Some of the features being developed at Sam's Club Now are destined for prime time
“We wanted people to be able to interface with new technologies and we are taking a risk knowing that some of them may not work,” Furner said. “It’s okay to fail fast. What’s not okay is to just keep failing at the same thing over and over again.”
Directionally speaking, it is clear to see that some of the features being developed at Now are destined for prime time because they fit well with the low operating cost model of the warehouse club. For example, the Now club employs a different labor model, even though the building has about the same number of people per square foot as a typical 135,000-sq.-ft. building.
The big difference is the tasks being performed by workers in a club that is only shoppable by using the feature rich Sam’s app. For example, the checkout process is virtually frictionless because members use the Scan & Go feature of the app, developed two years ago, which enables them to skip the traditional checkout and pay by having a code scanned as the leave the building because they have already scanned items that were place in their cart.
“We are trying to make it as self-serve as possible with assistance when needed,” Furner said. “Everyone except for one person works on the floor so we have more people facing our members. There is a job called the member host, which is different than the cashier, because you are not waiting for a member to walk up with a cart, but instead intercepting them up front to make sure they are set up with the app.”