- BJ’s Wholesale Club has introduced a wishlist function to its mobile app, according to a press release.
- Using the app’s discover feature, members are presented with a customized series of products and build their wishlists by swiping right to accept or left to dismiss.
- The discover feature uses machine learning to create a personalized collection of products based on a shopper’s previous selections using the swipe right or left process.
Wishlists have become an almost expected part of online retail offerings. Most operate similarly: Click on a link to put an item on a wishlist, either for an upcoming occasion or just for future reference.
As BJ’s Wholesale Club ramps up its digital and mobile capabilities, and competes in the warehouse sector with Sam’s and Costco, it has introduced a new wrinkle to wishlists inspired, in part, by online dating apps. Shoppers are presented with a series of products in the app’s discover feature and then swipe right to accept the suggestion and put it on their wishlist, or swipe left to reject the offering, according to a press release. The more they engage with the feature, the more the app uses machine learning to refine its personalized suggestions for the individual consumer.
BJ's has been active on the tech front lately. The retailer recently hired Naveen Seshadri for the new position of vice president of digital commerce and experience. He was previously chief operating officer at online travel site Lonely Planet and has been charged with expanding BJ’s "omni capabilities" and leading its digital customer experience strategy, e-commerce merchandising, digital marketing, digital insights and analytics. Among BJ's direct competitors, Sam's Club has been following Walmart's aggressive technology lead, while the number one warehouse club Costco Wholesale has been slowly catching up.
This follows the introduction of a new mobile app with an add-to-card coupon feature, which automates and simplifies the coupon redeeming process for shoppers. BJ’s also recently unveiled separate websites for two of its private labels, Berkley Jensen and Wellsley Farms. The retailer is now using Instacart for e-commerce functions.
BJ’s Express Scan is currently in use in seven locations for members only: Stratford, Connecticut; Port Orange, Florida; Nashua, New Hampshire; Freeport, New York; and Dedham, Northborough and Plymouth, Massachusetts. The mobile checkout app operates like those at retailers including Meijer, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Amazon Go. Customers scan products they wish to purchase while in the store and then proceed to a dedicated pay station. Handheld scanners are available for use instead of phones. For a warehouse club with heavy packages – like dog food and other bulk items – the advantage of not having to unload and then re-load a cart at the checkout is not insignificant to shoppers.