TECHNOLOGY

Walmart pulls the plug on self-checkout app

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart customers can no longer use their smartphones to pay for their order and skip the checkout line.

Despite a successful rollout across its Sam’s Club warehouse chain, Walmart is discontinuing is Scan & Go mobile checkout app across its retail stores. The deciding factor was that too many customers found the process too cumbersome, especially when it came to bagging, weighing and then scanning items, including fresh fruit and vegetables, according to Bloomberg.

The technology was initially introduced in a few select markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Orlando, Florida, and Northwest Arkansas. In January, the discount giant announced that the app would be expanded to 100 stores in 33 states across the country. However, Walmart reported that the app was considered “a test,” according to Ragan Dickens, spokesman for Walmart.

“We’ve completed the test, and will use the information we learned from customers and associates as we continue to create a better, easier shopping experience in our stores and online,” he told Chain Store Age.

While the program will be pulled out of approximately 150 Walmart stores, the service will remain at Sam’s Club, where its usage doubled last year, Sam’s CEO John Furner said in the Bloomberg report.

One potential replacement is the company’s “Check Out With Me” service. The program outfits associates with mobile devices and Bluetooth printers that enable them to check out customers, and provide them with a receipt on the spot. The discount giant is testing mobile technology in its Lawn & Garden Centers across more than 350 stores.

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon reportedly dropping local third parties from fresh grocery program

BY CSA Staff

The Amazon Fresh program is phasing out its local partners.

Amazon’s Fresh service, which enables shoppers to order from a selection of fresh and frozen foods, and some general merchandise, is dropping local third-party vendors from the platform. The program closes on May 30, according to Business Insider.

Vendors were previously allowed to enroll in Amazon Fresh’s Local Market Seller initiative, which supplemented Fresh’s offerings with locally sourced items. Instead, the program will be more retail-based, with Amazon buying product wholesale and selling it to consumers, much like a typical store, the report said.

According to a source Business Insider only identified as “Freddy,” the change was disclosed in an email to vendor partners on May 11.

Amazon declined to comment on the business change.

To read more, click here.

 

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Study: In-app ads spur in-store customer spending

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Digital ad exposure, especially those found in retailer apps, is successfully driving store visits.

In-app ads were much more effective than Web ads in driving uplift last year, a key performance metric that helps advertisers understand the impact of ad exposure has on driving store visits. Specifically, in-app ads generated between 19% and 49% in sales uplift in 2017, compared to the 10% to 33% lift driven by web ads, according to “Trends and Benchmarks for Marketers Leveraging Location Data,” a report from location intelligence company Cuebiq.

In-app ads were clearly the most effective channel for driving in-store visits, compared to those customers who were not exposed. While web ads were not as effective, these campaigns generated additional lift when paired with in-app promotions, the study revealed.

When looking at where these ads made the biggest impact, general retail showed the highest median cost per incremental visit (CPIV) of $54.51, followed by home appliances at $52.29, and automotive at $36.64. In contrast, convenience stores ($1.81), finance ($4.48), and electronics ($8.70) all had median CPIVs below $10.

Overall, retail (which includes big-box, discount stores, pet stores, and sporting goods, among others) struggles to increase its footfall traffic from advertising, along with quick service restaurants and automotive (under 40%). Despite these challenges, the electronics category had the greatest lift, seeing gains between 40% and 94%. Yet, telco and financial services are booming through digital advertising (with traffic improvements ranging between 30% and 90%).

“Our analysis of hundreds of campaigns that ran in 2017 provides granular insight into what is really working for driving retail traffic and what the actual cost and ROI for marketers is,” said Antonio Tomarchio, CEO of Cuebiq. “This analysis is helping brands better understand and plan campaigns, while giving an unparalleled view into how they stack up against category averages and their competitors.”

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