Scan as You Go Technology Allows for Easy, Convenient Shopping Experience

It started with the express lane. Then, the self-checkout lane. Now, some grocery shoppers can scan as they shop.

A June 17 Associated Press article revealed that some grocers around the country have implemented a new technology, which allows shoppers to utilize a hand-held scanner while shopping. What this scanner allows shoppers to do is keep track of the final bill, as well as have a total ready, allowing for a speedy checkout at the front of the store. As an added bonus, shoppers are also able to bag the groceries as they shop. So, in the end, customers will spend more time browsing the aisles than waiting in long checkout lines.

When customers arrive at the checkout, they scan a barcode that is generated by the personal scanner. This allows the total to be placed in ‘register.’ Customers then simply use any coupons and frequent shopper’s club cards and then pay. To ensure customers are paying for everything, people are randomly selected for audits.

For items without barcodes, such as produce or bulk candy, customers can utilize scales with printers. After the item is weighed, an adhesive price tag with a scannable bar code prints out. Customers just stick that to the bag, and scan. New York-based Wegman’s has been doing this for years (although they do not have the personal scanners yet.).

According to the AP, this technology is quite common in Europe. In fact, the AP reports that over 1000 stores in Europe have begun offerings its customers this convenience tool. American stores offering customers this option include some Food Lion, Bloom and Martin stores.

Motorola manufactures the hand-held, personal scanners used in most of the participating grocery stores. These scanners are the same type of scanners where brides-to-be or expectant parents can use register for gifts at stores. This type of technology has been used for some time to assist with gift registries-and with a few changes in the programming, using them to purchase items right away is possible.

The AP reports that the use of scanners will also be able to be implemented at stores with large items that would need delivery. For example, someone can visit a home improvement store, scan all the items they wish to buy, bring it to the register, pay and then wait to have the items delivered.

A quick Google search for ‘Motorola scanner’ revealed one website, System ID which offers dozens of versions of the scanner.