/ Technology

Self-Checkout App From Sam's Club Is A Nice Try

I was in Honolulu when a friend suggested that he wanted to show me this new app at Sam's Club, "Scan and Go."

You're probably wondering, "Al, you're a billionaire, and you shop at Sam's Club?" What can I say? I'm a sucker for their rotisserie chicken.

But anyway, the lines at those Big Box stores drive me nuts. You want to kill a weekend, go wait in line at the Honolulu Costco.

So Sam's Club effort to reduce wait time is to release an app that allows the "club member" to use their phone to scan and pay for their goods. (On a side note, referring to "customers" as "club members" is like investment firms calling their pigeons "family." You can feel the knife being inserted into your back as they vigorously shake your hand).

Anyway, the Sam's Club App, "Scan N' Go", is a nice attempt to speed up checkout but not exactly "Sympile." Try scanning a cart load of groceries with any phone, and you'll look fondly back at the days of the cashier holding up your box of hemorrhoid cream, "Sam, how much's the butt schmear?"

Now, I'm not trying to put cashiers out of work (although, it's inevitable), but I had offered our new Sympile Checkout Service to Sam's Club and Costco and Walmart and Home Depot and so on. And they all turned me down. Not sure why.

Our SymCheckOut App doesn't require the shopper to scan anything. We just look into their past purchases and automatically fill-in their shopping list. In the beta testing that was done, we were at 89.2% accuracy. In other words, about 9 out 10 items on the shopping list was right. Not bad for a beta test. No more leaving the store without an item. "Hey, moron, don't forget the milk," it shouts when it senses you walking past the dairy section without stopping.

And for the items you don't want on the list, just delete with one click. If you want to add anything, just speak into the phone or use your camera to show the item. No need to line up some bar code in a small window as your kid is tap dancing in the shopping cart.

The app provides coupons and discounts based upon past shopping history and interests, even sensing what members of your family may want. If it sees on your SymCalendar that you have an upcoming function or birthday party, it reminds you, "Don't forget the cupcakes." "Get the pizza for the soccer game." "Uncle Joe wants that book for his birthday." Sales increased and customers are happier.

Anyway, all the stores rejected SymCheckOut. Something about the app "freaking out the customers."

What do you think? You want SymCheckOut?

Drop me a note.

Have A Question? It's Sympile.