Between Alexa, Google Assistant, Beeb and more, you might think we have enough voice assistants, but Walmart does not agree. The company rolls out an “Ask Sam”; voice assistant to its employees, to help them find items, prices, store maps and more.
As the name suggests, Walmart initially developed Ask Sam’s voice assistant for its Sam’s Clubs stores, where it has been testing for a long time. But now Walmart’s voice assistant is rolling out to more than 5,000 Walmart stores across the country.
The idea is that voice assistant technology should be faster than typing information on a screen. If you’ve ever treated an employee with a handheld device that slowly enters a query to determine if a particular LEGO set is in stock, you probably fully understand. It can be slow and difficult.
But move the process to voice, so you can get faster results that make everyone happy. A nice side benefit is that voice assistant devices can work while the worker wears gloves (slightly more common in a pandemic), which is difficult at best when typing on smartphone-based devices.
Ask Sam can also let managers communicate emergency alerts to employees. It can also help pull up receipts, read emails or pull up staff’s birthday lists.
At the moment, Ask Sam is for employees only. However, given the number of features that customers may find useful, we will keep an eye on whether Walmart decides to launch the voice assistant more widely.