Walmart expands iPhone 'Scan & Go' app to 200 stores

The app that lets users scan merchandise while they shop and pay at a self-checkout counter comes to 12 new markets, including Texas, Washington, and California.

Walmart's iPhone app. Walmart

Walmart is expanding its "Scan & Go" feature -- which lets users scan items with their iPhones while shopping -- to more than 200 stores across the U.S., according to Reuters.

Currently the feature is available in around 70 stores, mostly near Bentonville, Ark. and Atlanta, Ga. Now it's coming to 12 new markets, including Denver, Phoenix, Omaha, Neb., Dallas and Austin, Tex., Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., Wyoming, Bozeman, Mont., Seattle, San Jose, Calif., and Portland, Ore.

The mega-retailer started testing the "Scan & Go" feature with employees last September and has since introduced it to customers. Instead of scanning the items at checkout, people can use the app on their iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to scan items as they walk around the store filling their shopping cart. Then, users can pay at a self-checkout counter.

"We want our customer feedback to dictate the experience," senior vice president of mobile and digital at Walmart Global eCommerce Gibu Thomas told Reuters. "You'll see this roll out to more markets."

Over the past year, Walmart has increasingly aimed to boost its mobile options. Not only does the retailer sell many of the top smartphones , it also hosts the Straight Talk Wireless mobile service. And, with its apps, the company caters to people who shop at Walmart -- therefore using mobile to bring people to the store.

According to Reuters, more than half of Walmart's customers use smartphones and more than 50 percent of the people who have tried the "Scan & Go" feature have used it multiple times. The feature is currently only available for iOS, but the company told Reuters it plans to release an Android version in the near future.

The Walmart app still doesn't allow customers to use mobile devices to complete purchases. However, Walmart is part of a consortium of retail giants, including Best Buy, Target, and Lowe's, that is working on a new mobile-payment service .

While the "Scan & Go" feature is expanding to dozens of more stores, it's still only reaching a select group of Walmart shoppers, since the retailer has more than 4,000 U.S. stores.

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About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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