robust enough to process a high level of product entries, votes and traffic. We also have easy to use administrative tools that will provide both front-end and back-end users a seamless and fun user experience.

And because this platform is so customizable, scalable and flexible, it allows us to expand Get on the Shelf and select more finalists and ultimately more winners. This year, we’ll unveil the final group of products and inventors via a series of webisodes to give the public a chance to hear from inventors and their products and vote for the winners.

And we’re not stopping here. The same platform that powers Get on the Shelf is being used across our global operations. So far we’ve used it to power our global Walmart Associate Talent Program, which processed entries and votes across 30 countries, and we hosted a similar program to Get on the Shelf in China last fall. In fact, the Get on the Shelf platform is continuing to help the team in China source new products. Here in the U.S., the Get on the Shelf platform was also used to source greeting card designs, which were submitted and voted upon by our customers. One of the winning designs was among our top-selling greeting cards last holiday.

So if you have a product that is not being carried by Walmart, but you believe it should be, please enter! Just create a short video showcasing your product and upload it to Video submissions will be accepted from now until July 31 11:59 p.m. EST. The first round of public voting will take place later this summer and the second voting round will begin in early Fall.

We’ll share more details about the second round of voting in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! We encourage everyone to submit products today and begin rallying friends, family and supporters around your submission now. If last year’s program is any indication, competition is sure to be steep!

 To learn more about last year’s Grand Prize winner and the impact Get On The Shelf had on his business visit

Monday, June 10, 2013

We Predict Big Data Will Move Much Faster

@WalmartLabs has been speeding along building best-in-class e-commerce technologies that combine with the assets of the world’s biggest retailer to deliver a unique customer experience.  And, we’re finding great opportunities to go even faster by bringing in new teams and technology. We’re thrilled to announce that Inkiru will be joining @WalmartLabs, the technology arm of Walmart Global eCommerce.

Inkiru has developed an active learning system that combines real-time predictive intelligence, big data analytics and a customizable decision engine to inform and streamline business decisions.  The similarities between Inkiru and @WalmartLabs are uncanny, with both having an innovative spirit and the ability to leverage big data to improve the customer experience.

Inkiru‘s predictive analytics platform will enable us to further accelerate the big data capabilities that @WalmartLabs has propelled forward at scale…including site personalization, search, fraud prevention and marketing. Walmart’s data scientists will now be able to work with big data directly and create impact faster than ever before.

We are also pleased to welcome Inkiru’s many talented data scientists and infrastructure engineers who are helping to shape the future of commerce. Among those joining us are Vijay Raghavendra, a technology executive with expertise in building and scaling commerce, payments and risk management platforms and applications for virtual goods and traditional online retailers; Jaya Kolhatkar, a preeminent data scientist who has held many successful roles building and leading data science teams in commerce and payments; and Yitao Yao, a software architect and visionary with 20+ years of experience in architecting, designing, and implementing large scale software systems.  In addition, Inkiru’s founder, Alok Bhanot, will join @WalmartLabs as a full time advisor to help the team deliver the next generation predictive analytics platform.

With this latest addition, we are taking another big leap forward in delivering great customer experiences…anytime, anywhere.