The One Thing Scan & Go Apps are Missing to Make Them Profitable to Retailers

Scan & Go self-checkout has been on the rise in the past few years, with its promise of lower labor costs, enhanced customer experience and satisfaction (no more lines!) and even more data and insights to shopper behavior in-store (not to mention, it’s much cheaper to implement than self-checkout stations)1

“43% would rather try scan-and-go than wait in a checkout line.”2


Big names like Kroger, Sam’s Club, B.J.’s and Meijer’s are already on board – and reporting success –  shoppers are digging it. (Check out Sam’s Club’s hilarious commercial for S&G here).


That was before the world was hit with a pandemic and the changes it brought in shopping experience. As brick-and-mortar retailers have shifted their focus to getting customers in and out of stores quickly while minimizing health hazards like standing in lines and unnecessary contact, Scan & Go technology has leapt to the forefront as an ideal solution for our pandemic-time shopping reality. We’ve seen retail giants rush to adopt scan & go in response to social distancing and safety requirements- ASDA3, Sheetz4, Sonae5 and U-haul6 have all implemented scan & go in April alone. 


As customers grow accustomed to the more convenient experience, there’s no better time for retailers to complete the customer scan & go experience with the addition of Indoor GPS. Not only does Indoor GPS enhance the the features of existing store apps, but it also offers up unique opportunities and solutions to retailers that wouldn’t be available otherwise: 


1. Scan & Go tech isn’t much help if customers can’t find the items they’re looking for…

Indoor navigation

Bottom line- shoppers need to be able to find the items on their lists in order to utilize a scan & go app. 


Most store apps already have a product search feature. Some even cite the aisle number of the item you’re looking for. Wouldn’t it be great (and simple!) to just add a “navigate” button to existing product search, that can guide shoppers in real-time to their desired item, making sure they’re able to make the purchase?


And imagine receiving an optimized route for your selected products (no more wasting time running back and forth across the store looking for items!), scanning and tossing into your cart as you go- and then just walking out, without needing to stand in the check out line. 


It’s important to note here – abandoned purchases related to unfound products are a lot more prevalent than you might think, affecting customer experience and loyalty, not to mention retailer’s revenue. (Read more about how much revenue is lost from unfound products here). 


“Shoppers leave stores without buying for a number of reasons, including:
67.3% They couldn’t find the product they needed”


Wondering how much revenue you’re losing because customers can’t find products? Do a rough check:  View your app’s stats for searched products and compare with those purchased. Just subtract your average out of stock rate, and you can get a pretty good estimate. You’ll be surprised at how big of a lost opportunity this is.


The addition of navigation helps complete the path to purchase for items that were intended for purchase, but took too long to find or were never found at all. 


2. Make sure your offerings are effective and generating additional revenues

Proximity based marketing with indoor positioning

Imagine you get a coupon delivered to your phone for a swanky new toothpaste as you enter a store. But by the time you get to the health and beauty section, how likely are you to remember to redeem that offer?


Not very likely. But, if instead you received that promotion as you were passing the toothpaste aisle, would you probably grab a tube? Us too. 


“More than half (54%) of global consumers shop with retailers that deliver offers in-store via smartphone because they want offers the moment they are shopping”8


Indoor GPS already offers this kind of location-based promotional marketing – but when combined with Scan & Go, you can take it a step further. Think: you scanned pasta, so the app sends you a coupon for pasta sauce as you pass that aisle. 


Since Indoor GPS knows when a customer is lingering in front of a shelf, you can help them make a decision by suggesting which product to pick at just the right moment (and if it’s a higher margin product, all the better, right?).


Monetize this capability – since customers are more focused on saving and less sensitive to brand-names at this time9, it’s a great opportunity to offer your private-label product. Alternatively, CPG brands are hungry to target customers directly and on-the-spot to push their sales – and they’re willing to pay the price for this type of advertising10


3. Store staff should be occupied with service, not surveillance

Self Checkout

Let’s address the elephant in the room: fear of theft, shrinkage and fraud has kept many retailers from “taking the plunge” of offering fully automated scan & go technology7. And since one of touted benefits of implementing Scan & Go is to reduce labor costs in general, as well as to free up the time of store associates – if they have to keep an eye on every customer’s basket, it’s not really serving its purpose, right?


Not exactly. Fraud detection algorithms have become more advanced than ever – and most Scan & Go companies have systems in place to alert employees to mistakes or potential theft. 


And when you consider that Oriient’s Indoor GPS hangs out in the background during the customer’s journey, collecting additional data detailing the location in which each item was scanned, the path the customer took, as well as the time spent in each section of the store – that can also be used for giving Machine Learning algorithms more valuable indications with which to detect potential theft or fraud.


(Want to learn how to reduce basket audits and fraudulent use with Scan&Go? Read this article on how device location is reducing loss with mobile self-checkout.)

4. Leveraging product scan to keep track of product locations

Product Scan

Shelf-specific locations of items in-store are constantly shifting, and retailers have a hard time keeping track of and updating where each particular product lies in-store. Use of planogram and data-driven space management software have become a necessity for high performance, and were defined as a key to retail success for 202011.


When these softwares can receive additional indoor location data collected from each product scan (using an Indoor positioning system), retailers can seamlessly maintain product locations accurate and constantly updated. And leverage the data for understanding the impact of layout and placement on shelf performance. 


5. Bonus: Reduce grocery picking costs

Grocery Picking is simple with Indoor GPS


Shoppers aren’t the only ones who benefit from scan & go technology. Routes with shelf-specific navigation optimizes grocery pickers’ performance (read more on that here). And the same technology that helps keep track of product locations in-store allows for real-time updates on changes in product locations, ensuring no time is wasted searching for items. Pretty neat, right?



Oriient provides an indoor positioning system that requires no hardware installation, and can easily be integrated into any existing scan & go app with an easy to use SDK (regardless of whether it’s been developed in-house or by an app provider). To find out more, click here.



An Oriiented store














Time to Oriient your space.