- Wegmans has launched its new SCAN mobile app at a Rochester, New York store location following a successful trial with employees, according to a company press release. The free tool allows shoppers to scan and bag their groceries as they shop before paying at a self-checkout kiosk.
- Customers can download the Wegmans SCAN app for iOS or Android. To use it, they must connect to the store's WiFi and sign in with a Shoppers Club account. Any digital coupons and Shoppers Club discounts will be added automatically.
- If the pilot at the Rochester store is successful, Wegmans will launch a phased rollout of the program to some of the other 99 stores that it operates on the East Coast.
When it comes to food shopping, technology-driven convenience is a growing demand among customers. Nearly half of grocery retailers list in-store mobile experience as a major area of focus in their ongoing efforts to keep customers happy. The option to skip the checkout line is appealing to shoppers, and grocers are working to find a solution, particularly after Amazon debuted just-walk-out technology in its Go stores.
Several retailers have already piloted scan-and-go technology including Kroger, which offers the service at 400 stores. Sam's Club also offers the feature in Dallas, and recently announced a test of faster scan-and-go technology utilizing computer vision. More recently, Meijer launched Shop & Scan at 23 stores in the Chicago metro area after a successful pilot at 54 stores throughout Michigan. The retailer reported more than 1 million mobile app downloads since the app launched in 2018, and that 80% of people who downloaded the app used it more than once.
The technology is not without its challenges. Big-box retailer Walmart's decision to scrap its scan-and-go service after its pilot last year shows the need for retailers to work through some kinks and further test the technology. There’s also the issue of shoppers being required to use their own smartphones, which vary in their capabilities. Sam’s Club and a few other retailers opted for handheld scanning devices that are provided in-store, which makes it accessible for people without the latest smartphones.
Wegmans' focus on convenience and a tech-driven customer experience can be seen through its most recent initiatives including its Meals 2Go food delivery service, which will roll out to 40 stores by the end of 2019. Just like its SCAN app, Meals 2Go is an app-based service that offers food delivery for some of the retailer's well-known prepared food items like subs, pizza, wings and sushi. The company has also set a date for the opening of its highly anticipated Brooklyn store, which will open its doors in October of this year.