Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Local retailers try phone-scanning checkout options

Two local retailers are rolling out new options to check out with your smart phone, which they say will save customers time.

Compare Foods on Arrowood Road and Sam's Club in Pineville both said in the last week that they're testing the options. Although they're using different provides - Compare Foods is using Swift Shopper, and Sam's Club is using an in-house app - the premise is similar.

At both stores, customers can use their phone to scan items while they shop, and place those items in their shopping carts. When they reach the checkout counter, customers' phones generate a code that the cashier can then scan at the register to ring up the customer, rather than taking everything out and scanning it individually.

"By allowing our customers to use their mobile devices to scan as they shop, we will be saving them valuable time and money, two things particularly critical to our working-class clientele," said Omar Jorge, Compare Foods partner, in a statement.

Compare Foods plans to upgrade its registers at other stores to be able to read the Swift Shopper codes once the pilot at the Arrowood Road store is complete. The store is Swift Shopper's first retail partner.

At Sam's Club in Pineville, the Scan & Go option is part of the Sam's Club app. It works much the same way, with customers scanning items with their phones while they shop and then using the phone to check out at the register.

Scan & Go works at the self-checkout line or registers with cashiers. In addition to saving time, the company says Scan & Go offers the advantages of tracking your spending patterns, avoiding lifting heavy and bulky items multiple times, and "privacy when buying personal items."

The technology is in a handful of Sam's Club stores in North Carolina, but should roll out more widely soon.


DMorrisPE said...

I use the CardStar app on my iPhone, and so far, AutoZone, CVS, Harris Teeter, & Office Depot scanners and read my phone's display. Food Lion cannot, but they will key in the MVP number from the display.

DMorrisPE said...

I should have mentioned that CardStar allows you to scan your "loyalty" cards (like Food Lion's MVP card)so you don't need to keep all of those cards on your keychain. The Sam's Club system is completely different.