TECHNOLOGY

Sam’s Club removes friction from buying tires

BY Dan Berthiaume

A new employee app called “Sam’s Garage” is designed to dramatically cut the time it takes Sam’s Club customers to purchase a set of tires.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, briefly mentioned Sam’s Garage during prepared remarks he gave during Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting on June 7.

“What used to be a half-hour ordeal to buy tires will now take less than five minutes,” said McMillon. “We’re going from multiple systems, paper catalogs and a large desk to a user-friendly, member-grade app on a mobile tablet. We’ll give hundreds of thousands of hours back to members. This is what it looks like to be a digital company.”

A video posted on the Walmart corporate blog provides more detail about how Sam’s Garage works. Associates start by scanning a customer’s Sam’s Club membership card, which brings up their profile, including vehicles they own. The associate then selects the correct vehicle, and based on a conversation with the customer selects specific tire needs, such as responsiveness and winter traction, from a menu.

Based on this input, the app generates a list of tires for the associate to recommend, including special promotional offers. The customer can have the app provide a comparative analysis of selected tires, comparing and contrasting their availability, savings, and how well they meet the customer’s selected tire needs.

Once the customer makes a selection, the associate can automatically place an order from within the app, using the customer’s stored payment information

Sam’s Garage will be rolled out nationwide in July.

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