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Grocery stores are trying to cut costs and increase convenience for shoppers by introducing things like same-day delivery, grocery pickup, and self-checkout. But sometimes, people can take advantage of the system — like in the case of the Wegmans SCAN app.
The popular Wegmans SCAN app has been discontinued after the grocery chain says people regularly took more items than they paid for.
Here’s what you need to know:
Wegmans SCAN app relied on the ‘honor system’ for self-checkout.
Wegmans SCAN app launched during the pandemic to maintain social distancing and pretty much let customers check out their own groceries. The store trusted shoppers to scan and bag all their groceries as they went through the store.
At the end, customers would pay for all the groceries they scanned with the tap of their phone. The issue is that people wouldn’t check all their items or lie about the weight of certain items.
Wegmans lost money from the self-checkout app thefts, and although they didn’t say how much, it was enough to shut the whole app down.
The SCAN app took a little more work than Amazon Go, where you can pick up what you want and walk out — no scanning required.
Retail theft is rising and is responsible for 40% of profit loss in 2022.
A 2022 National Retail Federation study said that things like gift card fraud, inventory mismanagement, and theft cost companies $95 billion in losses in 2022 — $5 billion more than in 2021.
Retail theft is nearly half the reason for the $95 billion loss, and with inflation and rising living costs, these numbers will most likely go up.
In January 2018, Walmart debuted a similar self-checkout to Wegmans called Scan & Go that started by using scanners to let shoppers scan each item as they went. They expanded to every store by creating a Scan & Go app but eventually did away with it altogether the same year.
There are still ways to avoid cashiers at Wegmans (without the theft risk).
All is not lost if you’re trying to skip the cashier line at Wegmans. You can still get your groceries via curbside pickup and delivery.
For pickup, customers can order through the Wegmans app or online; just create your order, select your store location, and choose a pickup time. And if you don’t feel like picking up your order, you can get it delivered through Instacart. You can even link your Wegmans account to Instacart to keep track of past purchases.
TIP: To check out more grocery delivery options, we broke down the best services by budget.
Meanwhile, Instacart just launched a new Scan & Pay feature for in-store grocery shopping.
SCAN might be gone from Wegmans, but Instacart might have just introduced a replacement. On Sept. 19, 2022, Instacart announced the launch of a new tech project called Connected Stores for online and in-store shopping.
With Connected Stores, customers could use a feature called Scan & Pay, similar to Wegmans SCAN app, where you can well, scan your stuff as you go and pay. There’s no telling how Instacart would do a better job than Wegmans at preventing shoplifting.
We don’t know if Wegmans is officially on the list of retailers who will have the new features, but for now, Instacart is testing it out in select cities (which haven’t been announced yet).
Instacart is also dropping new versions of their Caper Carts. The high-tech shopping carts use special sensors and AI that lets customers shop by simply dropping the items in the cart. The cart automatically scans, weighs, and checks your items off your customized list accessed by a QR code.