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How Samsung Is Helping Walmart Transform the Retail Associate Experience

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How Samsung Is Helping Walmart Transform the Retail Associate Experience

By Hamshy Raveendran, Head of Product Management and Go To Market, Mobile B2B Business, Samsung Electronics Americas

At Samsung Electronics, we’re passionate about bringing game-changing innovation and value to our enterprise customers. And we’re proud to equip these companies with the best-in-class technology and services they need to increase mobility, offer seamless digital experiences, and keep their information safe.

Our new, landmark deal with Walmart is the latest example. Over the next few months, we’re putting Galaxy XCover Pro smartphones in the hands of 740,000 Walmart store associates across the U.S.—to use at work and at home. This is our largest mobile enterprise deal ever in the U.S., and we’re thrilled to help Walmart provide new and enhanced experiences for their associates and customers.

The Journey to Making Walmart’s Connected Associate Vision a Reality

This exciting deal is the culmination of a full year of planning and piloting. Walmart approached us in the spring of 2020 at a time when their stores were busier than ever, and associates were working hard to ensure a safe shopping experience during the pandemic.

Together, we discussed what they call the “Connected Associate” initiative—a vision to empower Walmart associates by putting everything they need in the palm of their hands. We learned Walmart Global Tech was building a new app in-house to help associates simplify daily tasks, serve customers and plan for life outside of work. Then, we took action, even shadowing associates to learn how they work, and what tools could help them work better. These insights revealed the need for an agile mobile device – with Walmart’s integrated custom application – to take employee engagement and customer care to new heights.

Enter the Galaxy XCover Pro.

A New Way to Work With the Galaxy XCover Pro

The Galaxy XCover Pro delivers a rugged and sleek, single device solution. It builds on Samsung’s legacy of high-powered smartphone features, including an immersive display, long-lasting battery, lightweight and durable design, and powerful camera. And, defense-grade security with the Samsung Knox platform, which protects you and your device from the chip level, up.

The Samsung Knox Suite includes tools to help enterprises like Walmart with the resources necessary to manage a deployment of this size. These include automated enrollment, firmware management, device and Wi-Fi network analytics, loss prevention and deep device customization. By leveraging our industry-leading platform, Walmart is ensuring that associates will have the tools they need to simplify daily tasks.

We’ve also customized the Galaxy XCover Pro so that Walmart associates can enjoy using their smartphone to improve their day—both in and outside of work. While they’re on the clock, the Galaxy XCover Pro will create new, convenient ways for them to work, from mobile clock-in and accessing schedules, to managing inventory and using Galaxy XCover Pro’s camera, which we’ve optimized to work seamlessly with Walmart’s barcode scanning process. During their work shift, Walmart associates can also tap a co-worker’s name and initiate a push-to-talk conversation straight from the Galaxy XCover Pro by squeezing the physical side key.

Until now, Walmart associates had to use different devices throughout their shift, from barcode scanners to walkie-talkies. The Galaxy XCover Pro will enable efficiency with entirely new workflows and additional options.

Security for Work Use, Privacy for Personal Use

Beyond its sheer scale and workflow innovation, another aspect that sets Samsung and, specifically the Galaxy XCover Pro, apart is Walmart’s decision to enable its associates to take their devices home, a great perk for employees. As Kellie Romack, Walmart’s vice president for associate experience and customer care, says, “We wanted our associates to use this device all day to serve customers, but then also use it as their personal device if they chose.”

To enable this, Samsung worked with the Walmart team to customize and configure the Galaxy XCover Pro devices. With Samsung Knox, we can create entirely separate work and personal profiles, allowing work applications to stay secure, and personal usage to stay private.

Better Experiences for All With One Device

Improving the employee experience leads to a better customer experience, too. This is something Samsung can help to deliver. Just as Walmart has spent the past decade designing a seamless experience between online and in-store to improve the customer journey, the company is now bridging gaps between work and home to improve the employee journey. That’s what Samsung mobile technology can do: create seamless connections and more efficient and enjoyable experiences.

This is just the beginning of how we can work with our enterprise customers to empower and delight employees, and to lead the industry in leveraging mobility to transform how retail stores operate.

This content was originally published here.

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Could WhatsApp Be the Next Big E-commerce Channel? – Later Blog

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If you think WhatsApp is solely for casual chats with friends, think again. 

WhatsApp for business is gaining serious traction — over 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day. 

During Facebook’s annual F8 Refresh conference, WhatsApp’s Head of Business Products, Ajit Varma, shared how the platform is evolving as a customer service and sales tool. 

In this blog post, we’ll cover how WhatsApp for business works and how you can use it to drive e-commerce sales.

How Does WhatsApp for Business Work? 

WhatsApp is a messenger tool that is primarily used for friends and family chats.

However, WhatsApp can also be used for business. 

With the WhatsApp for Business API, brands can use WhatsApp as a home for customer service chats, timely notifications, and product recommendations.

Source: WhatsApp

As the app is comfortable and familiar for most users, it’s an easy platform to reach and engage with customers. 

With the WhatsApp for Business API, brands can benefit from automated responses to common queries (much like Facebook Messenger chat bots) and provide customer service at scale.

Plus, the evolution of WhatsApp Pay — an in-chat payment feature that allows users to make transactions — opens up a whole host of opportunities for integrated e-commerce on the platform. 

For example, when a user contacts a business to ask about a certain product or service, brands can provide recommendations on WhatsApp. 

With WhatsApp Pay, users could soon buy a product directly within the app — streamlining the end-to-end purchasing process.

Want to find out more about how social commerce is evolving? Check out this blog post: How Social Media Is Changing the Online Shopping Experience

Facebook F8 2021: New WhatsApp Business Features

During Facebook’s annual F8 conference, WhatsApp’s Head of Business Products, Ajit Varma, announced some major updates to the WhatsApp Business API:

Timely Notifications

Businesses will soon be able to send timely notifications and updates to customers on WhatsApp, “to let people know when an item is back in stock, for example.” 

Source: F8 Refresh 2021

These could also be informational updates, reminders to book an appointment, or the latest product deals.

New Message Formats

Varma also shared plans to introduce new messaging formats to help businesses streamline conversations, resolve issues, and drive conversions.

The first of which is list messages, which lets brands present a menu of up to 10 options for customers to choose from.

Source: F8 Refresh 2021

This means customers no longer need to type out a response, significantly lowering the barrier to entry.  

Next up, reply buttons — a new format that allows people to make a selection from up to three options in one quick tap. 

Source: F8 Refresh 2021

Brands can customize their list and reply options via their WhatsApp Business API account. 

Add to Cart 

Perhaps most notably, Varma shared some major e-commerce additions to the WhatsApp Business API. 

Customers will now be able to “Add to Cart” within WhatsApp — and could soon be able to make payments directly within the app. 

Source: F8 Refresh 2021

“We’re building new tools to allow the end-to-end commerce journey to happen in WhatsApp,” said Varma. “These features will provide a richer shopping experience.”

“In the future, our goal is to bring payments to our business products,” he added. 

Block/Report a Business

Alongside an influx of new features, Varma shared that the company is exploring ways to moderate how businesses operate on WhatsApp.

In addition to limiting how many messages a brand can send and monitoring “value” metrics, WhatsApp is also introducing ways for users to block or report a business.

Source: F8 Refresh 2021

Users will be able to provide a reason for their decision, which WhatsApp will share as feedback to businesses, Varma explained.

These new features make the WhatsApp Business API a compelling choice for brands looking to evolve their customer experience.

“We’re building a platform which enables you to be creative and come up with ideas that fit well into conversions and plug into WhatsApp’s massive reach,” shared Varma. 

“There will be very successful companies built entirely on WhatsApp.”

Stay up to date with all the latest social media news, events, and strategy tips. Sign up to Later’s free weekly newsletter today:

Jillian is Later’s Editor. A go-to expert in social media strategy and content marketing, she has worked in both London and New York. Next up? Lisbon and Paris! You can reach out to her on Instagram here: @jillwrren.

This content was originally published here.

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Ben Affleck May Be Ring Shopping For Jennifer Lopez in the Very Near Future

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Ben Affleck May Be Ring Shopping For Jennifer Lopez in the Very Near Future

Could wedding bells be in the air? Bennifer is back and heating up faster than ever. These two have seriously wasted no time jumping in right where they left off. Their magical kiss at dinner, intimate Miami vacation, and introductions to each other’s families are just a few of our favorite highlights from the couple so far. We have a feeling these two are in it for the long run this time around and honestly, we couldn’t be more excited. The pair, who broke off their engagement nearly two decades ago, could in fact be getting engaged again — or so a new report suggests.

According to Mirror, an insider told Closer Magazine that Affleck is ready to marry Lopez. “Ben wants to give long-lasting love another shot and is planning a romantic proposal on the singer’s 52nd birthday,” the source claims.

We’re looking back on Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez‘s best moments as a couple amid news of their Montana reunion. https://t.co/lbDCNNYsxz

— SheKnows (@SheKnows) May 10, 2021

If this actually happens, we will be seriously ecstatic. It feels like everyone is rooting for Bennifer to thrive and we’re so glad to see Lopez smitten with Affleck after the year she’s had. We can only imagine just how difficult going through a public breakup is, especially when it involves cheating allegations to do with your fiancé.

If this planned engagement is true, we cannot wait to see what ring Affleck picks out for Lopez. Who knows? Maybe they’ve already gone ring shopping. All we know is that we are totally loving these two together and we cannot wait for more updates. We will be anxiously awaiting an announcement on Lopez’s birthday — fingers crossed it’s true!

Before you go, click here to see celebrity couples who famously broke up and got back together.

This content was originally published here.

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Commerce

Bailey Nurseries Hires Brand and Business Development Manager – Lawn & Garden Retailer

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Bailey Nurseries announced it has hired Layci Gragnani as brand and business development manager. Gragnani has over a decade of industry experience in  public relations, sales, marketing, and brand management, most recently at Star Roses and Plants

“Endless Summer Hydrangeas, First Editions Shrubs & Trees, and Easy Elegance Roses have continuously worked to break new ground through innovation, partnerships, and a commitment to bringing outstanding hydrangeas, shrubs, trees, and roses to the world,” said Alec Charais, chief marketing and product development officer. “I could not be more excited for that work to continue with Layci leading the charge. Layci is an experienced marketer with an exceptional business sense and track record. She understands that success is measured by that of all partners from the breeder, grower, retail and landscape, and ultimately the consumer. We are thrilled to add her talents to the Bailey team and know it will be success that will be shared  by everyone.” 

In her new role, Gragnani will oversee the strategic direction and drive the supply chain for the introduction of proprietary genetics into Bailey’s consumer brands. Working with the product development, marketing, and sales teams, Gragnani will drive brand awareness and sales through Bailey Nurseries and its brand licensees.  

“Bailey Nurseries is well known in horticulture for their marketing and consumer product excellence, and I am beyond excited to be part of this team,” Gragnani said. “Their work has been instrumental in brand  development for our industry, and I look forward to taking them to new and exciting levels!” 

Gragnani begins in her role effective immediately and can be reached at [email protected]

This content was originally published here.

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