No More Walmart Lines! Retailer Testing iPhone Scan And Pay Capabilities

Walmart is one of the cheapest (next to Target) retailers in the US, and the stores carry a wide array of items shoppers want and need, making it a frequent destination for American families that have run out of everything from toilet paper to milk to condoms and ammo.

But Walmart’s sometimes long lines are one of the most lamented aspects of the popular retail haven, as there are really few alternatives for you to pick up eggs, a showerhead, mulch and panties. So we wait, being as there is really no alternative to the long lines at America’s most popular shopping destination.

But Walmart has developed a novel way to address the issue of long lines at checkout and outsource a bit of its retail duties to tech-savvy shoppers. Self-checkouts have been a staple in certain stores for years, but Walmart has taken the concept a step further, utilizing a technology many shoppers carry in their pockets, or bras or purses.

Paul Weitzel of consulting firm Willard Bishop commented on Walmart’s push to rope customers in through their smartphones. Weitzel says that retailers in general are trying to harness available technology to make business more efficient:

“This is probably the fourth technology that we’ve tried between shopping carts, RFID chips, the handheld scanners and now we’ve got smartphones … We’re looking for ways to improve that experience as an industry.”

Weitzel also said:

“All of the effort is to speed your way through the checkout so that we can reduce costs and improve the shopping experience … With smartphones and improved technology we’re only going to see more of this.”

Would you welcome the opportunity to self-scan your items at Walmart using your phone, or does it seem like less service and more work for the customer?