In an effort to marry the online experience with in-store consumer engagement, Wal-Mart had begun piloting a self-dispensing tower for in-store pickups. Currently installed in a store near the chain's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, the tower is one example of how the chain is responding to the rise of ecommerce.
The self-dispensing tower -- also known internally as the 'automatic pickup machine' -- is essentially a giant vending machine for online orders. Installed last fall, the machine is located right inside the store's entrance and features an easy-to-use touchscreen on the outside. Customers simply type in the order number for the product they have purchased online and the machine will automatically produce the item.
The automated pickup station helps to meet the rising demand for instant delivery, while also improving the in-store customer experience.