Advertise with

Scan & Go puts retail self-checkout on the move
Scan & Go puts retail self-checkout on the move

Scan & Go puts retail self-checkout on the move

RETAILER NEWS - Sep 19th 2012, 08:21

Last week in Rogers, Ark., Walmart began testing an iPhone application that could potentially expedite and streamline the self-checkout process. The "Scan & Go" app allows shoppers to do just that — scan their items while they shop and bag them as they go. Once they have finished, shoppers take their cart full of merchandise to a self-checkout kiosk and complete their purchase through traditional payment methods. 

The app, which was produced by the company's social and mobile developers at Walmart Labs, also allows customers to create virtual shopping lists, checking that items on their list are in stock.

According to a report from Reuters, Walmart solicited employees with iPhones to participate in the pilot, reportedly asking those staff members to extend the offer of participation to friends and family.

If successful, the "Scan & Go" app could mark the next phase of self-checkout that utilizes mobile devices. Given Walmart's status as the world's largest retailer, the success or failure of the app could have broad implications for others in the industry.

"I really like that Walmart is testing an application like this because a company like them drives entire industries," said Frank Olea, of Olea Kiosks. "If Walmart is going to do it or even try it, that means others will follow suit."

As for how "Scan & Go" would affect traditional self-checkout, Olea feels it would increase its use — at least until the phones could take mobile payment, which some believe is inevitable.

"Payment on the smartphone is coming fast, and it needs to be seamless and secure before it will be totally embraced by all demographics," said Ron Bowers, the SVP of business development at Frank Mayer & Associates. "We need the integration of design and operational execution to catch up to the requested convenience enhancements that the connected consumer anticipates and will expect."

Walmart, along with Best Buy, Target and Lowe's, are among the companies that have signed on with the Merchant Customer Exchange, which is developing a mobile application that would allow customers to pay for purchases at participating retailers with their mobile devices.

The mobile element is a logical and natural extension of self-checkout, Bowers explained, a process that is valued in convenience by the consumer and in cost-savings by retailers.

Walmart has been open regarding its desire to add more self-checkout as a means of lowering operating costs and prices for the consumer. Walmart CFO Charles Holley said at an investor conference in early March that the chain can save $12 million a year for every second it can cut from the average check-out time at Walmart locations in the U.S.

According to Bowers, it will take time to ensure that the application is flawless and well-planned so that it would be accepted by both consumers and retailers as convenient and secure.

Although Walmart could not be reached for comment by Kiosk Marketplace, and there is little known regarding what anti-theft and security measures use of the app would require, other media reports indicate that the company does not have a clear goal for the application going nationwide — an admirable strategy, according to Olea.

"I especially like that Walmart is testing this very slowly and has no real plans on how it moves forward," Olea said. "After all, nobody knows how the public will adopt it. The 'if we build it, they will come' scenario has failed over and over. Look at IKEA pulling self-checkout. Walmart is doing it right."  

Read more about: walmart |

Related News

Massmart partners with Walmart’s global sourcing team to help local suppliers export to Walmart markets
10/09/2019 - 09:28
Representatives from Walmart’s Global Sourcing team are in Johannesburg to meet with 18 of Massmart’s South African suppliers who are interested in exploring opportunities to export their products to Walmart markets.

Multi-million rand Rustenburg Mall underway
09/09/2019 - 11:07
Rustenburg shoppers can look forward to a brand new shopping centre – Rustenburg Mall – set to introduce its first phase in April 2021.

Introducing the Cape Fine and Rare Wine Auction
23/08/2019 - 10:07
With the world market increasingly focused on the fine and rare wines from South Africa, the Cape Winelands is in a stronger position than ever to showcase its fine wine investments. This year, the Cape Winelands is proud to host its first-ever Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, an evolution of the historic Nederburg Auction in 1975.

Walmart Q2 revenue grows 1.8% year on year
20/08/2019 - 14:13
Total revenue of Walmart for its second quarter (Q2) of Financial Year 2020 (FY20) ending July 31 hit $130.4 billion, up 1.8 percent year on year, while the net sales of Walmart International decreased 1.1 percent year on year to $29.1 billion, the company reported.

Boost for SA's economy as China lifts its beef ban
07/08/2019 - 09:10
Within one month of the meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Xi Jinping at the G20, China has announced that it is lifting the ban on South African beef exports to China. This will be a major boost to South Africa’s economy given that China is the largest consuming market for South African beef and related products.