Walmart & Teaching the Masses to Scan

Mobile commerce is less about the technology and more about the behavioral change facilitated by the technology.

Walmart’s recent introduction of the Savings Catcher feature in its app is a great example of this.

After a shopping trip, a consumer can scan the code on their Walmart receipt via the retailer’s app and Walmart will, within 72 hours, look at the items purchased, compare to circulars from main competitors and rebate any difference when a lower advertised price is found.

Walmart already has the technology in place, with purchase data that can be matched to the customer’s receipt number.

The big change here is behavioral, by Walmart incenting consumer to scan receipts after returning home.

Others have tried similar approaches, as I wrote about here some time ago (Mobile Coupon Redemption AFTER the Shopping Trip), but Walmart simplified it and brought it to the masses.

The Walmart procedure requires the scanning of only the receipt QR code rather than the entire receipt.

The added touch for the Walmart program is that the refunds come in the form of a Walmart Rewards eGift Card, driving the consumer back to a Walmart store.

With other store-receipt coupon apps, shoppers photograph entire receipts, somewhat trickier than scanning only a code.

I was a regular user of Endorse and until it shut down and was later acquired by Dropbox. Now I use Checkout 51, a similar grocery store shopping app that requires an entire receipt upload but is relatively accurate and quick to validate the coupons.

The potential behavioral change is driven by Walmart’s scale. The Walmart App-Savings Catcher is now the number 3 free app in Apple’s app store, indicating that many consumers totally get this.

They get paid back for doing something simple. Small consumer investment, big payback.

In addition to Walmart shoppers receiving post-shopping rewards, they’re learning about mobile scanning to receive value.

These new, scanning shoppers may then become more inclined to scan barcodes in stores to compare prices.

The Walmart masses will be learning that it is less about the mobile technology and more about the value they get.

And that drives behavioral change.

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