Will Walmart’s Scan & Go catch on this time around?
Some ideas were ahead of their time and that’s how Walmart appears to see its Scan & Go mobile app. The retailer is bringing the discontinued mobile checkout app back into the pilot phase.
Walmart began a pilot run of the reintroduced app in a single store in Rogers, Arkansas, according to Tech Times. The app, released to the Google Play store on January 9, enables shoppers to scan the barcodes of items with their smartphones as they put them in their baskets. They then check out via mobile shopping cart and need only present their receipt to leave the store. The app also keeps a running tally of the cost of groceries, so shoppers can track their spending throughout their shopping trips.
The first run of Walmart’s Scan & Go app began in September of 2012 and was eventually expanded to a few hundred stores. Walmart shut down the pilot in 2014 because customers in the test locations could not figure out how to use it.
Walmart has been exploring other ways to speed the checkout process since the failure of the original app. In 2015, the chain began piloting a version of Scan & Go that does not rely on an app, according to The City Wire. Rather than being smartphone-based, it requires the use of an in-store scanner that a customer could pick up and activate at a kiosk at the front of the store.
The attempted revival of the mobile app could be a sign Walmart is more confident its shoppers will install and use mobile apps than it was a few years ago. It also likely indicates that Walmart is getting antsy about Amazon Go. Amazon’s much talked-about checkout-free grocery store could, if it functions as planned, get customers used to the idea of getting in and out of the store without standing in line.
Walmart may be emboldened by recent pilots of a similar app in Sam’s Club. The Sam’s Club Scan & Go app, which the chain began experimenting with last summer, appears to be more popular than earlier iterations of the technology.
- Walmart App Lets Buyers Scan Items While Shopping And Skip Checkout Lane – Tech Times
- Walmart Testing Scan & Go Checkout Feature – RetailWire
- Walmart’s Scan & Go is a no-go – RetailWire
- Walmart is retesting Scan & Go in select stores, including Rogers supercenter – The City Wire
- Will the tech behind Amazon Go redefine convenience at retail? – RetailWire
- What’s holding back scan & checkout? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What factors will contribute to Scan & Go possibly being more attractive to Walmart customers this time around? Will scan/checkout apps be commonplace in retail stores in the years ahead?