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First it was the “Ten Items or Less” line, then came  self-checkout- but it seems like neither approach meet the demands of shoppers who want to get in and get out quickly. But wait, didn’t  supermarkets  provide a hand-held device where you can just scan your items as you go along? Yes this is true but there were only a limited amount and who wants to wait in line for one when now there is an app for it!

SCAN IT! Mobile is Stop & Shop’s smartphone app. The app let’s costumers scan and bag their groceries as they shop and checkout… well that takes a second. You wave your phone at the register, it reads it, you pay and you go. The Scan it! app came out months ago and most likely there is something better out there. In fact,  with technology rapidly growing I wouldn’t be surprised if one day the check out line will suddenly not exist!

Many shoppers are learning to appreciate the tech-savvy nature of self-checkouts — the ability to compare prices at nearby retailers, cell phone scanners, in-store interactive media devices and mobile coupons. Supermarket retailers are faced with a problem — the GS1 DataBar standards are changing and barcode scanners need to be updated, which costs a lot of money. At the same time chains including Wal-Mart and Macy’s are pushing suppliers to add RFID chips to individual items (and everyone does what Wal-Mart does). When Wal-Mart said that it wanted to use bar codes as a better way to manage inventory, bar codes became ‘de rigeur’. If you didn’t use bar codes, you lost Wal-Mart’s business. In other words, Wal-Mart is “Simon,” When Wal-Mart says, suppliers listen.

Then there is Google Wallet and other mobile device apps that will allow shoppers not only the opportunity to find out nutritional, allergy and country of origin information on individual products, but also allow them to receive special offers, electronic coupons, flash sales and like the SCAN IT! App… to checkout themselves.

For many shoppers high-tech adds to personalization with suggested purchases and targeted offers based on their histories in the store. Think about the coupon that prints out with your recipet. Those are clearly based on your shopping history that is recorded everytime you swipre your supermarket card/key chain. But I think a change is about to happen where high-tech meets high-touch in a warm and friendly way that reinforces the central community nature and feel of the local supermarket. If you are hesitant to believe, just think back to the last time you saw