Lessons From Retail Lab Sam’s Club Now

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Lessons From Retail Lab Sam’s Club Now

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 11/25/2019
After undergoing testing in Sam’s Club Now, the retailer rolled out the ability for its members to buy alcohol using its Scan & Go mobile app to all clubs, where allowed legally.

A year after the opening of Sam’s Club Now, a live retail lab in Dallas, TX, the retailer reveals one test it trialed over the last year that worked out: mobile alcohol sales.

After undergoing testing in Sam’s Club Now, the retailer rolled out the ability for its members to buy alcohol using its Scan & Go mobile app to all clubs, where allowed legally. Scan & Go is proprietary technology, which allows its members to skip the checkout line by scanning items with their smartphones as they shop and then paying from their phones. Sam’s Club Now is unlike any other club because it’s a mobile-first shopping experience powered by the Sam’s Club Now app.

“The biggest reward is seeing the technology we work on here at Sam’s Club Now roll out to other clubs, whether it’s a larger scale test or full adoption,” said Sam’s Cub Now manager Lucy Moreno.

The retailer uses the tech lab to test everything from navigation, to electronic price signs, to augmented reality and more.

“One of the things I’m most excited about is Item Vision, which is patent-pending technology we developed for the Scan & Go app,” said Moreno. “It allows members to simply point their camera at a product and it will get added to their digital shopping cart. Members no longer have to search for a barcode and it makes their shopping experience faster.”

Sam’s Club technologists around the country, including engineers, designers and product managers, help to design tools and innovations for every aspect of the club. According to Moreno, her team regularly works directly with buyers, software engineers, members of the Club Pickup team and more to continue improving the apps and technology.

One of the biggest challenges over the last year for Moreno’s team of 42 associates was helping shoppers who are not familiar with the Sam’s Club Now concept.

“Our associates work diligently to talk to every member as they walk into the club to teach them about our store format and how to use the technology around the club.”