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article imageWalmart announces new search engine Polaris

By Tiffany Romine     Sep 5, 2012 in Technology
Walmart online shopping may be the route to go for those who are not the patient type when it comes to searching for items and long checkout lines.
As reported by The City Wire, last week Walmart.com announced it was using a new “smarter” search engine called “Polaris” to help shoppers locate and buy items in an easier and faster manner.
“Search is a crown jewel for any e-commerce company to own,” said Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce.
Polaris was established in house by @WalmartLabs. The search engine is said to have already boosted sales 10 to 15% of the e-commerce shoppers who have used it. Using search technology Polaris anticipates the intent of a shopper to deliver relevant results for them as they browse online.
The @WalmartLabs team spent 10 months working on the new search engine, which is now used exclusively for domestic online and mobile searches. Walmart has said it will expand Polaris to its international e-commerce sites in the upcoming months. The company says Polaris uses advanced computational procedures, including query understanding and synonym mining to collect bit by bit user intent in delivering results.
Carol Spieckerman, CEO of New Market Builders, praises the advancements being made @WalmartLabs to engage shoppers. Along with Polaris, Walmart is testing a new mobile application called Scan and Go with its employees. The app will tell the shopper where to find the item in the store. Once a shopper has found the item they will then scan the item with their smartphone, it can be charged to a credit card on file and the transaction is complete. No long lines and missing price tags to worry about. Scan and Go however, is still in its testing phase and has not been released to the public.
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