- Wal-Mart has 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, according to Tech Times.
- Originally piloted in 2012, the app is a self-scanning system. Once opened on a phone or tablet, it allows consumers to either scan the barcode of any items in their shopping cart or enter them manually. When everything is scanned, they simply pay online and can leave without having to wait in line.
- If the test at the Arkansas store goes well, Wal-Mart could bring it online at other stores around the country, helping consumers save time, and saving stores money for cashier wages.
On the heels of Amazon Go, an innovative program being tested in a Seattle-based grocery store that allows consumers to avoid lines altogether by using an automated scan feature on their phones, Wal-Mart has re-launched its once-scuttled similar technology.
Many analysts feel that automating the customer experience and removing the frustrations of waiting in lines to pay will be seen as a big plus to consumers — especially millennials who like to do everything on their screens.
Reducing wait times is a problem that many retailers have been trying to solve through technology for years. Kroger installed its QueVision technology, which utilizes infrared sensors over store doors and cash registers, combined with predictive analytics software, to ensure wait times are minimal. Since implementing it in 2014, it has cut wait times from four minutes down to 30 seconds, the company said.
But apps do more than just reduce wait times. Several retailers are also integrating more comprehensive apps to help attract customers. Target’s Cartwheel was first introduced in 2013, and the app, which provides special offers for shoppers, has more consumers into the store, according to executives.
Wal-Mart's own app currently includes shopping and a "savings catcher," which allows customers to get refunds for items they purchased at the store, but are being advertised elsewhere. Adding the Scan and Go functionality to the app would create a package that would do more to attract tech-savvy customers who might otherwise make their purchases online.