To help consumers put aside their doubts about buying vegetables and fruits online, Walmart is working on a patent that will allow its customers to see online fresh products in three-dimensional images prior to purchasing them for delivery or pick-up at the store.
The CBSInsights publication reported that Walmart’s goal is to create a visual solution to eliminate the lack of confidence of consumers who do not like to buy fresh products online because the stock photos used by supermarkets to sell their vegetables and fruits are not like the actual products that are on the shelves.
This visual solution, according to the publication, is a system that uses a three-dimensional scan to take images of the products that were selected by a store employee and can be reviewed by the customer before approving the purchase online. This system according to the patent, has the name of “Fresh Online Experience” (FOE).
Vegetables and Fruits in 3D
The FOE system would work in the following way: First, the client orders a specific product based on a stock photo and/or description; With that information, a supermarket employee will use a 3D scanner to capture the image of the product that is in the store which is sent to the customer, who can then approve or reject the chosen product. The customer will have a limited number of times to reject a product and request a new one, according to the patent.
CBInsights details in its report that the Walmart patent notes that certain aspects of the FOE system may be automated, removing the manual element of having a human worker scan fresh items. A hypothetical “scanning module” could include a “three-dimensional scanning device” to auto-select and auto-scan fresh items once a customer places an order, with an associate potentially viewing and processing the scans to complete the process.
A study from Nielsen last year predicted that in ten years, 60% of U.S. households will buy food online, which is leading retailers like Walmart to adjust business models to satisfy consumer needs.