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ShopRite streamlines in-store checkout via customer-facing app

The mobile application lets consumers scan products as they shop and then checkout themselves on their phone instead of waiting in line. ShopRite is testing its Mobile Scan app in eight locations in New Jersey and Connecticut.

“When it comes to grocery shopping, there are always two main benefits that shoppers are looking for: Save me time, and/or save me money,” said Nikki Baird, Denver-based managing partner at RSR Research. “You could maybe add ‘inspire me’ or ‘make it fun’, but I think that element is much more important for non-grocery.

“So mobile scanning done right can accomplish both goals – avoid lines and having to unload a cart in order to bag it all up, and present offers or coupons on the items that customers want as they either build a list or build a cart,” she said.

“The convenience of both the shopper control and bag as you go make it compelling for grocery retailers. I think we’ll see more of it.”

Ms. Baird is not affiliated with ShopRite. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

ShopRite did not meet press deadline.

Scan and shop
One of the benefits of the Mobile Scan app is that it saves consumers time by removing the need to wait in line for a cashier. Consumers can buy groceries on their own schedule.

Consumers simply scan the bar code on products to add them to their cart.

For bakery and produce items that do not have bar codes, consumers can scan the shelf tag. They can weigh items at a station near the produce department while shopping.

When they are ready to pay, consumers can sync their mobile devices to self-service pay stations. They will have to scan their Price Plus card the first time they use the app, but it will then be saved for future purchases.

Additionally, the app will alert consumers to nearby sales as they move through the store. It will also automatically deduct Price Plus Club card savings as each item is scanned.

If consumers do not use the app for 45 minutes, it will automatically reset. Consumers can add items without Wi-Fi, but must connect to checkout.

ShopRite recommends bringing reusable bags so that shoppers can bag items as they scan them on the app.

ShopRite is currently testing the mobile app in six locations in New Jersey — Parsippany, Garwood, Marlton, Byram, East Brunswick and Flemington — and two location in Connecticut — Canton and Enfield.

Consumers who want to try the Mobile Scan app can visit the courtesy desk for more details. To register, consumers must present a valid ID, a Price Plus card and an email address.

They can download the app for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Mobile groceries
The grocery vertical has been experimenting with a number of different ways to leverage mobile.

For instance, international grocery chain DIA is testing a new mobile grocery ordering service that lets consumers order via a mobile application and pick up in-store (see story).

Additionally, mid-Atlantic grocery chain Harris Teeter is testing a mobile wallet system to allow consumers to pay for groceries ordered online (see story).

ShopRite itself has already ventured into mobile with a mobile commerce application that lets users place an order and schedule a time for delivery or pick-up (see story).

This new app takes a different approach and brings mobile into the in-store experience.

“Retailers like ShopRite have been investing in personal point-of-sale systems for some time to improve the shopping experience,” said David Javitch, vice president of product at ScanBuy, New York.

“Now most shoppers are already walking in the door with their own POS device – their smartphone,” he said. “This kind of application decreases hardware costs and allows them to communicate in a personal way with each of their shoppers.

Mr. Javitch is not affiliated with ShopRite. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“This is where grocery shopping is going,” Mr. Javitch said. “It is not just about the convenience of checking out, but also about giving each shopper their own experience as they walk into that store and open their app.

“Any way they can help make it easier will lead to more sales and happier shoppers,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York