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By Business Insider -- 2018.05.17. 15:06 in category Business (Number of votes: 0)

Walmart shutters its Scan & Go program (WMT)

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Walmart has officially decided to end its “Scan & Go” program, Business Insider reports. The program was Walmart’s take on cashierless checkout; it allowed customers to scan their items with a smartphone app and then skip the checkout line by paying their bill on the app and showing their digital receipt to a store greeter on the way out.

Although a recent expansion of the program to 100 stores suggested that Walmart felt the program warranted further testing, the results of the test indicated that Scan & Go was widely unused by customers, a Walmart spokesman told Business Insider.

Scan & Go was one of several attempts by grocers to perfect cashierless checkout.While Walmart worked on expanding Scan & Go, Kroger pushed its own cashierless checkout program, dubbed “Scan, Bag, and Go,” and Meijer worked on its “Shop & Scan” program. Both of these programs, which are still available in stores, are similar to Walmart’s offering, but they require customers to pay for scanned items at a self-checkout lane instead of in an app.

Such programs may struggle because they offload labor from cashiers to customers as they try to increase speed and convenience. Requiring customers to scan each individual item makes the shopping experience more labor intensive for a customer than it would be without the program.

Customers also have to bag their own items sometimes, when a cashier could potentially handle bagging more quickly. And for Scan & Go to save customers time, they must be comfortable with the scanning technology and the app, which isn’t always the case. Until grocers can design programs that don’t increase a customer’s workload, this type of checkout program will struggle to gain adoption because there isn’t enough added value for shoppers.

Walmart and other major grocers have been focusing on these efforts in an attempt to keep up with Amazon Go technology before it has a chance to scale. The technology used in Amazon Go stores is able to easily keep track of shoppers, allowing them to walk out without any kind of physical checkout or scanning process, because the locations are similar in size to convenience stores. This creates an easy shopping experience for consumers that grocery stores are trying to replicate.

However, the Amazon Go technology is currently incapable of tracking people in grocery stores because they’re significantly larger, which is why retailers like Walmart have been designing their own programs to offer similar levels of convenience. The close of Scan & Go signifies that these cashierless models may not have the same frictionless appeal, though, so grocers might be better off investing in finding ways to scale technology similar to Amazon Go’s, before the e-commerce titan does so.

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Published By: Business Insider - 7 days ago
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