Putting a Friendly Face on Online Grocery Shopping

By Joey Gabe
June 13, 2017
Joey Gabe smiling with another associate

I’ll never forget the day my manager pulled me off the line to say my personality matched what Walmart was looking for in personal shoppers for its growing online grocery business.

At the time, I was unloading trucks in the back of the store and didn't have a clue what a personal shopper was. But I was open to the idea because it meant a lot that someone called out my personality as an asset.
I’ve always thought of myself as the guy who gets along with everyone and puts smiles on faces. I care about people. I always have. So the opportunity to step out of the back room and into one-on-one interaction with customers every day – it felt right. Walmart’s online grocery pickup was designed to offer customers extra convenience, but my job is about more than packing orders accurately. You never know what's going on in someone’s life, so that face-to-face time when I bring the groceries out to the vehicle is never lost on me.

Since becoming a personal shopper last year, I’ve had quite a few people call me out by name in customer surveys and I’m proud of that. From the bond I’ve built with the very first customer I served to the family whose kids know my name every time they pull in to get their groceries, my experience has been beyond anything I ever could have expected. One day, the mayor of North Charleston stopped by and said he just wanted to shake my hand. I'd never served him before, but apparently his daughter was going on and on about the funny guy who brought the groceries to her car.

Really, it all goes back to my parents. They’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet, so that’s how I was raised. I don't expect customers to pull up and tell me their life stories – but sometimes they do. I’m there to listen if that’s what they need. It's part of building relationships and a positive experience for customers.