Walmart's New App Designed to Empower Store Associates
Walmart has launched Me@Walmart, an app for U.S. store associates designed to simplify daily tasks as well as empower them to easily serve customers and plan for life outside of work. The app's features include scheduling, enabling associates to easily view their shifts up to two weeks in advance; a mobile clock-in feature; push-to-talk, which enables associates to instantly connect with one another; and a voice-activated personal assistant for work.
In addition, by the end of this year, Walmart will offer more than 740,000 associates — nearly half of its total U.S. workforce — a new Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro smartphone with which they can access Me@Walmart while at work, and also use as their personal device if they choose.
In the next few months, Walmart said the app will allow workers to help speed up the time it takes its stockers to get items from the backroom to the sales floor. Using an augmented reality feature, workers will be able to highlight the boxes as they’re ready to go, instead of scanning each box individually.
Total Retail's Take: Walmart has launched Me@Walmart as it works to free up store associates from menial tasks in an effort to better serve customers. Indeed, the new features go beyond Walmart’s previous suite of apps that allowed workers to check inventory and prices, scan products, and review sales data.
Lukas Kinigadner, CEO and co-founder of Anyline, a text recognition tool that enables smartphones to scan and read numbers, codes and text, said other retailers should consider employee-facing apps since they enable retail workforces to address things like price verification, expiration dates, product information, inventory management and other key data quickly on the go and from their own mobile devices.
“Walmart’s Me@Walmart app highlights the need to empower store associates to complete any task on their mobile devices," Kinigadner said, in a statement emailed to Total Retail. "[These types of apps] also allow sales team members to respond to tasks with increased speed and accuracy. In addition to enhancing the customer experience, employee morale also gets a boost — which can help prevent costly turnover and better retention rates. By equipping store associates with mobile devices, retailers can enhance the functionality of their retail operations and increase the bottom line overall.”
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.