Walmart to bring Jet's smart-cart buying system to its site

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A big reason Wal-Mart Stores Inc. paid $3.3 billion for last year was the startup’s unique “smart-cart” system. Now, it’s coming to Wal-Mart’s own site.

Wal-Mart’s U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore said Tuesday that the smart cart will migrate to next year. The system lowers the price of products if customers agree to pack more items together, forgo returns or use a debit card rather than a credit card.

The world’s biggest retailer has kept as a standalone site since the acquisition, as its customers skew younger and more affluent than Wal-Mart’s core shoppers. But Lore and his team have adopted new features to make more competitive with Inc., such as free two-day shipping for orders over $35 and discounts on thousands of items bought online if they’re picked up in one of its 4,700 U.S. stores.

Lore also said he’s hiring about 2,000 so-called category specialists who will oversee all aspects of a particular product online, such as plastic food-storage bags or treadmills. He’s brought on 250 so far, and is hiring as many as 50 a month.

Bloomberg News
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