Sam’s Club claims 90% reuse rate for contactless payment
With the increase in online grocery shopping brought on by the pandemic, consumers have grown accustomed to controlling their shopping journey. The digital shopping experience is, after all, completely self-guided. Now, with the return of traditional grocery store shopping, many consumers are more than ever noticing how much of the experience is left to other people, relying on associates for inventory and lengthy information. Waiting lines. for cashiers to ring their items. Major retailers are finding ways to put the experience back into the hands of buyers, as they expect.
For example, Sam’s Club, the chain of members-only warehouse clubs at Walmart, recently announced that it has a scan and shipping feature in three of its locations. The feature allows shoppers to scan items in stores from their mobile devices for delivery to their homes within the next business days. Through this functionality, the brand aims to stay at the forefront of the self-service boom.
“I think it’s a number of factors that drive the self-service… I think it’s contactless, it’s the convenience factor, he doesn’t want to have to walk into the club,” said Tim Simmons, senior vice president and product manager at Sam’s Club. Karen Webster in an interview. “In terms of destination, I really think we’re at the forefront of self-service with Scan & Go and Scan & Ship … I can’t think of an easier way to do self-service. “
At this point, the Scan & Ship option builds on the company’s success with its Scan & Go feature, which allows shoppers to self-check as they move around the store, scanning products on their mobile devices. In Walmart’s last quarter, Sam’s Club saw a 43.5% year-over-year increase in the adoption rate of the feature, and those who try it have a 90% chance of it. use again.
Where are you hurt?
The idea for the Scan & Ship feature arose from an innovation meeting where employees brainstorm solutions for common issues along the buying journey.
“We always try to put our members at the center of everything and then understand this journey from start to finish,” Simmons said. “As we look at this, do some research and get the opinions of our members, or see things that frustrate them… we see opportunities. “
The company has identified that when a consumer sees a large item in the store that they would like to purchase but cannot fit in their car, it creates a problem. By integrating its mobile application scanning technology with its direct-to-home order fulfillment capability, the retailer is able to create a more seamless experience.
Now, during the pilot testing phase, the company is taking notes not only on how well the technology works, but also on how to integrate the functionality into the buying journey. Simmons explained, “Now that we have this MVP product, and we have it at all three clubs, of course we’re taking a close look at the technology… but we’re also looking broadly at whether [members] find it OK. Does signage work? Do they understand what we are telling them they can do here? “
I can’t touch this
Part of the appeal of these self-service features is that they remove points of contact with other people from the experience. As the conditions that led to the rise of contactless – the pervasive fear of catching COVID-19 from other people – have subsided, Simmons predicts that the demand for contactless solutions will persist into the future.
“I think contactless will be around for a while,” he said. “I think we’ve all been trained by now to be very careful about what we touch, and if we touch things, to make sure we wash our hands immediately.”
With the rise of contactless has come a desire to enter and exit stores more quickly. In addition to speeding up checkout – both with self-service tools and updates to traditional payment channels – Sam’s Club is also looking to speed up the in-store experience with item finder tools.
“In our research, if members say they could find their article easily, their Net Promoter Score goes up. If they’re having trouble with that, it goes down, ”Simmons said. “So we have a number of initiatives that we are looking at to help members find their articles.”
What’s in store
In building this integrated omnichannel shopping journey, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is inventory – real-time tracking, ensuring that every part of the supply chain stays informed with up-to-date information, predicting the changes and keeping the consumer in the loop.
“I think there is huge potential for AI, robotics, and computer vision around inventory accuracy,” Simmons said. “Traditionally, understanding inventory and inventory reporting is still news yesterday, so we are already late. “
He added that as Sam’s Club tries out new cutting edge technologies, the goal is to “become more real-time or even predictive” when it comes to meeting customer demand and keep buyers informed of out-of-stock items.
While these innovations are on the way, the near-term technological goal is to make the Scan & Ship functionality as user-friendly as possible for buyers as it is deployed to more locations, with the goal of meeting expectations. growing numbers of consumers when it comes to tools that make the in-store experience as smooth as possible.
“I believe these things will always follow the path of least resistance for the member,” Simmons said. “So if it’s easier for a member to pick up a phone, scan QR codes and verify, I think that’s the future.”