Here’s How Walmart Plans to Get Rid of Their Check-Out Lines For Good

Oh, the joys of shopping. It’s the end of a long day. You’re in the checkout lane, trying to make it out as quickly as possible with those last two ingredients you need to whip up some chocolate oat bars. Meanwhile, disaster unfolds in front of you as a two-carter wants to use a coupon for every other item, haggle over prices, and then write a check. You’ll never get out of here.

What if this nightmare could just vanish? Walmart is rolling out its plan to do just that. It’s a service called “Scan and Go” that allows customers to place orders and pick up products without ever talking to a cashier or even going to a checkout lane.

This is a step beyond self-checkout. You can place orders using the Scan and Go app, from home or anywhere else. Feel like ordering Honey Bunches of Oats in your pajamas? Done. Spill something on your shirt and suddenly need a new one? Done.

That part should feel pretty similar to any other online shopping. Here’s what makes it a true Walmart experience. A couple of hours after placing your order, head to the store, scan your phone at a kiosk, and your Honey Bunches of Oats, shirt, or whatever you ordered magically appear before you.

Hold on, before you grab your phone and start an ordering frenzy. Right now, Walmart is rolling out Scan and Go in only about 50 stores nationwide, so it could be awhile before the service hits your neck of the woods. That is, if it gets there at all: an earlier version of Walmart’s Scan and Go failed a few years back.

We’re sure that Walmart will be carefully watching how customers react to Scan and Go in those target markets before deciding if it wants to expand the service to more cities. With growing competition from Amazon and other online retailers, as well as brick-and-mortar stores like Target, it looks like Walmart’s going for novelty to get a bit of an edge.

Are cashiers and checkout lanes soon to be ancient history? We’re still a little shocked that Amazon now has physical stores, like Amazon Go, where you walk in, check out items by scanning them on your phone, and leave without ever having to interact with a person. Target, meanwhile, is going in a different direction, offering a checkout app and investigating drive-through pickups.

Walmart’s Scan and Go kiosk is definitely gunning for the futuristic factor: it’s a huge tower with items hidden in side, and a window that reveals the items you ordered. We’re all for convenience, but we wonder how customers feel about picking up their tortillas and tank tops from a robot tower!

Check out the video below from RTV6 for a glimpse of what the Scan and Go tower looks like, and to see how customers react to it. What do you think about the service? Do you love the idea of convenience? Prefer using a checkout lane?