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Retail Industry Updates

Walmart Just Did Something Pretty Cool to Assist Employees — and Make Them Feel Important, Too

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More than 740,000 Walmart employees will receive a free Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro smartphone, case and protection plan to use the new Me@Walmart app.

Great customer service is one thing, but great customer service usually begins with employees who are happy in their jobs and feel respected in their roles.

Walmart, with its latest nod to employees, realizes this.

“A great customer experience starts with a great associate experience, and our people will always be a competitive advantage,” Drew Holler, Walmart’s senior vice president of people operations, and Kellie Romack, Walmart’s vice president of product and associate experience, recently wrote in a blog on the retailer’s website. “As we make enhancements for our customers, we’re also rethinking how we can help our associates succeed in their roles today and deliver some of what they’ll need for the future. The right tools can be the difference between fast and frustrating.”

With that, Walmart has unveiled Me@Walmart, a new app built in-house for U.S. store associates that provides an exclusive destination filled with features to simplify daily tasks, serve customers and plan for life outside of work.

“We believe it’s the first of its kind in the retail industry,” Holler and Romack say.

But that’s not all. The icing on the cake that comes with Me@Walmart is that more than 740,000 Walmart employees will receive a free Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro smartphone, case and protection plan to use the app. Employees will only be able to access the app’s work features while they’re on the clock, but they can also use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want. Walmart says it will not have access to any personal data.

The capabilities within the Me@Walmart app were built in-house by Walmart’s product, technology and design teams and apply best-in-class technology, like machine learning, augmented reality, camera vision and artificial intelligence to tackle complex problems, according to Holler and Romack. The result, they add, is an intuitive, easy-to-use app that empowers associates to own their day.

A few features the app offers are:

• Scheduling: The app lets employees view their shifts up to two weeks in advance, check on their upcoming paid time off and request changes to their schedules if needed.

• Mobile clock in: Using geofencing technology, employees can clock in with a tap of a button once they arrive at their stores. This gives them another convenient option to clock in.

• Push to talk: This function enables associates to instantly connect with one another, helping them work as a team to stay nimble and react to customers’ needs.

• Ask Sam: A voice-activated personal assistant for work, the Ask Sam feature saves time by letting employees ask the app questions to quickly locate merchandise and get answers for customers.

In the coming months, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart will add another feature to the Me@Walmart app that helps speed up the time it takes stocking employees to get items from the backroom to the sales floor. Instead of scanning each box individually, employees just hold up their device and, using augmented reality, highlight the boxes that are ready to go.

“As retail continues to evolve  and quickly  it’s more critical than ever to equip our people with the tools and technology they need for success,” Holler and Romack say. “Doing so makes work easier and more enjoyable, and it keeps the focus where we need it most  delivering a great in-store, pickup and delivery experience for our customers.”

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