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HomeGeneralSam’s Club Announces Plan to Implement AI Shopping Cart Scanners

Sam’s Club Announces Plan to Implement AI Shopping Cart Scanners

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Sam's Club
Source: The New York Times

The Walmart-owned warehouse club – Sam’s Club, has moved to redefine the retail industry. The retail giant announced its ambitious plan to implement AI-powered shopping cart scanners across its stores. This innovative technology promises to transform the shopping experience for customers and streamline operations.

No More Physical Receipts

Now, the store is innovating a technology that allows customers to exit the store seamlessly without pausing for receipt checks. Instead, the A.I. technology fixed within the shopping carts will automatically detect and register the items as customers leave.

A Grocery Store
Source: Mix 95.7 FM

“Eliminating even the few seconds it takes to scan a receipt at the exit door is well worth it,” Sam’s Club U.S.’s chief merchant, Megan Crozier, said in the company’s presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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The System Has Been Tried and Tested

The technology is currently operating in 10 stores and will dominate nearly 600 US warehouses by the end of the year. Receiving checks is nothing unusual for regular shoppers at warehouse clubs like Sam’s and Costco. 

ALSO READ: There Will No Longer Be Self Checkouts at Walmart, Costco, and Wegmans Soon!

AI Shopping Cart Scanner
Source: USA Today

However, these receipt checks can be a hassle, especially during peak hours when exit lines are congested. But with his technology, customers will have a more pleasant shopping experience.

No More Hassle for Shoppers

During the presentation in Las Vegas, Walmart captivated the audience with a video demonstration showing the innovative technology in action. The video displayed two versions of the same shopper scenario.

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AI Scanner Will Now Scan Your Cart
Source: USA Today

It highlighted the contrast between a tech-savvy shopper and her less digitally inclined counterpart. One shopper used the innovative A.I. system or the mobile app, while the other didn’t.

The Same Shopping Experience, Yet Faster

The tech-savvy approach allowed customers to scan items, make digital purchases, and exit the store without the receipt check. As the customer left the store, the less tech-savvy said, “Wait, you have to show your receipt.” 

ALSO READ: Shoppers Grow Wary of Temu Amid Unauthorized Data Collection Controversy

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Sam's Club New Gateways
Source: Business Insider

Instead, the tech-savvy customer passed through a large blue gateway to scan her items. The gateway utilizes cameras and sensors to capture images of the shopper’s cart, 

The Gateway Will Be Optimized

It will also identify individual items and verify purchases instantly. “It’s one thing to enable this easy kind of exit tech in a small-footprint store for a handful of items,” Crozier said while throwing shade at competitors’ tech, such as Amazon’s Just Walk Out. 

Sam's Club Optimized Gateway
Source: Mix 93.1

“You’ve all seen it: You can get an apple, a cheese stick, maybe something as big as a box of cereal, but we’re doing it at scale,” he added.

Happy Customers, Happy Shopping!

Chris Nicholas, CEO of Sam’s Club, explained that the new system is part of its efforts to improve the shopping experience for consumers.

Happy Customers! Happy Shopping
Source: Sam’s Club/YouTube

“We are constantly looking at ways for Sam’s Club to be the most convenient membership club and will continue to prioritize using technology to provide a truly differentiated and delightful experience for our members,” he said. 

There Are Other Apps

Other technological innovations, such as the in-app scan-and-pay feature, have debuted in Walmart stores. These were implemented after successful testing and practice with Sam’s Club shoppers. 

Scan-and-Go App
Source: DeniB Production/YouTube

Given the track record of innovations from Sam’s Club to Walmart, there’s a strong possibility that this latest innovation will follow the same path.

Generative A.I. Search

Another innovation by the retail giant Walmart is the  Generative A.I. Search. GenAI allows customers to search by specific use cases and get diverse results across categories. 

 Generative AI Search
Source: E-Commerce Times

For example, a simple search like “football watch party” will bring up all the items needed, saving time and hassle from multiple searches. Essentially, it simplifies the process into one easy search.

How Much Does the Investment Cost?

According to a company spokesperson in an email to Retail Dive, the technology was developed by in-house Sam’s Club engineers. 

Sam's Club Store
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The exit technology is being tested at nine locations in the Dallas metro area and one store in Joplin, Missouri. However, the company refused to disclose the total cost of the investment. 

Drone Delivery Services

Walmart announced this week that it’s planning to make drone delivery services available to 75% of the Dallas-Fort Worth region. It would extend to approximately 1.8 million more households across 30 towns and municipalities. 

Drone Delivery Service
Source: USA Today

This expansion will establish Walmart as the U.S. retailer with the most extensive drone delivery coverage. Drone companies Wing and Zipline will manage the deliveries.

Sam’s Club is Changing the Game

Walmart-owned Sam’s Club constantly pushes the boundaries of what’s possible and redefines customer experiences. The company is providing customers with more options and flexibility in shopping. 

Sam's Club
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Whether it’s ordering online for home delivery or picking up in-store, these retailers continue to meet customers’ evolving needs in today’s digital age.  

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