Sam's Club Ditches Receipt Checks for AI

Sam's Club Ditches Receipt Checks for AI
Image Credit: Walmart

Retail giant Sam’s Club has announced plans to roll out AI software that will eliminate the need for exit greeters to manually check customer receipts. The new system, which is currently being piloted at 10 locations, uses a combination of computer vision and AI to automatically scan shopping carts and verify that all items have been paid for.

According to Sam’s Club CEO Chris Nicholas, this change comes in response to consistent member feedback citing long wait times and inconvenience around exit receipt checks - especially during busy shopping periods. “This is Sam’s Club at its very best, listening to feedback from members, putting their needs at the center of everything we do,” said Nicholas.

The AI-powered system captures images of customer carts as they pass through the exit area and cross-references the items to a member's purchases. The technology can recognize thousands of products sold at Sam's Club and confirm payment details in real-time. AI algorithms also work in the background to continually improve accuracy and speed.

This allows exit greeters to shift their focus from receipt verification to assisting members and enhancing their overall shopping experience. Over half of members at the pilot locations are already benefiting.

Sam’s Club states this is the first wide-scale deployment of such technology at a major retailer. It builds on Scan & Go service, which allows members to skip checkout lines by scanning purchases via their phone app.

The company intends to iterate on the AI technology and rapidly expand it to nearly 600 locations by end of 2024. This aligns with Sam’s Club’s member-first approach of “looking at ways for Sam’s Club to be the most convenient membership club” said Megan Crozier, Walmart executive.

While tech-enabled convenience is welcomed by many members, only time will tell whether the accuracy and security of AI receipt and cart scanning matches that of human checks. However, Sam's Club seems confident that this innovation will deliver "new levels of convenience" and differentiate them within the bulk shopping space.

Chris McKay is the founder and chief editor of Maginative. His thought leadership in AI literacy and strategic AI adoption has been recognized by top academic institutions, media, and global brands.

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