Walmart is expanding its "Scan & Go" feature — which lets users scan items with their iPhones in-store and then pay at a self-checkout counter — to include access to digital coupons.
The news of the addition was reported last week by Mobile Commerce Daily, which confirmed what Walmart officials had first said would happen at a media event in late March. In May, Walmart said it planned to expand its "Scan & Go" test to more than 200 stores, up from about 70.
Differing from Stop & Shop's Scan It! App, Walmart's coupon feature works closer to traditional, clip-for-yourself coupons that shoppers select before they reach the store. The touted benefit is removing the chore of clipping coupons and forgetting them at home, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.
"The capabilities will allow customers to access manufacturer coupons in the Walmart iPhone app," Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala told Coupons in the News in late March. "They'll be able to simply tap on coupons to 'clip' them and add them to their virtual cart, and these coupons will be applied automatically to matching items in their next Scan & Go session at a store."
The coupons will be only available to Scan and Go users, presumably offering another incentive for shoppers to sign up for Scan and Go besides the promise of quick self-checkout, according to Coupons in the News.
By comparison, Stop & Shop's Scan It! App plays up personalized offers based on the shoppers purchasing history gleaned from loyalty cards. It also offers location-based offers, taking into account where the shopper is in the store, such as an ice cream deal popping up in the dairy aisle.
Safeway's Just For U App offers the option of loading up deals as well as personalized offers. Its explanation of the program reads, "Our systems use your purchase history to sort through and organize personal price offers, hundreds of coupons, and all of our weekly Card Specials. But only you can determine if our systems got it right. That's why we ask that you select offers by loading them to your Club Card. As you provide feedback based on what you select, our systems will improve their ability to sort through and personalize your offers. This will make the program even more valuable to you over time!"
Since Walmart doesn't have a loyalty program, its ability to offer personalized coupons appears limited, although the retailer is expected to learn more about their customers' preferences as each uses the Scan and Go feature.
Which do you think grocery shoppers will most prefer from digital coupons?