Touchless tech has spread its way from voice-activated remote controls and verbal smart phone searches to the shopping aisles of big-box behemoth Walmart. “Ask Sam” might soon be a new tagline as the company introduces a nationwide launch.
Developed in 2019 and rolled out across Walmart’s Sam’s Club banner, Ask Sam—a voice-activated search app—is now being made available to 5,000 Walmart stores all over the U.S.
“We are constantly engaging associates for feedback—in fact, it’s where some of our best ideas and innovations have come from,” Meng Chee, EVP and Chief Product Officer, wrote in a blog post. “Maintaining a customer-centric mindset and willingness to experiment will allow us to continuously improve and innovate the products, services, and solutions we offer associates, and in turn, the value we provide for customers.”
It is easy to see how the app offered the ability to tackle issues affecting employees, and now it has been upgraded to do so. Emergency management and procedures around COVID-19 are just some areas the team at Walmart were able to implement with the pilot.
“The team conducts a manual review of the questions asked, looking for patterns and trends—such as recurring questions or top-searched items—to continuously update the app and adjust operations in the store,” Chee said.
Some of the new alerts included in the update include:
While it is not yet known if Walmart shoppers will soon be able to Ask Sam, it seems a logical next step in the new era of contact-free shopping. One thing is for sure, you will know as soon as we do.