Fred Meyer joins bandwagon of new self-scanning tech, but will people use it?

Move over, Amazon Go. Fred Meyer’s going for its own version of enhanced self-checkout.

You might wonder how “Scan, Bag, Go” is different from the self-checkout you already love or hate at existing stores.

The new system allows customers to “use a wireless handheld scanner or the Scan, Bag, Go app on their personal device to scan and bag products as they shop for a quicker, seamless checkout experience,” the grocer said in an announcement this week.

The program is coming to 26 Fred Meyer sites this year. No list or time line yet of the stores getting first crack at this.

“Scan, Bag, Go customers currently visit a store’s self-checkout area to provide payment,” according to the announcement. “Customers will soon have the ability to provide payment directly through the app, allowing shoppers to exit the store even quicker.”

“The innovation of Scan, Bag, Go will provide a great new shopping convenience and move us forward as the store of the future,” said Joe Grieshaber, Fred Meyer president, in its news release.

Not to be outdone, Walmart also announced in January its own version, called “Scan & Go.”

“We’re expanding a test of our popular Mobile Express Scan & Go app to an additional 100 Walmart stores across the U.S. The app allows customers to scan and bag items, including produce, while they shop and pay directly with their phones. There’s no waiting in line at the register,” the company announced. “When customers launch the app, it automatically lists participating stores nearby.”

The Lacey Neighborhood Market is the first Walmart store in the area to receive the service. Two other stores in Washington are gaining it this month as well: Clarkston and Aberdeen.

Target in December launched its Wallet feature in the Target app.

“Guests can pay using their Target REDcard and save with Cartwheel — all in a single scan of their phones at checkout,” the company said.

Times, and technology have certainly changed amid the love-hate-love relationship stores have with designing an efficient self-checkout system.

Back in 2011, it looked as though self-checkout at grocery stores would be a thing of the past. Albertsons, at that time, announced it was taking out its self-checkout lanes and Kroger was considering other options.

One reason for getting customers to scan while they shop could be to change up the average shopping experience as fewer people see the need to make trips to a physical store and concepts such as the cashier-free Amazon Go are introduced.

Supermarket News cited a new report this week from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen that predicted 70 percent of shoppers will be buying their groceries online by 2024. The percentage now for those going online to browse the grocery aisles just for packaged goods: 49 percent.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell