Walmart reports underscore that self-checkout is a work in progress

Depending on where you looked Wednesday, Walmart is scaling back self-checkout and limiting it to subscribers — or it’s a store-by-store decision.

As reported in recent days, and on several media sites and social media channels, the commerce giant is changing its approach to self-checkout and making the option available only to Walmart+ subscribers and Spark delivery drivers. USA Today reported Wednesday (March 6) that the company is testing different checkout options. “Is Walmart eliminating self-checkout? Not necessarily,” the news channel reported.

There have been posts on social media like Can be seen here on X from January, that some stores have opened self-checkout options only when full service functions are overcrowded with long lines. Theft is a problem, according to the reports. There’s a message on the company’s own site indicating hosted checkout and that other options are still available in-store. And as reported here late last year, buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Affirm has expanded its longstanding partnership with Walmart by adding BNPL to self-checkout kiosks in more than 4,500 Walmart stores across the U.S. .

PYMNTS has reached out to Walmart requesting comment on any changes to its self-checkout strategy, but has not yet received a response.

Consumers like the option

Beyond the messages flying across digital channels, it’s clear that self-checkout is still a work in progress. And while Walmart, Target and other retailers have noted that theft is on the rise (and that self-checkout at least plays a role here), efforts are still underway to gain more control over the final moments of the transaction at the consumer. hands.

During Walmart’s most recent conference call with analysts to discuss earnings, CEO Doug McMillon noted that “at Sam’s Club US we are rolling out new exit technology that will allow our members to use scan and simply walk out after completing their transaction on completed their account. phone, further expanding their membership.”

PYMNTS Intelligence noted last year that more than half of consumers expect self-service kiosks to be present and available when shopping in physical stores, with 70% of executives saying such features can determine consumer loyalty. The survey further found that more than 66% of retailers are shifting their resources to more convenient payment and checkout options. The data shows that more than three-quarters of consumers are willing to patronize a retailer if scan-and-go is available. More than two-thirds of consumers surveyed said speed was a key reason for using self-checkout, and almost half said they had used the technology to avoid waiting in lines. More than a third of people say they regularly use the self-service checkout.

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