Sainsbury’s trials in-store mobile shopping app

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is trialling a new mobile app that allows customers to scan items in-store and pay for them at the till without unloading their basket, trolley or bag.

Two convenience stores in London, Bethnal Green Local and Clerkenwell Local, and a supermarket in Tadley, Hampshire are participating in the trial.

Around 800 shoppers per store signed up for the trial, which began yesterday and will run for an undisclosed period.

To use the service, customers can download the free ‘Mobile Scan & Go’ app from Apple’s app store on an iPhone, or Google’s Play store on an Android device. After downloading the Mobile Scan & Go app, customers are required to register their Nectar card’s code and select the store that they shop at.

Customers can then log into the app using their Nectar card details before scanning a ‘Check in’ quick response (QR) code at the front of the store to start shopping.

Using the app, customers can scan items’ barcodes around the store using their phone’s camera as they place them in their trolley or bags. The app allows customers to track how much they have spent and can instantly see applied savings. At the till, customers then scan a ‘Check Out’ QR code and pay for their items using cash or a payment card.

Sainsbury’s said that the new technology, which it claims is the first of its kind in the UK, will “make the shopping experience even more convenient for customers”.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said there are no plans to introduce the app on other mobile platforms, and that store staff will be carrying out checks to ensure customers have scanned all of the items they are carrying.

“We will be carrying out random spot checks and staff will come over to check if a customer has scanned all of the items that they have purported to have done,” the spokesman said, adding that there is no limit to the amount of items that can be bought using the app.

“We will be rolling out the system nationwide if enough people end up using it and it’s considered a success,” he said.

"We’re always looking for ways to enhance the shopping experience for our customers. Our innovative Mobile Scan & Go technology is fantastic for those wanting to manage their budget or simply those who want a quicker in-store experience,” said Luke Jensen, Sainsbury’s group development director.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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