- H-E-B is expanding its scan-and-go checkout program to seven additional stores in Austin, according to CBS Austin. The initial launch came earlier this year at two stores in San Antonio.
- The technology works through H-E-B’s mobile app, H-E-B Go, which launched earlier this year. Customers scan products with their phone as they move through the store, then scan a QR code at a kiosk near the store exit and walk out the door. The app keeps a running total of how much the customer has spent while shopping. The transactions take about 10 to 15 seconds.
- The grocer says the technology will be available at even more stores in 2019.
H-E-B continues to invest heavily in technology to keep up with consumer demands and remain the top name in the fiercely competitive Texas market.
Research shows that skip checkout technology results in higher sales and repeat customers. Grocers are investing in scan-and-go technology for this reason, and because it fills a convenience need for tech-savvy shoppers. It's also less costly than self-checkout lanes due to the lack of special hardware, as Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce and content practice at SapientRazorfish, recently told Inc.
But while some customers are comfortable downloading an app, others aren’t. Goldberg says promoting adoption and making apps easy to use is something retailers need to work on.
Many other retailers besides H-E-B have scan-and-go technology, including Kroger and most recently, 7-Eleven. Earlier this year, Kroger announced it’s expanding its Scan, Bag, and Go technology to 400 stores in 2018. Just last week 7-Eleven, the largest convenience store in the nation and a Texas native, began piloting a mobile self-checkout feature in 14 of its stores.
H-E-B has been focused on improving its customer-facing technology. The grocer acquired Favor earlier this year — its first acquisition in 113 years — and has been integrating the tech-savvy on-demand delivery company into its operations. H-E-B is growing its lineup of online service, including curbside pickup and home delivery, and recently announced it will build an 81,000-square-foot digital headquarters in Austin next year.
While skip-checkout apps might not drive in new customers, experts say this technology is one of many steps that can help grocers boost customer engagement. For H-E-B, the new digital offering is all about keeping its already very loyal customers happy.