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Walmart Just Rolled Out This New Feature in Stores to Help You Shop

A new voice activation app for employees has been designed to help you find the items you need faster.
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Being the world's largest retailer hasn't kept Walmart from continuing to find new ways to improve their shopping experience. In just the past month alone, Walmart has revealed plans to replace staffed checkout stations with self-service kiosks, reduce their use of plastic bags, and add to their policies that keep employees and shoppers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, it appears that's not enough innovation, as the retail giant just announced the launch of a new digital assistant for employees called "Ask Sam." This voice-controlled app (yes, similar to Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa) has been designed to immediately provide answers to questions about where to find certain products and/or prices in stores.

According to USA Today, employees can use the voice assistant app to pull up store maps, look up prices and locate products for customers, and receive real-time emergency alerts at more than 5,000 Walmart stores nationwide. The app, which was originally developed by Walmart's corporate sibling, Sam's Club, even features a button that employees can press during an emergency or "high-stress situations."

As Meng Chee, Walmart's executive vice president and chief product officer, explained in a statement: "In addition to guidance from their managers, having access to the answers and information they need at their fingertips gives associates confidence as well as more time on the floor with customers."

Because, let's face it, sometimes, shopping in a big Walmart can be intimidating. The sheer scale of the store—which sells a diverse range of products ranging from groceries to car tires, sports equipment, and even self-produced dairy products—can be overwhelming. It's easy to get lost in such an enormous store, and now, especially in light of COVID-19, minimizing time spent indoors at any public place is a wise decision. For employees, having an "Emergency Alert Button" they can press when a customer fails to follow safety protocols is also super critical right now.

"The safety and well-being of our associates and customers is our number one priority," Chee added in the statement. "The Emergency Alert Button is one of the many steps we've taken to enhance our safety measures."

For now, the "Ask Sam" app is only available to Walmart employees and not accessible for customers. However, you can access store maps, check a product's price, and even order groceries within the Walmart app if you have it. For more, check out 15 Things Walmart Won't Be Bringing Back.