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Wegmans stops self-checkout app after too much shoplifting

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Wegmans says shoppers were big fans of the self-checkout app that allowed them to scan groceries while shopping and pay with a quick swipe of the phone at the end, and now we may know a reason why. The supermarket chain has announced that the app, called Scan, will be discontinued due to an unexpected amount of product loss.

“Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state,” it said in an email to customers, adding: “We have learned a lot and we will continue to introduce new ones. digital solutions to streamline your shopping experience for the future.”

The Scan app was part of how Wegmans adapted in 2020 to fears about the spread of COVID-19 and the pandemic staff shortage. It gave shoppers a contactless option to do their shopping, and at the back, it significantly shortened checkout lines. Users scanned each new item and placed it in their shopping cart as they strolled through the store. At the end, they simply scanned a barcode at the self-checkout register, which gave them the total of their cart.

Self-checkout is now old-fashioned at all kinds of supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies. Surveys show that consumers’ relationship with it is a very love-hate relationship, with many presumably enjoying the convenience of walking in and out of stores without having to talk to anyone, but getting annoyed when it takes five minutes to get a product. clerk so they can buy a six-pack of beer — not to mention when the computer inevitably insists there are unpurchased items in the storage area.

Amazon has separately pioneered what it calls Just Walk Out Technologyin which shoppers are effectively tracked from the moment they enter by a network of cameras and sensors that monitor every item they place in their shopping cart (or even stop and look at). With Just Walk Out, customers can just walk out when they’re done shopping, and Amazon will automatically charge them for everything they’ve grabbed.

However, the Wegmans Scan system differed from the two in that it relied on the shopper to accurately and faithfully capture all products added to the shopping cart.

Wegmans’s system was less invasive than Amazon’s, but perhaps at the expense of the chain. It acknowledged that users had said “they love the app and the convenience it offers.” How much ‘shrinkage’ had occurred was not stated, as industry theft and waste are euphemistically called. Facts has shown The shrinkage for retail businesses (due to theft and theft) is almost twice as high in self-service lanes as in traditional checkout lanes.

Wegmans also didn’t say whether it has any way of knowing whether the losses were items that customers intentionally stole, or items they accidentally forgot to scan — this isn’t muscle memory for most grocery stores, after all.

To apologize for the inconvenience, Wegmans emailed frequent app users a $20 coupon. The statement also states that the app is being modified to better meet the needs of our customers and businesses. That’s probably because this dam has burst, even though shopkeepers and shoppers seem more resigned than excited by this fate. (A Wall Street Journal headline from last week: “There will be more self-checkout, no matter how much you hate it.”)

Instacart even announced today that it is delving deeper into the physical world by introducing a range of new smart shopping features, londonbusinessblog.com these technological advancements “solve real consumer problems that we all face.” One feature sounds almost identical to Wegmans’ earlier app: Scan & Pay, which allows shoppers to scan their groceries as they shop and then pay with their mobile phone, so they don’t have to wait in line.

The other big feature is a new line of smart carts that sound like what Wegmans probably to wish it had done: “Caper Carts” are basically normal shopping carts tricked with touchscreens, scales and sensors. Customers return their items, which are measured, weighed and registered, then pay using the tablet connected directly to the handle of their shopping cart. They never scan anything manually.

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