Speedier checkouts are a holy grail-like pursuit for many retailers, and Walmart is no exception. The retailer, which is not known for moving people quickly through the front-end of its stores, tested a mobile app that would allow people to scan items as they shopped and, in turn, use that data to speed the checkout process.
The reality, according to an Associated Press report, is that Walmart's "Scan & Go" app didn't past muster with its customers. Turns out Walmart shoppers in the 200 stores where the app was tested couldn't figure out how to use it. In the end, the retailer pulled the plug on its experiment.
The failure of Walmart's app is a knock against the use of consumers' mobile devices to scan items while shopping to move them more quickly through the checkout. Perhaps the perceived complexity of using an app on their mobile phones may be part of the reason that 41 percent of consumers, per CFI Group's Retail Satisfaction Barometer 2014, would prefer to use a device supplied by a retailer.
As previously reported on RetailWire, the Stop & Shop supermarket chain has been testing Scan-It! hand-held devices since 2007. Catalina Marketing, which provides the devices to the chain, reports that while 71 percent found the devices very helpful, only 15 percent of Stop & Shop customers regularly use them.
On the plus side for Walmart, Scan & Go was not a complete failure. According to AP, the retailer learned through the test that its customers like to be able to keep track of what they are spending. This insight led to the development of a program enabling Walmart's customers to store their electronic receipts.
How likely is it that future programs using mobile devices to scan items before checkout will succeed?