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Asda launches self-scanning instore app

By Retail Technology | Tuesday May 14 2013

Smartphone application enables customers to use own device to scan as they shop and also check out, saving time and generating valuable data for the supermarket retailer

Asda recently revealed it has begun offering customers trail self-scanning functionality via the mobile app it launched some 18 months ago.

The supermarket retailer has been able to extend the app to self-scanning and checkout having adopted it from its US parent company Wal-Mart.


Extending mobile offering


Unlike its major rivals, it does not have a loyalty scheme to collect data on its customers shopping habits, like Tesco and it Clubcard for example. So the scanning and payment capability could help provide more data to feed its customer relationship management (CRM) intelligence.

But Cindy Etsell, SAS UK head of retail, agreed that the app could be an important step in the next wave of customer data collection.

Gaining real-time insight

Putting the process literally in the hands of the consumer means that Asda can glean important, real-time insights on shoppers as they browse the store, she said. Using analytics on this data would then help the supermarket to unlock powerful insights; learning the order in which customers select and scan individual products could lead to grocers improving the layout of their stores to maximise sales.

But Etsell also suggested that Asda will need to carefully manage the use of its app if the supermarket is to see the true value of the technology for the wider business.


Leading by example


 While digital technologies can help retailers manage heavy footfall and increased demand, support is crucial to ensure that they actually do what they intend create a seamless, pleasant shopping experience for users that ultimately fosters loyalty.

The business intelligence (BI) expert stated that data is a key ingredient to understanding a retailers customer base, so it should be integral to every retailers business strategy: If managed correctly, this new way of collecting data can truly transform the way retailers like Asda are communicating with shoppers and help to introduce new innovations or services that will ultimately keep shoppers coming back to the store.

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