Coinciding with the launch of its store technology testing ground, the Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas, Walmart is rolling out its latest innovative investment, a “check out with me” option at all U.S. stores. Starting at some locations as soon as Nov. 1, Walmart will give associates mobile devices that can scan bulky items such as flat-screen TVs and heavy furniture, enabling customers to immediately pay with a credit card and bypass checkout lines.
Walmart has tested the functionality since April in the lawn and garden centers of more than 350 stores. The devices are not intended to check out whole baskets of items, but they will be capable of processing everything from groceries to apparel.
The retail giant has experimented with expedited checkout before, but not always with the best results. In May, Walmart dropped its “Scan & Go” cashierless checkout pilot due to low customer participation. The app allowed customers to scan and bag items, including produce, while they shopped and to pay directly with their phones. Customers saw the price of individual items as they scanned them, along with a running total, enabling them to gauge their total costs ahead of checkout.
“Long checkout lines are the dreaded pain point of a customer’s shopping experience especially as they approach the holiday sales season,” said Gavin Bisdee, VP of Global Marketing at Zynstra in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “Transaction performance can be so slow, resulting in frustrated customers, abandoned carts, and low revenues. As the holiday season approaches, the winners will be forward-thinking retailers that implement a more flexible solution to raise the level of their customer experience offering, such as mobile tablets or kiosks, for faster transaction speed and shorter wait times, enabling a digital transformation of the customer and employee experience.”
Walmart also has added a new Store Maps feature within its mobile app, designed to help shoppers find items faster this holiday season. The app features a store map uniquely created for each Walmart store. Shoppers can open the app to search for an item, and the map will show the item’s exact location.
The store maps feature recently launched in most Walmart stores and will be available in all stores in early November.