Did Dollar General Just Figure Out Scan and Go?

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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As retailers try to speed up checkout for shoppers, many are experimenting with adding scan & go mobile apps to improve the customer experience.

Kroger is adding its new “Scan, Bag, Go” technology to 400 stores in 2018. Macy's will expand mobile checkout to most of its retail stores in 2018. And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Walmart cut the cord on its mobile-checkout program, Scan & Go, which it began expanding just earlier this year, due to lack of popularity.

Now Dollar General Corporation (DG) is giving the checkout technology a go with a 10 store pilot.  

The new DG go App, allows customers to use their phones to scan items as they shop and then skip the line by using the self-checkout. Not only does the app save customers time, but it also allows them to see a running total of their baskets.

The twist is, as they scan each item, they receive alerts to potential savings on the items they are purchasing.

"All of this makes staying on budget easier," said DG CEO Todd Vasos.

The DG go App is live in the The Apple App store and Google Play Store and DG intends to roll it out to another 100 stores in its second quarter of 2018. The pilot is currently available in select stores in the Greater Nashville area.

"As we continue to develop this app, we intend to integrate more functionality to deliver an even more personalized shopping experience," said Vasos. "We are excited about this new technology and look forward to sharing updates as the year progresses."

Here's how it works:

  • Shoppers scan products as they add them to their cart or basket
  • Their DGDC clipped coupons will be applied automatically and DG will alert them of any additional discounts or promotions
  • Shoppers will see a running total and pay directly in the app using the payment method they've added
  • Shoppers then scan the QR code that appears on their screen at the dedicated DG GO! checkout tablet at the front of the store
  • They bag the items and go, while their receipt is immediately available in the app and will also be sent via email

One review of the app by Sarah Barber read: "I love being able to scan everything as I shop - it really helps with budgeting and makes it quicker to checkout. If you have your own reusable bags, you can even bag as you go! Can't wait to see it expanded to more stores."

In addition to the DG go App, DG is pushing forward with its other digital initiatives, including digital coupons and personalized marketing campaigns.

DG says its customers who more frequently engaged with DG's digital tools tend to checkout with average baskets about twice as large as its chain wide average. Currently, the retailer has more than 12 million subscriber accounts.

"With our unique real estate footprint and model of value and convenience, we believe we own the last mile. As such, we have an opportunity to use our understanding of our customers' digital shopping behavior to create an even better in store experience and develop online tools that will help them save time and money," said Vasos.