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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Walmart drops Mobile Scan & Go after lackluster pilot

Bolstered by the successful launch of its Mobile Scan & Go program in Sam's Club warehouse stores, Walmart Inc. expanded the program to include about 150 Walmart stores as part of a nationwide pilot test. The service enables shoppers to upload an app to scan and pay for items or pickup a handheld device at Scan & Go kiosks located in stores.

When the pilot test ended in April, Walmart decided to end the program in Walmart stores but said it will continue to offer the service in Sam's Club stores. Shoppers apparently found it cumbersome to shop, weigh and bag produce items, among other difficulties cited that hindered the checkout process.

As Walmart and others endeavor to compete with Amazon Go, for example, in simplifying the checkout process, the learning curve for stores and consumers remains an issue "When self-checkout was introduced, adoption was poor," said Michael Jaszczyk, CEO of GK Software USA. "However, over time, the concept improved and usability increased. Now, it is a loved and preferred checkout method by customers. I predict the same will happen with scan-and-go solutions."

Back to the drawing board

Despite lackluster use of the program during the pilot test, Walmart said it gained valuable insights. It has since launched Check Out With Me, where employees can ring up customer orders and scan cards from handheld devices insides stores. The service is available in over 350 Walmart lawn and garden centers nationwide. Other retailers, including grocers, are testing similar technologies to ease lines and expedite checkout for shoppers. "Walmart dropping its Mobile Scan & Go service does not mean that the concept will go away," Jaszczyk said. "Instead, it will be optimized so that all systems are connected, overcoming the difficulty in handling certain clients for certain shopping trips."

To be successful in the future, such programs must apply unified technologies that connect with all customer touch points. "They can create a shopping list on their mobile phone, scan additional items, use self-checkout for weight-based items and potentially, pay in the app or at a traditional POS on all connected devices," Jaszczyk noted.

He also believes that offering more convenient services, like pre-scanning items at home through intelligent shopping lists or offering special bagging services, will help generate better acceptance of scan-and-go technology by customers in the future. end of article

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