Walmart stores can, depending on the time of day and location, have exceedingly long checkout lines, a problem amplified during holidays and major sporting events. That all may be changing in the near future, however, as the retailer introduces a new ‘scan and go’ feature in its mobile app that basically enables users to self-checkout using their phone rather than a dedicated cashier or automated checkout machine. The feature, for now at least, is limited to the stores’ pharmacies and money centers.
The need to shorten long wait times has been a consistent part of feedback from Walmart’s customers, and indeed some past surveys have indicated that consumers will, at times, elect to shop at more expensive corner and convenience stores to avoid these long lines. While those long times won’t be disappearing at the regular cashier stations any time soon, they may dwindle at Walmart stores’ money centers and pharmacies.
The retailer plans to rollout express lanes at both that will allow customers to input specific information ahead of time via their phone. The actual process of picking up prescriptions, cashing checks, and similar, will be much faster as a result. Customers can expect to see these express lanes appear at Walmart pharmacies and money centers across the nation by this upcoming autumn season.
The move appears to build off of Walmart’s existing ‘scan and go’ app, which itself finally became available to Android users last month. The news also comes at a time when Amazon itself is getting into the retail store game, and doing so with a big twist on tradition: the Amazon GO store uses a customer’s phone and in-store technology to automatically charge shoppers for items, eliminating the checkout line altogether.