- 7-Eleven has rolled out a mobile self-checkout feature called Scan & Pay at 14 of its stores in Dallas, Texas, according to a company release. If the pilot is successful, 7-Eleven plans to expand the program to additional cities next year.
- Shoppers can use the 7-Eleven app to scan their own products and check out using a smartphone without having to wait in line. Customers who have the app and are in the vicinity of a self-checkout enabled store will receive a notification.
- Once customers have the products in their cart they can checkout using Apple Pay, Google Pay, debit or credit card. Once the customer pays, they will scan a QR code at the Scan & Pay confirmation station.
As the largest convenience store chain in America, 7-Eleven’s pilot of a cashierless checkout was inevitable as the technology continues to expand and competition from Amazon Go heats up.
Convenience stores have evolved in significant ways — upgrading their food assortment, most notably — and the growth of Amazon Go will spur even further changes. That store, which has been nicknamed the high-tech 7-Eleven, has six locations in five cities and is reportedly planning 3,000 stores across the nation in the next few years. The expansion would hit convenience stores like 7-Eleven very hard.
Research, meanwhile, has found that skip-checkout technology results in higher sales and repeat customers. Still, for most retailers the technology remains an option for customers rather than a viable replacement for the traditional front-end experience.
Grocery retailers from Kroger to Fairway have introduced mobile checkout technology in their stores, while Sam’s Club recently announced the debut of its high-tech Amazon Go competitor, Sam’s Club Now, in Dallas. In preparation for the holidays, Target and Walmart have also rolled out mobile checkout technology, allowing customers to check out with handheld-toting employees in store aisles.
Earlier this year, 7-Eleven introduced a home delivery program called 7Now in select cities. The chain has also rolled out augmented reality apps and offered Amazon lockers at stores, showing it's game for experimenting with technology.
Given the abundance of competitive threats, 7-Eleven should figure out a way to quickly scale Scan & Pay, or a similar program. In addition to steeling for a potential Amazon Go invasion, 7-Eleven could potentially steal grab-and-go sales from local grocery stores. If successful, this technology could be adopted by more convenience store chains and eventually change the c-store format for good.