Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

TOP news

I’m a loyal Costco member, but Sam’s Club’s convenient scan-and-go checkout feature has me questioning my choice

AP

  • I visited Sam’s Club to test out the scan-and-go feature that lets customers avoid checkout lines.
  • It was convenient and easy to use, and saved significant time checking out. 
  • I wish Costco had a similar feature, and I’m tempted to become a Sam’s Club member.

I’m a Costco member, but I recently visited Sam’s Club for the first time to see how the two warehouse stores compare.sam's club

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Source: Insider

Though I had a good experience at Sam’s Club, it still seemed to fall behind Costco in my experience.Sam's Club

Charles Krupa/AP Images

Then, I heard from dozens of readers about their favorite Sam’s Club feature that makes it stand out above Costco: scan-and-go.Sam's Club tour

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

To use it, I had to download the Sam’s Club app, where I logged in with my new membership.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

It’s easy to find as one of the main tabs at the bottom of the app.Sam's Club Scan and goSam’s Club/Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Sam’s Club

It works exactly as the name implies, according to the brief instructions in the app that advised me to “scan items as you add them to your cart.”Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The instructions seemed pretty hard to mess up, so I drove back to Sam’s Club to try it out.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The feature only works when you’re inside or near one of the store locations.Sam's Club Scan and go

Sam’s Club

When you open the app inside Sam’s Club, you can see receipts from past orders and select the scan-and-go feature.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

You can also pull up your Sam’s Club card within the app in case you need to scan it for anything, like at checkout.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

I decided my first purchase had to be this mesh turtle pool float that caught my eye in a display near the entrance.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It felt basically like using self checkout, with the only difference being that the scanner was on my phone instead of attached to a kiosk.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It was actually much easier than typical self checkout, because my phone immediately recognized the barcode.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The turtle toy was immediately viewable in the app as part of my cart, where I had the option to remove it or scan more items.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

I grabbed a few other items I needed, still using the app.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I tried different types of items, from sunscreen to salad to a block of parmesan cheese, and it was all equally easy to scan.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

As I was shopping, I saw there were savings on certain items only available through scan-and-go.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Sure enough, the promised discount was reflected on the app.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

I ended up saving $4 total on two different items, which felt like a nice bonus for using the feature.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

When I was ready to pay, I just hit the button on the bottom of the page to checkout.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

As soon as the transaction went through, the app gave me a QR code receipt that a Sam’s worker scanned as I left the store to make sure I’d paid for my purchases.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

It felt very weird and unnatural to just walk past the registers with my cart.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Sam’s Club even says scan-and-go can be used to purchase alcohol, and the worker at the door will check your ID, though I didn’t get to test this.Sam's Club scan and go

Sam’s Club

Avoiding the lines at checkout was definitely the most appealing part of using scan and go.Sam's Club tour

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Costco always has long lines, but they’re typically much worse on the weekends, which is when it’s most convenient for me to go.Rochester Costco photo tour

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

If Costco added this feature, I could easily save 15 minutes of waiting from each trip, on average.Rochester Costco photo tour

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

For now I’m still a Costco member, because the closest Sam’s Club is about an hour drive away.Sam's Club scan and go

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

If that wasn’t the case, I think scan-and-go could convince me to become a Sam’s Club shopper instead.Sam's Club membership cardSam’s Club membership card.

Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Opinion

Adeline van Houtte is the Economist Intelligence Unit’s lead analyst on Russia. It looks like Russia is at it again, after the unusual movement...

Health Care

Former President Donald Trump confirmed he had gotten a booster during a live show with Bill O’Reilly in Dallas on Sunday.

TOP news

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson leads other US Navy ships during an exercise with the Indian navy in 2012. US Navy Photo...

TOP news

Paul Sancya/AP On June 2, Delta will become the first US airline to pay its flight attendants for boarding time. Previously, flight attendants were...