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07/12/2021

Sam’s Club Piloting Scan & Ship Offering

Extension of app gives members at stores access to direct-to-home shipping
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Goldschmidt profile picture
Sam’s Club Piloting Scan & Ship Offering
Using Scan & Ship, a member can buy an item by scanning its QR or bar code, and have it delivered to their preferred location, normally within three to five business days, in a single digital transaction.

Sam’s Club is building on its popular Scan & Go app with the Scan & Ship pilot program, which enables members to place direct-to-home orders in stores by scanning merchandise in a wide range of categories, including consumables.

Scan & Ship provides an immediate in-club solution for items that require large vehicles to transport, including playsets, patio furniture, mattresses, large TVs and grills, as well as giving members the opportunity to purchase products in colors and sizes unavailable in the club. Using Scan & Ship, a member can buy the item by scanning its QR or bar code, and have it delivered to their preferred location, normally within three to five business days, in a single digital transaction, with free shipping. An item could ship from another club if that proves the quickest way to get it to a customer.

“We challenge ourselves every day to develop and execute convenient solutions that disrupt the warehouse model and provide additional value to our members,” said Tim Simmons, Sam’s Club’s SVP and chief product officer. “Just like Scan & Go, Scan & Ship gives members greater control of their shopping experience. It’s exciting to see our team develop and launch the Scan & Ship pilot so quickly, and it’s got great potential to deliver the ultimate omnichannel member experience across our entire chain.”

Three locations are taking part in the pilot, clubs in Murrieta, Calif., and McKinney, Texas, as well as Sam’s Club Now, the company’s Dallas-based innovation lab. These pilot locations will permit the retailer to amass key member feedback and modify functionality within the app before expanding the offering to additional clubs.

“Scan & Ship is the result of an internal program we’re really proud of called the Innovation Jam, which encourages associates to collaborate and develop prospective retail technology solutions during the two-day, sprint-like event,” noted Sam’s Club SVP and CTO Vinod Bidarkoppa. “Scan & Go has been such a success story for us, and Scan & Ship is a fantastic extension to all of the great innovation we already have in place.”

In a press conference yesterday, Bidarkoppa mentioned that 300 associates had participated in the Innovation Jam to create more omnichannel experiences for members.

As well as the pilot of Scan & Ship, Sam’s Club rolled out a new feature at all clubs this month that gives members who don’t currently have the Sam’s Club app an opportunity to try out the Scan & Go feature without having to download the app first.

“We know that once our members use Scan & Go, they love the convenience it provides and are 90% more likely to use it again, so our team worked to design a solution that gives members an opportunity to test drive the feature and experience the benefits firsthand,” continued Biddarkoppa.

The offering employs near-field communication (NFC) technology and only requires scanning a QR code to use. The demo, which permits members to key in a payment option, provides a contactless shopping experience and can be used for purchases three times before a message prompts the members to download the Sam’s Club app to use Scan & Go.

At yesterday’s press conference, Simmons compared the probable duration of the pilot phase and eventual wider rollout of Scan & Ship to Sam’s Club’s accelerated expansion of curbside pickup last year from 11 test clubs, due to the company’s ability to scale quickly. He referred to Scan & Ship as “a game changer for our members.”

The Sam’s Club app saw tremendous growth last year, with 9.6 million downloads, according to Boston-based AppTopia, almost twice as many as competing apps. Introduced at Sam’s Club in 2016, the Scan & Go feature expanded to all of the retailer’s fuel stations in 2020, and can also be used to purchase alcohol at the clubs.

When asked by Progressive Grocer whether the offerings would debut at parent company Walmart, and on what timeline, a company spokeswoman replied that they would be only at Sam's Club at present.

Sam’s Club, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc., operates nearly 600 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Walmart operates about 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on PG’s list, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks ninth.

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