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Walmart Testing iPhone-Based Self-Checkout System for Retail Stores

Reuters reports that retail giant Walmart is currently testing a new "Scan & Go" service at one Arkansas store that allows iPhone users to scan items with their device as they shop and then proceed to a self-checkout station on their way out of the store to complete their purchase. The report points to a survey Walmart is using to gather feedback on the initiative.
We are conducting a study to assess the usability of the Walmart iPhone app's new Scan & Go feature. Scan & Go enables you to scan products with your phone and bag them while shopping in a Walmart retail store, and then use the Self-Checkout at the front of the store. This survey includes questions to help us determine if you qualify for an interview session. We are simply trying to get feedback from real people on whether this new system is user-friendly, and we think you will find participating in this study fun!

Walmart's test sessions were held earlier this week, with participants being compensated with a $100 payment and a $25 Walmart gift card for the one-hour sessions.

Details on how exactly the purchasing process works remain scant, but allowing users to scan their entire orders before approaching the checkout stand could in many cases result in significant time savings during busy shopping periods.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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27 months ago
Sounds like the perfect feature to deploy to a customer base with below average intelligence and technical inclination.
Rating: 30 Votes
27 months ago
Sounds like Wally World is going to have an increase in shoplifted item percentages.
Rating: 28 Votes
27 months ago

Sounds like Wally World is going to have an increase in shoplifted item percentages.


you mean I don't have to do this anymore?

Rating: 15 Votes
27 months ago
it could be a good thing. That is until someone gets arrested for stealing a 1 dollar item, because they forgot to press "PAY NOW". ;)
Rating: 12 Votes
27 months ago
Our grocery store already does this with custom scanners so I assume it would work exactly the same with an iPhone as the scanner.

Not really a complicated difference.

(But don't let real-world examples stop MR posters from telling you why this couldn't work. By all means, carry on. )
Rating: 12 Votes
27 months ago

How many of those people can afford iPhones in the first place though?

I have no doubts that if such a system is put into place that theft/ shoplifting/ 'I-thought-I-paid-for-it's' will increase exponentially and cause problems. But given Wal-Marts clientele, I think a majority will be 'iPhoned' out from the get go.


apple snobbyism

i went to buy something at wal mart a few weeks back. same kind of stuff as every other store except cheaper a lot of times.

i needed a generic windshield mount for my iphone and a car charge cable
Rating: 11 Votes
27 months ago

Sounds like the perfect feature to deploy to a customer base with below average intelligence and technical inclination.


How many of those people can afford iPhones in the first place though?

I have no doubts that if such a system is put into place that theft/ shoplifting/ 'I-thought-I-paid-for-it's' will increase exponentially and cause problems. But given Wal-Marts clientele, I think a majority will be 'iPhoned' out from the get go.
Rating: 6 Votes
27 months ago
I love this idea!

It pisses me off that Walmart has 40 checkouts, and only 5 of them are ever staffed!

Plus, the self-checkouts are annoying to use because they constantly tell you to bag stuff, but yet there isn't enough room on the scales to put more stuff! Then you have to push the 'Do not bag item' button constantly, and get it approved by the person working the machines. It takes forever.
Rating: 6 Votes
27 months ago

I love this idea!

It pisses me off that Walmart has 40 checkouts, and only 5 of them are ever staffed!

Plus, the self-checkouts are annoying to use because they constantly tell you to bag stuff, but yet there isn't enough room on the scales to put more stuff! Then you have to push the 'Do not bag item' button constantly, and get it approved by the person working the machines. It takes forever.


Why shop there?

I haven't shopped there in years. I would rather drive 10 more miles and pay more then buy from them
Rating: 5 Votes
27 months ago

I am "voting with my dollars". I'm voting that I would prefer to spend less money, and save more for future investment in my own personal future and my families future. You want social and economic change? That's at the voting booth, not the cash register.

You see two items on eBay of the same description and quality, one is $50, the other is $75. Which are you going to buy?

You see two items on Amazon, both new, one is priced at $20, the other is priced at $25. Which are you going to buy?

You see two cars, identical by all appearances, one is $20,000 and the other is $25,000. Which are you going to buy?


That's not what I'm stating or how it works. Those are items, not corporations. Those are small pictures, this is big picture.

This is an over-simplification of a much more complex web of corporate spending allowed by the Justice Roberts 5-4 ruling allowing corporations to provide unlimited financial support to any politician or political figure they wish, thereby placing divested corporate interests even further into our government (such as oil companies dictating foreign policy through lobbyists and politicians they support(ed)). By spending your money in Walmart you're agreeing with their "business strategies" that have put hundreds of American corporations out of business, or forced many (such as Rubbermaid) to produce their product in China or they pull it, then opening a Walmart in cities Rubbermaid and other businesses used to employ with larger salaries, benefits, etc. for minimum wage thereby systematically resulting in an overall lower standard of living as people earn less, work more and are educated at lower and lower rates by a lack of federal and state funding and a lack of financial resources to afford that college fund you mentioned.

It's fantastic that Samuel Moore Walton was able to grow Walmart into a successful business. However, just like governments, corporations can run unchecked and thus begin dictating social policy and structure. Walmart is able to supply "cheaper" goods due to their capital; they can buy 1,000,000 pens at $.20/pen in bulk versus a small business who can only afford 1,000 pens at $.50/pen. Now, Walmart claims to save you money. As Ronald Reagan stated, "Trust, but verify". Many have shown that Walmart doesn't actually save enough long term in a person's annual income as they may believe. It's a great marketing tool, but a dangerous one.

If this continues, just as "Ma Bell", Walmart may dictate pricing. By putting competition out of business, Walmart has already established a monopoly of sorts in small towns where other stores are not available (such as another commenter stated in Vermont). In those area's in which only Walmart sells a particular good, they can dictate the price on that good and have been shown to charge more than in another city/area which has local competition (even online this has been demonstrated). Again, online isn't an option for many in these area's. As Walmart grows, more businesses close and soon Walmart, such as Ma Bell, can declare a monopoly. Those "savings" are now gone as Walmart can, and has, increased the prices on goods only they provide. Soon, Walmart, BestBuy, Sam's Club - these "box stores" will dictate what you pay. Interesting how this works.

As you stated, it's all cyclical and intertwined. What seems simple is far from it. Just as government, there needs to be a checks and balances system in place for businesses. Small and large businesses should co-exist, they will keep each other in check. The less competition, the less choice for consumers, the more opportunity for monopolies and businesses to dictate their prices and profit margins (and also, some businesses may get together and dictate pricing, such as what some power companies did and Apple, with cohesions in jacking up kw/hr pricing, it's a 'win/win"). It may seem as simple as spending less at a large corporation, but those pennies you save on a box of pencils goes into a system that has been established in dictating the lower quality of life we "accept" as the "cards we are dealt".

Re-read my comment(s), I truly mean no personal offense at all, honestly, I'm merely trying to help. :)
Rating: 4 Votes

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