It’s no surprise that the retail industry is changing pretty quickly, and it all started with Amazon Go (Cashierless convenience store in Seattle). As time has passed, there are now, more stores, including wholesale, getting into this kind of concept. The most recent and first one for me to experience is Sam’s Club Scan & Go store.
Opened in Dallas in November, the store currently only sells grocery, to begin with. They plan to first test this with grocery and expand with other items besides grocery later (I am not aware of when).
The store location is a little far for me (considering I live in a suburb rather than uptown Dallas), but the outside of the store is different than any other Sam’s Club store location. The store is called “Sam’s Club Now” and much more modern looking and looks much smaller than the other stores.
The interior of the store is cleaner and well managed. The aisles had been laid out clearly and I was easily able to navigate around the store.
As soon as I entered the entered, I was greeted by the store associates asking if I had been there before and if I was a member.
Since I was never a Sam’s Club member and never been to the store, they helped me set up my account, which took a bit of time knowing the amount of information needed, but overall, I was impressed by the knowledge of the associate who helped me get set up and how to get started with the process of scan & go.
This is where the real fun begins. To get started with shopping, all I had to do was download Sam’s Club scan and go app on my phone, sign in (if already a member with card) and start shopping.
I simply had to scan UPC codes on items, pay for them directly from my smartphone anywhere in the club, and once I was done shopping, I just had to show my digital receipt (in the form of QR code) to an associate on the way out. It was that simple.
At the end of completing the order, I was also presented with the option to provide feedback on the app (powered by a third-party tool), which was quite interesting and relevant on the timing of when it showed.
SHOPPING MADE FUN
Here’s the fun part, not just for adults, but also for kids! As parents, we all know how grocery shopping can be for kids. To make it interesting, the associate on seeing my two kids (aged 2.5 yrs and 12.5 yrs), handed over my older one an iPad with instructions on how to take part in a quest that would have to be completed with the help of AR.
The task simply was to find posters spread out in different aisles and areas of the store, scan them with the iPad and see them come to life.
On completing the quest, getting verified on completion, the associates handed over a small surprise in the form a pin as a gift for completing the quest. My younger one left happy as she got to get one too even though she didn’t do anything. But, nonetheless, they had ample fun shopping!
What the most appealing and surprising experience for my kids was seeing the carts turn into fun live characters and elements (dragons, ship, etc.), on completing each level of the quest.
Purely from an experience standpoint, I can definitely say it was a great one, with no issues getting set up or even scanning the items. Considering this experience with grocery, I wonder how interesting it would be shopping without having to stand in line in other retail markets as well!