Walmart is introducing a voice assistant at more than 5,000 of its stores that helps employees quickly look up prices, locate products, and provide support to customers.
The retail giant’s new “Ask Sam” voice assistant app originally debuted in 2019 at its sister-store Sam’s Club, but will now be joining the Walmart team at locations across the country. The Ask Sam feature will not be available on Walmart’s regular mobile app, but rather, will be an employee-exclusive app to be used throughout shifts. The app is also equipped with emergency updates to keep employees informed of any in-store changes. For example, by rolling out the app during the Coronavirus pandemic, employees are able to get updated alerts on topics such as store closures or its recently imposed mask policy.
Walmart’s Ask Sam voice assistant allows it to expand its technology features, including its recent rollout of email shopping. Technology support has become a top preference for customers shopping online and in-store, so Walmart’s new feature could increase sales and customer loyalty according to a Gartner report on the topic. The app’s audio capabilities can help store associates find information more quickly and could come in handy as employees working during the pandemic have to wear gloves, which could make typing more difficult. The app’s continual updates will also give employees the most recent and accurate in-store information, such as current employee schedules or inventory checks. Though Walmart is debuting the Ask Sam app to increase efficiency for employees, handy features such as where to find an item or current prices could be relevant to customers and as such, could present a potential expansion opportunity for Walmart’s customer-facing app in the future.
If a Walmart employee has a question, now all they have to do is ask. With the retail giant’s new Ask Sam voice assistance, Walmart could better connect with employees around the country, help them feel more confident working with customers, and more in-the-know on relevant store information and health updates.