Sam’s Club Progresses Its Scan & Go App

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Sam’s Club is piloting new Scan & Go technology via a pilot program called Scan & Ship and is allowing members nationwide to demo the Scan & Go feature without the commitment of downloading the Sam’s Club app onto their devices.

The new Scan & Ship tech is integrated into the retailer’s Scan & Go feature within the Sam’s Club app and will allow Sam’s Club members to place direct-to-home orders in the aisle by scanning merchandise included in the program.

a group of people standing in a room

Scan & Ship offers shoppers an in-store solution for large, hard to transport items, such as playsets, patio furniture, mattresses, large TVs, and more. It also gives members an opportunity to select alternate colors and sizes unavailable in the club. Scan & Ship allows the member to buy it and have it delivered, usually within three to five business days, with one digital transaction.

“Scan & Ship is the result of an internal program we’re really proud of called the Innovation Jam, which encourages associates to collaborate and develop prospective retail technology solutions during the two-day, sprint-like event,” said Vinod Bidarkoppa, SVP and chief technology officer, Sam’s Club. “Scan & Go has been such a success story for us and Scan & Ship is a fantastic extension to all of the great innovation we already have in place.”

Currently, three locations are participating in the pilot, including Sam’s Club Now, Sam’s Club’s Dallas-based innovation lab, to allow the business to gather feedback and modify functionality within the app before scaling to additional locations.

The new feature demonstrates opportunities for the Sam’s Club app to mature and evolve alongside member shopping behaviors, the retailer said.

“We challenge ourselves every day to develop and execute convenient solutions that disrupt the warehouse model and provide additional value to our members,” said Tim Simmons, SVP and chief product officer at Sam’s Club. “Just like Scan & Go, Scan & Ship gives members greater control of their shopping experience. It’s exciting to see our team develop and launch the Scan & Ship pilot so quickly, and its got great potential to deliver the ultimate omnichannel member experience across our entire chain.”

The Sam’s Club app experienced tremendous growth last year with 9.6 million downloads, according to AppTopia, almost twice as many downloads as competitor apps, and it boasts a 4.9 app store rating. Positive user reviews indicated that many members enjoyed the Scan & Go feature, which expanded to all Sam’s Club fuel stations in 2020 and saw a 43.5% adoption rate increase year-over-year in Q1.

In addition to piloting Scan & Ship, the retailer launched a new feature at all clubs in July that gives members who don’t currently have the Sam’s Club app an opportunity to demo the Scan & Go feature without the commitment of downloading the Sam’s Club app onto their devices using instant app software. The approach gives members the chance to initially try Scan & Go without taking up storage on their devices.

“We know that once our members use Scan & Go they love the convenience it provides and are 90% more likely to use it again, so our team worked to design a solution that gives members an opportunity to test drive the feature and experience the benefits firsthand,” Bidarkoppa added.

The feature uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and only requires scanning a QR code to begin use. The demo allows members to key in a payment option and skip the traditional checkout line. It can be used for purchases up to three times before a message prompts the members to download the Sam’s Club app to use Scan & Go.