Walmart in U.S. tests scan & go iPhone feature for checkout

9/4/2012

Last week, Walmart tested a “Scan & Go” feature that enables iPhone owners to scan products, bag items while they shop, and then pay at a self-checkout counter.

According to a report in Reuters, the company invited employees to test the iPhone app at a Supercenter in Rogers, Ark.

Participants were screened using an online survey, according to a form on the Survey Monkey website, as first reported by Reuters.

The article said Walmart videotaped, shadowed, interviewed those selected, compensating them $100 for their time and giving them a $25 gift card to use on purchases.

The test comes after Walmart said that it would add more self-checkout lanes at its Walmart and Sam's Club stores in order to find ways to lower costs and prices for its shoppers.

Walmart would save millions of dollars by having shoppers scan their own items and make payments without the help of a cashier, CFO Charles Holley said back in March, according to the report.

It is estimated the company spends about $12 million in cashier wages every second at its Walmart U.S. stores.

"We're continually testing new and innovative ways to serve customers and enhance the shopping experience in our stores," said Walmart spokesman David Tovar in the article.

Walmart's iPhone app already includes functions such as letting shoppers create lists and seeing which items are in stock.

Increasingly, retailers and restaurants are looking at ways to speed up the checkout process by letting customers pay with a tap of their smartphones.

The test did not allow users to pay on their phone, as the app transferred the scanned items to the self-checkout kiosk and then shoppers complete the transaction using the normal self-checkout process.

Walmart earlier this month said it was joining several grocery chainds and Target Corp. to develop a mobile payment network that will give customers another way to make purchases: with their cellphones.

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