I headed over to the Ossining Stop & Shop on Monday, and was invited to try out their new Scan It! system. Here’s how it works: you pick up a handheld scanner as you enter the store, and scan in your loyalty card. That identifies you in the system, and you can then scan items and bag them in your cart as you move through the store. For loose items sold by weight, like produce, you weigh everything yourself and the scale prints out a sticker that has a barcode on it. At the end of your shop, you use a self-service check out lane that recognizes everything you’ve added to your scanner and allows you scan coupons and pay.
I don’t know the store layout that well, so that combined with trying to figure out how to get a sticker to print for two avocados and stopping to bag everything as I shopped took me much longer than normal. Then I couldn’t get the self-service check out to register my scanner, so an employee had to help me there, also increasing my time. (And, I am pretty tech savvy so it’s not that I can’t find my way around a new gadget!)
As you shop, the scanner will supposedly offer you coupons and deals based on your shopping behavior. Nothing enticing came up for me on my first time, but it is convenient to see a running total of your purchases as you shop, especially if you are aiming to keep within a specific budget and bring cash (as I know many Menu Plan Monday participants do).
I ran into a friend trying out the scanner at the same time, and although we both thought the try-a-new-gadget aspect was cool, he was worried we were putting the cashiers out of a job. If I could have gotten the scanner to work properly when I checked out, it’s true I would have done my entire shopping trip without needing an employee’s help. There was also no visible check on whether I was being honest in my scanning, either, so I would imagine there could be an uptick in theft with this technology.
Overall, I wouldn’t opt to shop this way again. The scanner wasn’t obtrusive, but I did find the bagging as I went to be awkward and time consuming. I’d rather do it myself after I checked out.
Have you seen these scanners near you? Or do you use a self-service check out kiosk when you shop?