The ‘scan as you shop’ mobile app is currently available on both Android and iPhone devices in three Waitrose branches in Clapham Common, London; Meanwood in Yorkshire; and Milngavie near Glasgow. Any customer that is a member of the myWaitrose loyalty scheme can try out the service in the trial branches by downloading the app and registering their myWaitrose card.
Speaking to Marketing Week at a recent press event, Waitrose’s outgoing managing director Mark Price said the trial has been going “pretty well” and that early indications suggest Waitrose could begin to roll out the service to all branches later this year.
Making shopping more convenient
Waitrose first introduced the existing ‘Quick Check’ service 10 years ago and it is now available in two-thirds of Waitrose branches. It allows customers to scan barcodes as they shop with a special handset, see special offers and keep a running total of spend.
The mobile app works in much the same way, with the mobile app producing a barcode at the end that customers can scan at the self checkout tills and pay.
Rob Collins, currently retail director but lined up to take over from Price when he leaves next month, told Marketing Week the aim is to continue developing the app so that in the end customers will be able to do the full shop, including making a payment, on their mobile device.
Providing customers with choice
He said while there are “issues such as battery life to contend with”, he believes it is only a matter of time until mobile payments take off.
“The mobile payments space is really interesting. In the early days of self checkout we used to have a debate questioning if self checkout should be part of a high quality service business. But increasingly some customers think if we don’t have self checkout it’s a weakness.
“We want to make sure we are providing people with a choice.”
Rob Collins, retail director, Waitrose
“If they want to pay on mobile they can. If they want to pay through self checkout they can. If they want to go through and talk to one of our partners on a belted checkout they can as well. That choice is key.”