Walmart Re-Thinking Mobile Self-Checkout App

by Raymond Pucci 0

Mobile shopping

Given the success of its Scan and Go app at Sam’s Club, Walmart began introducing the mobile checkout feature at its flagship stores. But as the following Chain Store Age article reports, Walmart has decided that the app is not proving to be a time-saver for many customers as expected.

Walmart customers can no longer use their smartphones to pay for their order and skip the checkout line. Despite a successful rollout across its Sam’s Club warehouse chain, Walmart is discontinuing is Scan & Go mobile checkout app. The deciding factor was that too many customers found the process too cumbersome, especially when it came to bagging, weighing and then scanning items, including fresh fruit and vegetables, according to Bloomberg.

While the program will be pulled out of approximately 150 Walmart stores, the service will remain at Sam’s Club, where its usage doubled last year, Sam’s CEO John Furner said in the report.

According to Bloomberg, Walmart is testing a potential replacement, called “Check Out With Me,” where employees can ring up a customer’s order and scan their payment card from a handheld device inside the store. The new service is available in more than 350 lawn and garden centers.

The main culprit to the demise of Walmart’s Scan and Go is reported to be the produce department. Apparently, weighing and scanning the likes of arugula and broccoli rabe proved too challenging for the mobile scanning app. Perhaps mobile self-checkout is best suited for quick trips such as in C-stores or big box stores where typically fewer items are purchased in a single visit. Recently, Macy’s announced the rollout of a mobile self-checkout app, and the results will bear watching. In any case, mobile self-checkout is not dead, but there needs to be realization that it is not necessarily well-suited for all merchant environments.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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