Sam's Club plans to test new, faster Scan & Go mobile checkout technology in its Sam's Club Now store in Dallas this spring, according to a corporate blog post from Eddie Garcia, vice president of product and member experience for the chain.
The previous Scan & Go method required shoppers to hold a mobile app-based barcode scanner directly over an item's barcode until the app showed the price had been recorded. The new technology requires shoppers only to hover their device over the item, without having to directly scan the barcode.
Sam's Club developed the new technology and has filed a patent for it. The wholesale club will also install the tech on in-store devices used by its store associates.
Amazon gets a lot of credit for pioneering cashierless checkout technology, but a few months before the e-commerce giant announced Amazon Go, Sam's Club put its own Scan & Go mobile checkout technology for use in all of its stores.
More recently, the wholesale club unveiled Sam's Club Now, a concept store in Dallas where the company tests new technology innovations. The retailer has already worked on augmented reality, wayfinding and navigation, and a one-hour Club Pickup service, according to the company blog post.
Now, it's set to pilot a more advanced version of Scan & Go that utilizes computer vision and machine learning. A video embedded in the blog post shows how the new technology may cut several seconds from the scanning process. When the object of mobile checkout is to completely remove friction from the checkout process, every second counts.
It's unclear clear how soon the tech might be available for use outside the Dallas store.
Meanwhile, Sam's Club continues to innovate. The company said that it will "experiment with the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to help manage member shopping lists," following the Scan & Go testing.