Meijer now offers all Ohio customers the ability to shop and bag as they go with the expansion of its Shop & Scan mobile app. The cashierless checkout option allows customers to avoid lines and personalize their shopping visit. The Ohio expansion is part of the retailer’s plan to take the technology to all 235 stores. It currently is available in 179 stores in the Chicago metro area, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
To use, customers simply download the app to their mobile phones and scan the barcodes on products as they shop before scanning their phone at a self-checkout lane to finish the transaction and pay.
“We’re all challenged by time and busy schedules, so Shop & Scan allows customers the opportunity to truly be in control of their shopping trip, from the moment they walk in our stores to the minute they walk out,” said Tom Wilson, Meijer regional VP. “Customers are appreciative of the simplicity of scanning and bagging as they go because they can save time and avoid lines, speeding up their checkout experience.”
The app has been downloaded more than 1.1 million times, according to Wilson, with more than 80% of Meijer’s shoppers having used it.
The industry seems split on this type of technology. Amazon is going full force with its Amazon Go stores, planning to open 3,000 locations by 2021, while Walmart abandoned its scan-and-go app in 2018. The difference could be that Amazon’s approach is completely autonomous checkout, requiring no effort on the part of the consumer aside from actually picking up the products; the scan-and-go apps are simply another version of self-checkout, with a stop still needed at a register to pay.
Both technologies have their proponents—several new players in the market are making autonomous checkout more financially accessible for retailers, and more retailers are investing in the scan-and-go technology every day, it seems. They also have their detractors, with several municipalities and states such as Philadelphia and New Jersey outlawing cashless stores. So it will be interesting to see if the technological advances will end up reshaping how customers pay for groceries.