The days of going to a small, local market in your neighborhood and buying a few items from the grocer you’ve known for years are all but gone. These days, most people seem to prefer larger product selections, volume pricing, and convenience above the virtues of a traditional, personalized experience. Perhaps retailers can provide all those newer values and yet still personalize the experience on some level. Technology, surprisingly, may provide the answer.
For years, retailers have had to adjust to the fact that many people want to make purchases from their laptops, tablets, and mobile phones rather than walking into a store. This led to all kinds of new virtual shopping carts and electronic coupons, but sometimes it’s still easier to pop into a store on the way home from work, than to go online and wait for items to ship. This may be particularly true when it comes to groceries.
In an effort to stay on top of widely varying preferences and shopping trends, Grand Rapids-based Meijer has already rolled out curbside pickup and home delivery programs. Now they are adding a new streamlined checkout program that they call “Shop & Scan” to their customers. This latest initiative enables users to actually scan bar codes on items, and bag them, while they shop, significantly decreasing checkout time.
“Shop & Scan will make the Meijer experience dramatically faster and more convenient for our customers,” said Terry Ledbetter, Chief Information Officer for Meijer.
The Shop & Scan technology works with Meijer’s popular mPerks program via a free app that customers can download. Once a customer has completed their shopping, they simply scan their phone at a self-checkout lane and pay, making the checkout experience quick and easy. All Meijer Apps can be found by searching for “Meijer” in the Apple or Android app stores.
Meijer launched the initial pilot of the Shop & Scan service in November at stores in Standale, Rockford, Walker, Grandville, Jenison, and two stores in Holland. Since then, more than 12,000 Meijer customers have downloaded the app. The program is scheduled to be available in other Meijer stores in the coming weeks and in all 235 Meijer stores by the end of the summer.