Wal-Mart is deploying new Scan & Go technology that allows shoppers to purchase items in-store without waiting in a line or using a register. Shoppers scan the barcodes on items they're purchasing and click a button on their smartphones to pay. When exiting the store, they show a digital receipt to the store greeter. And those shoppers who don’t want to link a credit card to their mobile phone can still use Scan & Go, they just show the totaled barcode to a cashier and pay without going through the whole checkout process. More than a dozen stores in Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky are deploying the technology.
Total Retail’s Take: Wal-Mart is saying loud and clear to Amazon.com that competing with the big-box retailer in-store will be no easy feat. The battleground has extended from online to in-store. Amazon implemented a similar in-store checkout technology, Amazon Go, in its grocery stores. Amazon Go stores rely on sensors and computer vision to connect items shoppers are purchasing to their Amazon accounts. An Amazon Go store in Seattle was scheduled to open to the public earlier this year, however, the company is still working out some technical issues, so it remains in beta.