Storied convenience store chain 7-Eleven launched a new Scan & Pay pilot program today that lets shoppers use their mobile phone for self-checkout.
The new feature launched in 14 Dallas area 7-Eleven stores, and the press materials describe the Scan & Pay process as follows:
- Install the 7-Eleven app on the Android or iOS phones and register for the 7Rewards loyalty program
- While shopping, customers scan the barcodes of items they want to purchase
- Customers put their purchased items into clear plastic bags at the Scan & Pay station
- Customers can pay using Apple or Google Pay or a traditional debit or credit card at a Scan & Pay station
- Once they pay, customers scan a QR code that appears on the confirmation screen at the Scan & Pay station and show it to the cashier as they leave
The press release was a little vague on details: Is the Scan & Pay station separate from the checkout line? What if the cashier is busy as you try to leave? Do Slurpees have a barcode?
So I reached out to 7-Eleven for more details. But even with further clarification, it’s easy to see that Amazon Go is light years ahead of its competition when it comes to cashierless checkout, and putting the “convenience” in convenience store.
7-Eleven’s Scan & Pay is reminiscent of Walmart’s “Scan and Go” feature in more than just naming conventions. Both require the use of mobile phones to manually scan items that you want to purchase. Amazon Go, on the other hand lets shoppers walk in, grab something and walk out.
Both Walmart and 7-Eleven are large, legacy corporations and getting them to turn into a digital future is like asking an aircraft carrier to come about. It takes time. Amazon Go’s have the advantage of just now rolling out and only have five locations, so they can be architected from the ground up to accommodate all of the high-tech gadgets and gizmos required to create a truly frictionless shopping experience.
Will customers find convenience in 7-Eleven’s Scan & Pay scenario? We’ll soon find out, as the company plans to expand the service into more cities next year.