Walmart is on a mission to restrict bot activities on its website and make it easier for its consumers to buy gaming consoles.
Walmart announced on 15th December 2020 that it will make sure that gaming consoles such as Xbox Series X, S, and PlayStation 5 get in the hands of real customers and not bots. These gaming consoles have a very limited supply and they sell out immediately after the stock is refreshed by a retailer. Many times, bots pick up maximum of the consoles and before customers can place thier orders, the consoles go out of stock.
Walmart stated that they have optimized and designed a high-efficiency bot detection tool, so that majority of the gaming consoles end up with actual consumers. According to Walmart, the time one person takes to place one order is enough for bots to place multiple orders, and the software designed by Walmart will be halting these automated programs. If any bot order slips through the initial detection phase, the order will be automatically canceled later.
Bots are programmed to behave like humans and carry out multiple tasks in the consumers' mobile app, for instance, buying all the limited edition items listed in the phone. Due to this, actual consumers are left behind, and before they reach the product the stock finishes off. In today's world, e-commerce is a very competitive platform and every retailer wants their customers to have a simple, smooth, and safe experience, but due to bot frauds, this is becoming challenging with every passing day. In bot fraud, the app is attacked after a user installs it. This fraud does not target the marketing budget of the app. Bots are mainly customized for every app which makes them more complex and sophisticated. They cannot be detected easily since they can easily mimic human behavior and act in a way that does not raise any suspicion.
According to Jerry Geisler, Walmart's chief information security officer, Walmart implemented one bot preventive action on 25th November 2020, hours before the PS5 event, and was able to block 20 million bot-attempts in 30 minutes.