The industry’s top retailers are continuing their quest to make cashierless checkout within physical stores more of a reality. Walmart is expanding its "Scan & Go" technology to an additional 100 locations across the U.S. in 2018.
The app allows customers to scan and bag items, including produce, while they shop and pay directly with their phones. Customers see the price of individual items as they scan them, along with a running total, enabling them to gauge their total costs ahead of checkout. As part of the test, some Walmart stores have been outfitted with Scan & Go kiosks, where customers can pick up handheld devices, allowing them to try out the service before downloading it to their phones.
The expansion comes two weeks after Kroger elaborated on plans to expand its similarly named “Scan, Bag, Go” technology to 400 stores in 2018. Amazon is still piloting its cashierless “Just Walk Out” technology in its Amazon Go store in Seattle, but the e-Commerce giant has yet to expand the tech to other locations. Walmart already has deployed the Scan & Go technology in all of its Sam’s Club locations nationwide.
As consumers demand more friction-free shopping experiences, it makes sense to focus on checkout. Long lines are a frequently cited nuisance for consumers, and they force retailers to deploy extra manpower that could be used elsewhere in the store, whether on the sales floor on in the back office.
“Scan & Go and similar solutions highlight the shift towards seamless in-store experiences,” said Michael Rogosa, Research Director at PlanetRetail RNG in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “This allows Walmart to integrate more shoppers into its digital ecosystem. It also allows the retailer to access valuable shopper data it has been missing out on due to its lack of an integrated digital loyalty scheme.”
Walmart’s Scan & Go is currently being tested in more than a dozen stores in a few select markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; and Northwest Arkansas. The retailer is expanding the technology to stores in 33 states across the U.S. When customers launch the app, it automatically lists participating stores nearby.
The app is available on both Android and iOS devices. Once customers are done shopping and have paid for their items, they walk through the Mobile Express lane on their way out. For security purposes, the Mobile Express lanes will be situated at the front of Walmart's stores.