One of the most tedious parts of grocery shopping nowadays is waiting in long lines, whether you're queuing at checkout registers, customer service desks, or near the exit at stores that check shoppers' receipts as they leave. Luckily for Sam's Club shoppers, a major change is coming to warehouses, which will eliminate one type of line that's become a big "pain point" in the shopping experience.
Sam's Club announced on Jan. 9 that it is testing exciting new technology that automatically verifies whether a member has paid for all the items in their cart as they're leaving the store. For years, Sam's Club shoppers had to have an employee check their receipts for any discrepancies before they could leave. This often resulted in congestion and lines at the exit doors, especially during busy times of the day. (Rival warehouse club Costco has a similar receipt-checking policy.)
"Before this technology, members were slowed by queuing at the club's exit area to have Sam's Club exit greeters review receipts," Sam's Club noted in the announcement. "Members continue to say they want a faster and more convenient shopping experience and consistently rated the wait times at the exit – especially during busy periods – as a pain point in the shopping experience."
After a Sam's Club member pays for their groceries at checkout or with Scan & Go, computer vision and digital technology in the exit area will take images of their cart to verify that all items have been paid for. Not only will this help shoppers get out the door faster, but it will also allow exit greeters to focus more on assisting shoppers.
The cart-checking technology can give Sam's Club shoppers an especially speedy shopping experience when used in conjunction with Scan & Go. Sam's Club's Scan & Go service allows shoppers to scan and pay for products through the app so they can skip the checkout lines entirely. Just imagine filling up your cart with groceries, paying quickly with your phone, and then walking out of the store without having to deal with any lines whatsoever.
Sam's Club is currently testing the technology at 10 pilot locations. The retailer plans to continue enhancing the technology in early 2024 and expand it rapidly to nearly 600 clubs by the end of the year. Sam's Club didn't say which locations are getting the new feature, so keep an eye out just in case it arrives at a store near you in the near future.
Walmart, which owns Sam's Club, is also making strides in the technology side of its business. The retailer announced on Jan. 9 that it is expanding drone deliveries to 1.8 million additional households in the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex. This means that up to 75% of the Dallas-Fort Worth population will have access to drone deliveries in 30 minutes or less.