Walmart’s tech acquisitions hint at ecommerce ambitions

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, has acquired small start-up company, Inkiru, which focuses on on real-time predictive analysis. The acquisition appears to be the retailer’s latest effort in accelerating and expanding its ecommerce capabilities.

Inkiru is joining Walmart’s innovation division in the latest move in what has now been a series of tech-centric acquisitions as the company looks to build upon its online sales. Walmart has already seen a more than 30% increase in ecommerce in the first quater, according to internetretailer.com.

“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,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Inkiru will provide the company with added analytics and access to data that will boost Walmart’s site personalisation, search, marketing and fraud protection. The brand has also invested heavily in mobile commerce, including mobile checkout stations and apps.

“Our goal is to create shopping tools that become second nature to the customer, providing assistance with every part of the retail experience from pre-store planning to in-store shopping and decision making to checking out,” Gibu Thomas, global head of Walmart’s mobile division told delegates at CTIA 2013 in May.

“The future of retail is the history of retailing. It’s about a personalised experience for each shopper delivered through the smartphone.”