There are two kinds of people in this world: self checkout people and regular checkout people. For those of us who can’t seem to get out of the grocery store fast enough, Walmart just introduced a new technology that allows shoppers to checkout in just mere seconds.
Called, “Scan and Go,” shoppers pick up a portable scanner upon entering the store and scan the barcode of their items before putting them in their cart. Once they’re done shopping, the scanner tallies their total, and the customer can either pay at self checkout or with a cashier.
The new format allows shoppers to bypass the majority of the checkout process, making it the fastest self checkout technology yet. While currently only being tested in Ancaster, Ontario, Walmart plans to unroll the technology at 20 more Canadian stores.
Jeff Doucette of market research company Field Agent Canada tells CBC News, “People’s patience for waiting is declining rapidly. It’s like, why would I go to Best Buy and stand in line for something when I can just order it and it will show up tomorrow?”
There are even stores in the US where the portable scanning system has been refined into an app. Customers can both scan and pay for their items and then only need to show their receipt to an exit greeter on their way out.
With self checkouts machines in stores totalling 255,000 in 2016, it’s no doubt something an increasing number of people are gravitating towards, and the retail conglomerate aims to eventually bring the app to Canadian shoppers.
While some people are worried about it reducing jobs and the need for cashiers, Walmart claims that Scan and Go and the app aren’t meant to be replacements. There will always be a group of consumers who desire a self-service experience and others who will prefer to check out the old fashioned way.
The software also isn’t capable of price checks or price matching, not to mention it can malfunction. So although Scan and Go is a step towards further automatization, we’re still a long ways away from grocery stores being completely run by computers.
What do you think of Walmart’s new technology? Will it making shopping more efficient?
Featured Image: Flickr/Walmart Corporate
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