Wal-Mart on Tuesday unveiled new features to its mobile app for its pharmacy and money services customers, including new ways for shoppers to skip regular checkout lines, according to a press release.
Pharmacy customers can use the Walmart app to refill prescriptions, track order status and view pricing and pickup details, then use express lanes to pick them up. Those using the retailer’s money services, like money transfers, can use the app rather than filling out paperwork as before; those services will also have new express lanes to speed things up.
The changes will roll out starting next month and will eventually be available to all 4,700 U.S. Wal-Mart stores by the fall.
As with the addition of a payment feature to its mobile app, Wal-Mart is banking on the notion of “time as currency” — with hopes that saving customers time by speeding up checkout and other in-store activities will pay off.
“These capabilities are the latest example of how we’re bringing together all of the conveniences of Walmart – great stores, convenient pickup, easy checkout and a top-notch app – to deliver one seamless shopping experience for customers,” Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of Wal-Mart Services, said in a statement. “We’re delivering a new and better experience in areas of our business that are essential for busy families. By making them faster and easier, we’re living up to our promise – to save customers money and time.”
To that end, the retail giant last month also re-launched “Scan and Go,” a mobile application for Android devices released on Google’s Play Store, designed to help consumers avoid long lines while grocery shopping at its Rogers, AR store. Its Sam’s Club warehouse stores have had that capability since September.
While these new tools increase convenience, it’s not clear that saving time is enough to promote the use of a mobile app, considering retailers with heavy app usage and good reviews — think Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts (and even Target, whose Cartwheel app doesn’t yet include payment) — tend to reward customers royally with unique discounts.