Wal-Mart enters the fray with a Mobile App – I am assuming that once NFC is more prevalent, it will serve to make the check out process even easier. The possibilities coming off this for Big Box and department store apps are endless, taking advantage of the capabilities of to do things like location-based advertizing, competitive comparisons, up-sell, wish-list, shopping list, etc. Canadian Tire, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, and Rona should all be paying attention – this is the sort of convenience that will draw more traffic to your stores. Wal-Mart’s Mobile Chief, Gibu Thomas, is quoted saying “Two weeks after Wal-Mart launched “in-store mode” with its app, roughly 60 percent of its shoppers opted to use it. Moreover, about 12 percent of Wal-Mart’s sales that come through its app are coming from customers who are inside a store and using “in-store mode.” Wired’s Marcus Wohlsen postulates that Wal-Mart is doing this to target Amazon. This is an interesting view-point, as this move seems to bridge both worlds with the convenience of shopping online, and competitive pricing, yet still retaining the tactile sense of being able to see, feel and try on the items before purchase, followed by the instant gratification of not having to pay shipping and wait for delivery.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Walmart(s WMT) is taking the idea of self-checkout to another, more mobile level. The retailer is bringing the “Scan & Go” feature of its Walmart iOS app to 200 stores in the U.S., according to a Reuters report Wednesday. The feature has been in use in some stores already, but at only about 70 near Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters and in Atlanta.
Scan & Go is only available on the iPhone,(s AAPL) though Walmart says an Android(s GOOG) version is “coming soon.”
Shoppers that have the Walmart app can select “in-store mode” and then scan each item’s barcode as they pick up items throughout the store. Users who have also created shopping lists or budgets within the app will see items scanned “checked off” on their lists. Once finished, they need only go to a self-checkout terminal, scan a barcode on the screen — which reads the items they have in their cart — and pay as usual by swiping a credit card.