Will ‘Scan & Ship’ give Sam’s a leg up on club competition?
Sam’s Club announced today that it is conducting a test of new Scan & Go technology that allows members to place direct-to-home orders for items that require shipping as they shop the aisles of its stores.
The new Scan & Ship pilot enables customers to get delivery on items such as children’s playsets, patio furniture, mattresses, big screen televisions and more, typically within three to five days.
The initial phase of the pilot is being tested in three Sam’s locations.
“Scan & Ship is the result of an internal program we’re really proud of called the Innovation Jam, which encourages associates to collaborate and develop prospective retail technology solutions during the two-day, sprint-like event,” Vinod Bidarkoppa, Sam’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.
Sam’s sees the new feature as a means to better reflect the shopping preferences of its members. The retailer maintains that it “continues to be hyper-focused on digitally integrated clubs that deliver convenient, mobile-first experiences.” Management points to the ongoing success of the chain’s curbside pickup initiative that went from a 16-club test to full rollout in about seven weeks last year in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The number two warehouse club retailer has seen demand for its app and Scan & Go technology grow significantly over the last year. Sam’s points to statistics from AppTopia, which shows its mobile app being downloaded 9.6 million times in 2020, almost twice the rate of apps offered by its competitors. The mobile app, which achieved a 43.5 percent adoption rate increase year-over-year in the first quarter, expanded the reach of Scan & Go from the aisles of its clubs to its gas stations last year.
Sam’s president and CEO Kathryn McLay said during last month’s NRF Retail Converge conference that some members are reluctant to download another app onto their phones. The retailer’s solution is a new demo that enables members to scan a QR code to test Scan & Go before committing to the download. Club members can use the feature three times before being migrated to the full app.
“We know that once our members use Scan & Go they love the convenience it provides and are 90 percent more likely to use it again, so our team worked to design a solution that gives members an opportunity to test drive the feature and experience the benefits firsthand,” Mr. Bidarkoppa said.
- Sam’s Club Evolves its Scan & Go App, Merging Digital and Physical Experiences – Sam’s Club
- Sam’s Club learned how fast it could move during the pandemic – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your assessment of Sam’s use of technology to improve the shopping experiences of its club members? How well do you think Sam’s is doing when it comes to aligning its technological assets with deployment of human resources, product merchandising, pricing and other elements of its business operations?