This is the first installment in our Technology Revolutionizing Retail series.
Scan & Go, a mobile wallet technology, benefits retailers by cutting checkout queuing times and increasing shopping frequency. However, outside of expediting the customers’ shopping experience, Scan & Go also carries these additional advantages.
1. Scan & Go increases customer loyalty by personalizing the shopping experience.
Retailers often use the scanning app in combination with a loyalty program. Sainsbury’s requires customers to enter their Nectar loyalty card number before they can self-checkout with Scan & Go, and rewards customer loyalty points based on their purchasing activity. US supermarket chain Stop & Shop offers a similar service with its SCAN IT app, which has the additional feature of sending personalized offers into customers’ phones depending on where they happen to be in the store. For example, a customer walking by an item on sale will be notified by the app or offered a coupon, which automatically personalizes their experience without the need to interact with a sales associate.
2. Scan & Go boosts spending using electronic coupons.
For retailers without a loyalty program, Scan & Go promotes spending in other ways. Scan & Go sends compatible e-coupons into customers’ phones when they scan certain items at checkout, gaining immediate attention compared to traditional advertising. Wal-Mart’s Scan & Go feature allows customers to clip coupons using their phones and add the discount at checkout. Paper coupons can also be stored on mobile devices and redeemed in-store, which provides valuable shopper data that can be used to personalize future offers, and eliminates the problem of customers forgetting their coupons at home (deterring spending).
3. Scan & Go saves retail IT and equipment costs.
Since Scan & Go replaces handheld scanning devices with the customer’s own phone, it removes the need for more expensive hardware. While Scan & Go services are still being trailed at select locations, customer response has been positive and could lead to the eventual replacement of cashiers. For large retailers and grocers that spend millions of dollars on labour per second, this will mean substantial savings in operational expenses.
Mobile scanning technology allows customers to dictate their shopping experience and gives retailers real-time big data insights. But there is a challenge: retailers must now figure out how to manage shrinkage, which may increase following widespread Scan & Go roll-out.