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Walmart testing 'Scan and Go' concept that lets you use your handset to shop at the store

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Walmart testing 'Scan and Go' concept that lets you use your handset to shop at the store
According to Walmart, the retailer spends $12 million per second for cashier's wages in the States. Imagine how much lower Walmart could price merchandise if it eliminated the bulk of that expense. That is the ultimate target for Walmart's 'Scan and Go' application that is currently being tested by Walmart. The concept allows those with mobile handsets to scan items using their handset as they walk through the store, and then pay for their purchases at a self-service kiosk. While you are not using the phone to purchase goods, you are using it to make scanning items faster and easier.

"If you scan an item of peanut butter and immediately a two-dollar-off coupon pops up to buy a competing brand's peanut butter, Wal-Mart can change customer's behaviors right there in the aisle. This is a fairly new technology for retailers and there's potential for all kinds of fraud and theft."-Evan Schuman, writer, StorefrontBackTalk
In March, Wal-Mart's chief financial officer Charles Holley, announced plans to increase the number of self checkout lines at Walmart stores. Currently, 1,600 of the 4,500 Walmart and Sam's Club stores offer such a checkout option. Other retailers, like furniture warehouse IKEA, have started to do away with self checkout lines, complaining about shrinkage, lost revenue and  the lost opportunity to interact with customers.

Last week, Walmart sent out an email to employees seeking testers for 'Scan and Go' at the supercenter near the Bentonville company headquarters. The company gave those testing the system $100 and a $25 gift card to get feedback on how user-friendly the system is. The entire concept has come from inside the retailer's Silicon Valley tech lab @WalmartLabs which did the redesign on the company's website.

The cellphone scanning could allow Walmart to collect data from its shoppers while also tracking customers as part of a loyalty program. Knowing the shopping habits of its customers could let Walmart offer coupons for specific products to be sent to the cellphone of shoppers inside the store who have purchased the product in the past.

source: WSJ

16 Comments
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posted on 01 Sep 2012, 19:35 3

1. ajac09 (Posts: 1337; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


interesting but I can see alot of theft here. Put stuff in the basket and dont scan it while scanning other stuff . Means they will have to have someone do what they do at sams and look at everything before you leave. So you loose cashiers but gain more people to look over merchandise purchased

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 19:38 2

2. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


It just changes the role of the cashier. Instead of them scanning your items they will just go down the list to make sure you paid for everything.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 21:13 1

6. Dr.Phil (Posts: 863; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Well the difference would be that in Walmart it would be harder to get through the door because they actually have scanners where you exit that alert when someone is taking something out of the store. At Sam's Club, they just have a person that is suppose to be "checking to make sure you bought everything in your cart", but I think we all know that they just take a quick glance without giving it much thought.

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 06:34 1

10. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 828; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


Some stores have scanners that scan for merchandise not accounted for when a customer leaving the store and a "loud" buzzer goes off. Security steps in and checks all merchandise purchases with receipts before letting you go.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 19:47

3. onilink67 (Posts: 8; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)


Sounds good too bad you'd have to go to a walmart to do it

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 20:05 6

4. HäckeMáte (Posts: 168; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


yea, too bad its walmart. I mean who goes THERE right. Who would want to buy groceries, clothes, toys, and guns, while getting their oil changed. Such a silly place to implement this new technology.

maybe victorias secret?

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 04:24

9. onilink67 (Posts: 8; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)


while dealing with overweight people walk extreamly (or drive those little rascals) slow while letting their 17 kids run around the store. Walmart is a great concept but sadly attracts the lowest of the low to shop. I'll go to 5 different stores so I can leave with a higher faith in humanity then when I started.

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 21:04 2

13. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Sounds like you need or like to shop at Saks 5th Ave, Neiman Marcus, Tory Birch, etc.

posted on 03 Sep 2012, 21:16 1

16. HäckeMáte (Posts: 168; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


Target.. for the grumpy guy that will pay extra to NOT see white trash, immigrants, or overweight moms that let their kids ride the bikes in the Spotting goods section.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 20:14 2

5. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


It becomes a problem when the concern of a retailer, which is justified to some point, is geared at only being profit and nothing else. Those people this company employs are individuals they have a responsibility to. I am all for an enjoying shopping experience and new technology to assist that but not at the expense of thousands of jobs afforded by Walmart. I understand some jobs can easily be pushed to other areas but this is one reason why unemployment is what it is.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 22:46 1

7. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


It may seem like that, but I dont see small businesses hiring ppl over 65 to stand at the entrance greeting people. They also employ ppl with disabilities and down syndrome.

This tecnology will create jobs for those too old to learn a career or those that have physical limitations so their jobs simplified to something as simple as reviewing your cart and make sure everything is paid for.

BTW if you work at Walmart you get 20% off your entire Sprint bill every month =D

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 21:00

12. rallyguy (Posts: 516; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


This is a way to become more efficient. This was created by technology and the desire to make things better. In the end the purpose is to save money, something every business does. The biggest argument in favor for this is that it creates jobs, not takes away jobs.

A company has a vision to create something so it hires people to develop, design, and test a new product. Then people are paid to manufacture it and more people are hired to install and maintain the system. Innovation makes companies more competitive. More competition is good for the consumer. To say this is bad because it’s only Walmart wanting to make more money is naive. Would you rather they lose money and have to lay off employees?

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 01:35

8. balkan (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Speckle..I agree with you, and Bucko..seriously??!! Not to offend anyone above 65, with physical limitation or down syndrome.. but you're talking about Walmart with thousand or more people shopping everyday? Every job required certain qualification, maybe to work as 'checkers' at these places look easy but it could be MAJOR LOST for the company if they missed some items or good that,s been "slip" hide" without paying by customers everyday, at least with cashier she/he scan all the item and put it in the bag Secondly scanner on the exits door useless anyway, coz no body will check one by one on every customer. And how about people below 65, no degree, and limited in term of job opportunity?? And who cares about sprint , if I work for Walmart which is NEVER.. I will use straight talk instead more dependable and affordable..

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 12:20

11. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Great, as if the lines in wal-mart didn't go slow enough, now w'ell have white trash Earl and Beth mom and dad with their screaming, ill parented kids holding up the line while they try to pay for their china products using a "pay as you use" smartphone purchased using their welfmare check to buy processed foods to cover their expanding and lazy ass waistlines

And an even quicker way for you to by your uneeded china made sh1t from a manipulative, fear mongering and otherwise corrupt woldwide corporation.

/former Wal-mart employee during college days

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 21:08

14. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I seriously doubt that white trash folks on welfare would even know where to look for the app....let alone use it.

Think about how many and the types of ppl that shop online and use banking apps on their phone...This is who is going to take advantage of this....next time you go to a store that has self service check out.....pay attention to who actually uses it... I can almost guarantee it isnt who you describe. And if it is....its few of them.

posted on 03 Sep 2012, 17:31

15. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


That figure from Walmart has to be bogus. My local walmarts are WAY TOO CHEAP at staffing cashiers. Except for the christmas shopping season, the max amount of cashiers they would have is like 5, even there there's like 30 or so registers. They dont even staff all the registers at any point during the christmas shopping season, not even on Black Friday.

But doing this sounds like them, they seem to want to make cuts to costs for employees first, everything else second.

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