The retailer's subsidiary, Code Eight, is developing a service that lets customers place orders simply by texting photos of the products they want

Many retailers have floundered in recent years as Amazon continues to eat up market share, but chief rival Walmart isn’t one of them. The mega-retailer has been testing out a number of initiatives over the last 12 months to diversify its offerings and modernize its business, from robots that help keep store shelves stocked, to in-store “parties” that help drive customers into its doors.

Now the company is further expanding its approach through its new subsidiary Code Eight, which is said to be working on a new shopping service for the “high net worth urban consumer,” according to information reported by Recode. The company describes it’s target customer as a “busy NYC mom,” as part of an effort to reach a segment of shoppers that haven’t traditionally been associated with Walmart.

Code Eight’s service, which is currently being tested, would include a number of convenience features—most notably the ability to place an order via text message simply by sending a photo of the desired item. If the customer can’t quite decide what to get, they can leave it up to the service to pick for them, and further customize their experience by taking a survey about their preferences. The service’s primary focus will center around health and beauty items, household essentials, and apparel and accessories. To appeal to busy parents, certain household necessities are delivered free of charge within 24 hours, while all other purchases are delivered within two business days.

Meanwhile, Store No. 8, another Walmart subsidiary that operates as a startup incubator, has been working on its own project dubbed “Project Kepler,” which is developing computer vision technology to completely transform the shopping experience at Walmart stores. According to sources quoted by Recode, the idea is similar to that of Amazon’s as-yet unreleased concept Amazon Go, where sensors track customers as they move throughout the store and pay for items without lines or cashiers, having their card automatically charged for the items they take.

Walmart has yet to comment publicly on either of these two projects, so its unclear if either will ever be rolled out to the public. Even Amazon, with all its might, has yet to do much with its Amazon Go concept, as reports say that the company has had trouble getting the technology to work when stores are very crowded with shoppers. Whether Walmart can do it remains to be seen, but the project is further proof that the company is keeping step with the online retailer in the endless battle to win over picky shoppers.

Walmart

Many retailers have floundered in recent years as Amazon continues to eat up market share, but chief rival Walmart isn’t one of them. The mega-retailer has been testing out a number of initiatives over the last 12 months to diversify its offerings and modernize its business, from robots that help keep store shelves stocked, to in-store “parties” that help drive customers into its doors.

Now the company is further expanding its approach through its new subsidiary Code Eight, which is said to be working on a new shopping service for the “high net worth urban consumer,” according to information reported by Recode. The company describes it’s target customer as a “busy NYC mom,” as part of an effort to reach a segment of shoppers that haven’t traditionally been associated with Walmart.