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Sam’s Club Files Patent for Scan & Go Technology

Retailer's members will begin testing the new app this spring
Photographs courtesy of Sam's Club

Walmart's Sam’s Club division has developed what it describes as "next-level" scan and go technology in its Dallas-based innovation lab, Sam’s Club Now. The new scanning technology will enable members to recognize products from any angle without requiring them to search for a barcode on the package. 

The membership warehouse club retailer has filed a patent for its new mobile-first shopping experience and will soon allow members to test it beginning this spring using the Sam’s Club Now app.

In a blog post on Sam's Club's website, Eddie Garcia, VP of product and member experience, said that the retailer anticipates incorporating the same technology, which uses computer vision and machine learning, for associates to use and aims to improve productivity and make it easier to serve members.

“Since launching our Scan & Go app two years ago, we’ve seen its popularity continue to increase," said Garcia, noting that "more than 90% of members who try Scan & Go use it again on their next trip, and regular use is up 40% this year."

While the Scan & Go function is available nationwide to all members, this new scanning technology will only be tested in the Dallas-based innovation lab and club, Sam’s Club Now.

sams app mobile

Other technology and services being tested at Sam’s Club Now include: 

  • Smart shopping lists curated from intuitive technology that combines machine learning and purchase data to auto-fill a member’s shopping list which will enable them to easily add or remove things; as items are scanned the list will automatically update and move the item to their mobile basket. 
  • Wayfinding and navigation that uses voice search capabilities combined with new wayfinding and navigation features, which will trigger a pop-up map to direct members to what they need. Down the road, the retailer will expand it with beacon technology and a member’s smart shopping list to map the best route through the club.
  • Augmented reality: Sam's will bring items to life in the club by sharing new ways to use them and will integrate stories that highlight cool features, including how items are sourced. 
  • One-hour Club Pickup: Members can place and pickup an order within an hour using the app.

Garcia and Sam's Club previewed the new technology at the ongoing ShopTalk event this week in Las Vegas.

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