“Easy Search” for Walmart- TAMU Hack

Initial Idea:

This idea of this application came from trying to think of a more efficient way to improve Walmart’s mobile search engine, by speeding up the process of searching for products with limiting factors, such as cost, all in one search. Currently, the search engine requires multiple inputs from the user after an initial search has been made. This program would be an alternative for the users who already know the factors they have in mind, and would allow them to make one “easy search” to find the best product for them. Also, this program would search for multiple products at the same time. For example, while someone searches for oranges, a bicycle, a chair, and a car tire, the program would run the searches for the other products in the backend, while the UI would only show oranges, and display different filters the user can quickly choose from to narrow their results. While this is happening, the program would search for the other products and keep their filters ready for the user, so the user can quickly do the other searches also.

This program would greatly boost customer happiness for those who do not need to select multiple filters after a search for one product, and then repeat that process for other products also. However, from the viewpoint of Walmart as a business, the company would not really profit from this in anyway because the program does not generate additional revenue.

Description of final idea: We then moved to the idea of creating a search engine that allows users to describe or write a sentence about a product they recently saw outside of Walmart that they do not know the name of. A very basic example is someone who recently saw someone else playing a videogame he/she enjoyed, but does not know the name of the game. Describing this product to this search engine would allow users to more likely find the game. When the user inputs the description, they engine would collect keywords from the sentence, such as a “first person shooter”, “fighting alien races” and “new game” along with other specific details the user can input to describe the game. The engine would send the keywords to IBM’s Watson and Watson would send back the game title if it could narrow it down to one result. Otherwise, Watson would send the keywords to Google’s API or Yelp’s API to find similar reviews of people who have used the same or similar keywords to describe the product. When a common product is found, the API used would send back the name of the product to Walmart who would find that product in its own API and display that to the user.

This program would solve the issue of bringing in additional revenue because the user would now be able to search and find that product with a simple UI directly from Walmart’s website, and then buy it from Walmart.

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