It’s not hard to please me when it comes to technology. The local supermarket here, Stop & Shop, has hooked me in repeatedly to do more of the work myself, first with self-checkout lines, and more recently with their Scan It! service.
It didn’t hurt that the Scan It! product offered discounts based on your purchase history, so I would many times save a bit extra in exchange for scanning my own groceries and bagging as I went. But the biggest challenge I encountered was it was too popular: During busier times I couldn’t get ahold of a hand scanner.
Enter Scan It! Mobile, which lets you download a free app to your Android or iOS device, and scan your groceries using your cell phone. Not only is that better for those a bit squeamish about germs, but it ensures one less thing to have to hope is available when you get to the store – just bring your phone.
I ran a test during my last trip and found it quite easy to use. The software connects to a wi-fi connection in the store, so you have a solid Internet connection to communicate back to their home base with what you’ve scanned (and don’t need actual cell service, a problem at my local Stop & Stop). The special offers for me were browsable, just like on the hand scanners. Using my phone as a scanner was a bit slower at times, as I had to wait for the camera to focus, but it never had a problem scanning a barcode.
There are limitations – the same hour restrictions that exist for the hand scanners exist for mobile, for instance, so the first time I tried it, a late-night trip to a 24-hour location, I couldn’t use it. But since this resolves the peak busy times problem that I encounter much more often (say, going on a Saturday afternoon), it very much solves the capacity problem and lets me use tech I’ve found quite handy over the past few years.