Walmart's scan&go wasn't a toy for early adopters, it let people on a tight budget avoid the pain of removing items while checking out. — Nathanael Yellis (@inathanael) March 8, 2014
This was a major theme at Acton: customer need. Serving people is what powers business success, and sometimes you serve them without being aware of it.
Insight from this month's Atlantic (GT is a WalMart technology executive):
GT: We have a technology called Scan and Go. It’s a way for customers to use their smartphones to scan the items they’re buying as they shop. We said, let’s put it out there and see how customers engage with it. We thought the tech-savvy customer in every market would probably adopt Scan and Go. And they did, but it wasn’t just the young, early adopters.
AM: Who was using it, then?
GT: The budget-conscious customer. Why? A lot of people come to the store, they pick up things, and then they see how it fits into their budget at checkout. They’re looking at the running tally on the cash register to see whether they can afford something or not. And what we did with this tool is we allowed them to budget in privacy. It’s frankly something we never thought about. I mean, we kind of thought about it, but we never really thought it would be a big feature. You can have your best hypotheses, but there’s no substitute for actually seeing how mainstream customers, who face real challenges in terms of making ends meet to feed their family for a week, use something.