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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Walmart pilots mobile checkout in garden centers

To reduce checkout lines as spring gardening season gets underway, Walmart Inc. is pilot launching a program called Check Out With Me in Lawn & Garden Centers at over 350 stores nationwide. According to Walmart, sales associates at select stores equipped with cellular devices and Bluetooth printers can scan customer items, accept card payments and provide printed or electronic receipts on the spot, allowing customers to pay and go.

"Walmart's new program could fundamentally shift the paradigm back to a more personalized customer experience," said Charles Dimov, Vice President of Marketing at OrderDynamics. "This is particularly interesting when there is such buzz about robots taking our jobs, and personalized AI automation being the next big wave."

As a megaretailer, with the new service Walmart is able to elevate staff empowerment. "By providing employees with these tools to provide on-the-spot checkout, Walmart is creating a smarter and more helpful associate," said Adam Silverman, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Theatro.

"Additionally, this added in-aisle touchpoint offers new opportunities for Walmart including more personal customer interaction and upselling opportunities," Silverman added. "Any technology that makes the shopping experience more convenient for customers is a step forward for brick and mortar retailers, and creating an informed and more mobile associate is one of the best ways to do this."

Customer-driven approach

Dimov noted that Walmart's back-to-basics approach makes the store experience easier for customers and allows shoppers to engage with people. "Many shoppers want just that – to interact with another human when shopping," he said.

GK Software USA CEO Michael Jaszczyk agreed, adding that, "Point of sale architecture and business logic are being redefined as to make the POS a transaction platform that provides services beyond traditional core functionalities. The new era of point of sale will make it easy for any retailer to manage transactions however their customers want – with an emphasis on mobility – to make the checkout and payment process as seamless and painless as possible."

Jaszczyk also believes that Walmart's new service makes the case for retailers to deliver on mobile personal POS technology as a convenience to customers, which in return will drive greater store loyalty for retailers who deploy it in the future. end of article

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