Woolworths has decided to extend its experiment with a form of scan and go technology, originally slated to begin and end in its Double Bay store and now extended to other locations around Sydney. The fact that it’s been a success should come as no surprise – the concept has been tested and proved in the US, but Woolworths has gone for a somewhat watered down version.
The functionality in the original, US model was simple – you go into the store with a membership attached to your phone. You scan products that you like and the payment is made automatically when you leave the store. Leave with nothing? No action required.
The Woolworths model is different. You sign up with your rewards card and scan products around the store which you then put straight into your bag – so far so good – but there is then a dedicated scanning line where you have to finalise your transaction…which you have already finalised on your phone. The payment is completed before you leave the store, then you have to scan your barcode on the screen of the phone as some sort of ‘safety measure.
This means that many customers are having to line up to scan their barcodes, despite having already paid – create another line of shoppers which will only get worse as the technology catches on.
In all, it’s not a bad attempt, but the spirit of the technology is somewhat lost when more steps are added.