Wal-Mart has yet to discover self-service w/smartphones

by SteveBayle on December 20, 2009

Buried in a lengthy article in the business section of today’s New York Times are a couple of paragraphs about the Telxon hand-held computer used by store employees.

Of course, as soon as products are on the shelves they begin to disappear into shopping carts. To order more, supervisors and managers use a hand-held machine called a Telxon. Wal-Mart stores have a point-of-sale system that automatically reorders basic products, but employees must continually add orders for seasonal goods and hot sellers.

The nifty Telxon can also tell you how many G.I. Joe Ninja action figures sold that day or week, or where exactly in the store you can find a Britney Spears perfume set and how many are left. That last point is significant, especially at this time of year, when customers come in asking for particular items and workers need to find them fast.

When will it occur to the top brass at Wal-Mart that maybe consumers would like to be able to know “where exactly in the store you can find a Britney Spears perfume set and how many are left.” or any other product for that matter?

It’s well past time to put the power of product inventory status and location information in the hands of consumers, where it belongs. Smartphones are here now, no need for consumers to invest in Telxons.

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