DETROIT – We all have busy schedules between work, kids and household chores.
Grocery shopping is just another thing to add to your to-do list, but many stores are trying to make that a little easier.
There are curbside pickup and delivery options, and now there’s a new shopping tool at Kroger called “Scan, Bag, Go.”
Kroger says it’s a quicker option to the shopping experience.
How it works:
There are two different ways to use the new technology for Kroger Plus customers. When shoppers enter the store, they can grab a scanner (the device that looks similar to a calculator) from the display. From there, scan your Plus card or enter your number.
There’s also a mobile app for “Scan, Bag, Go” specifically. When you download the app, you can scan your Plus card or enter your number.
When you start shopping, you can either scan the item itself (on the barcode) or use the tag on the shelf and scan that barcode.
Produce is scanned by the shelf’s barcode and then weighed, using a scale that’s in the produce area — it’s not a hanging weight like the old ones, but it’s easily accessible. The pricing amount is determined, it comes up on the scanner and it is added to your total.
If you’ve used your app, you can set up your payment option beforehand. So once you’re done, you can head straight for the door. If you use the scanners, shoppers are to head to the self-checkout area. You then scan the barcode on the “Scan, Bag, Go” sign and your order is brought up on the screen. Choose your payment, pay and go.
What about coupons?
If you’ve downloaded digital coupons to your Kroger card, they are automatically deducted once you scan the product. If you have coupons you’ve clipped or printed, those can be scanned as well.
Consumer investigator Hank Winchester tested out “Scan, Bag, Go” and found there are pros and cons to the new technology.
Armed with a grocery list, we put this method up against the other ways you can physically shop; using a traditional cash register lane and the self-checkout lane.
The self-checkout took the longest amount of time at 6 minutes, 40 seconds. The regular cashier process (without a small line) took 6 minutes, 15 seconds. The “Scan, Bag, Go” process took 5 minutes, 20 seconds.
There are some definite positives to this system. It is convenient to bag your own groceries how you like them bagged. If you use reusable bags, it makes it easier to store your food and not have to take everything back out. The scanner also keeps track of what you’re buying and the total.
There are some negatives to the system as well. There’s a learning curve to the process, and it takes time to get used to it. Some people don’t want more apps on their phones and more things to fiddle with.
A big concern many people are wondering about is whether or not this new technology will replace jobs for cashiers.
We talked with Anisa Bezhani, the Division Specialist for Kroger’s “Scan, Bag, Go”. She assures us this is not the case.
“It’s just a different option for our customers,” she said.
Anisa told Hank that if more people start using the devices, employees will be placed on the floor to help if they’re needed and will do other jobs within the store.
Theft could be a big concern, but Bezhani says there are still theft detectors and an “Order Verification” system that store employees will use to deter that.
While Kroger is rolling this new technology out to more and more stores across the nation, it hasn’t been as easy for others. Walmart tried to, but ditched the technology a short time later, saying it frustrated shoppers due to the large amount of items in their baskets.
The Home Depot and Target are looking into investing into the technology. Meijer and Sam’s Club have a similar system, but you have to use your smartphone in order to participate.
List of stores with Kroger’s “Scan, Bag, Go” feature:Ann Arbor – 400 S. Maple RoadCanton Township – 1905 North Canton Center Road Commerce Township – 2905 Union Lake Road Dearborn – 23303 Michigan Avenue Dearborn Heights – 26400 Ford RoadEssexville – 2910 Center Avenue Lansing – 6430 West Saginaw Highway Orchard Lake – 4395 Orchard Lake Road Plymouth Township – 44525 Ann Arbor Road Rochester Hills – 65 South Livernois Road Roseville – 20891 East 13 Mile Road Shelby Township – 14945 23 Mile Road White Lake – 10951 Highland Road Ypsilanti – 3200 Carpenter Road
Coming soon to a Kroger near you:Brownstown Township – 20645 Gibraltar Road Canton Township – 45540 Michigan Avenue Commerce Township – 47060 West Pontiac Trail Flushing – 1542 East Pierson Road Grosse Pointe Woods – 20422 Mack Avenue Macomb Township – 21555 21 Mile Road Milford – 670 Highland Avenue Plymouth – 15455 Haggerty Road Roseville – 30851 Gratiot Avenue Royal Oak – 2200 East 12 Mile Road Sterling Heights – 43893 Schoenherr Road