Arguably the worst part of shopping is waiting in long checkout lines. Of course you could shop online, but sometimes you just want to try on that dress first to see how it looks or pick out the ripest-looking apple.
Now Walmart is testing a new app that eliminates checkout lanes, registers and cashiers at some brick-and-mortar stores. Customers are able to scan and pay for their items, all from their smartphone or other handheld device. You simply scan the barcode of each item on your phone or with a handheld device provided by the store as you shop.
At the end of your shopping trip, you have the option to then physically pay at a self-checkout register (but skip all the scanning), or you can even register a credit card with the app so you can pay right from your phone. Then you simply show the receipt on your phone to an employee on the way out to show that you’ve paid.
Walmart’s Scan & Go can already be used in stores in the southern United States, including Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky.
Plus, they’ve been letting Sam’s Club customers use the app for a while now.
Walmart initially tested a version of the technology back in 2012, but the company says it failed because customers found it too confusing. Now, the say they’ve worked out all the kinks and that the app is user-friendly.
“It makes shopping easier because you can actually see what your total is before getting up to the register,” Mattie Shepherd told The Waxahachie Daily Light. “You can scan, and it’ll show your purchases of everything and then what your total is, so you can keep track of what you’re spending and I think that’s cool.”
One thing worth noting about the new app is that it may not always save you time. Consider every little item you put in your shopping cart. Now imagine getting out your phone, opening the app and scanning the item’s barcode. It makes checkout a breeze, but can make the actual shopping process a little more tedious. But hey, at least you don’t have to make awkward small talk with a cashier!