Scan and Go technology truly revolutionalized shopping. If you've never heard of scan and go shopping before, here's how it works.
You download the app of the store you're shopping in (in this case Costco). Once you're in the store, open the app and select the scan and go feature. Now, start scanning the items you want to purchase. Once you're done shopping, simply pay inside the app. No need to wait in line, it's all done through the app. When you're leaving the store, simply show the attendant your QR code.
If it's your first time using scan and go, it might feel a little strange to just pick up items, skip the cashier, and just head out the door. But it's completely normal. Millions of people use scan and go at their favorite stores every day.
Does Costco offer scan and go?
Unfortunately, Costco does not offer scan and go at the moment. Other stores like Sam's Club have offered scan and go for a very long time, but Costco has deliberately chosen not to use the technology for their mobile app.
Why doesn't Costco have scan and go?
There are several reasons why Costco chooses NOT to offer scan and go in their stores.
Their checkout process is already super fast
Because Costco already prides itself on its fast checkout lines. If you've ever shopped at Costco, you'll know that people buying dozens and dozens of items can usually pay and leave in under 5 minutes. The process is already fast and smooth as it is.
Sales can potentially decrease by offering scan and go
Additionally, Costco believes that scan and go technology can hurt its sales. Since Costco is a wholesale store, it operates a little bit differently than a traditional retail store. Scan and go technology can potentially hurt sales – reducing the number of items that people purchase.
Costco wants to have at least one point of human connection
Costco believes that human connection improves their shopping experience. Think about it, with scan and go, you just go into the store, pick up your items, and leave. You'll never have to interact with a human if you don't want to. While this is a positive for some, having at least one point of human connection is part of the Costco shopping experience that they don't want to give up.
Sell you their gold membership
If you don't have their gold membership already, I'm sure you've been pitched to sign up for one many times when going through Costco's cashiers. This is one of their highest converting areas of upselling regular members to gold members. Sure, their app can pitch you to sign up as well. But it's much more effective when the cashier tells you, “Hey, you could be saving hundreds of dollars. Just sign up here, it takes just a few minutes.”
They want to increase sales of their food court
Costco's food courts are always strategically positioned right behind the cashiers. If nobody went through their cashiers, their food sales would plumment. However, this is really a minor issue as their food courts are meant to drive people to shop in their store, and not the other way around.
They want to enforce their rule of members having to use their own membership cards
And lastly, and this is just my assumption (Costco has not stated this publicly), Costco is strict on their policy of members using their own cards to purchase. I've seen people get denied at the cashier for bringing a family member's card.
According to them, you must use your own card when shopping. Allowing people to use an app opens the door for increased card sharing amongst friends and family.
Do they at least have self-checkout?
Yes! Costco does have a self-checkout section at most of their stores. Usually, the stores that do offer self-checkout are the most popular stores that get a lot of traffic.
This is one of Costco's methods of keeping their checkout lines moving quick and smooth.
Costco does not have scan and go at their stores. This is done purposely for several reasons.
Ultimately, though, Costco is satisfied with their current shopping experience. Cashiers offer a human touch, and can be an effective point of sale for their premium memberships.
At this point, it doesn't seem like Costco will use scan and go technology anytime soon. However, things may change. We will keep this page updated accordingly.