Does Costco have Scan and Go Checkout? Answered!

Last updated: 2 Dec, 2023 |
Does Costco have Scan and Go Checkout Answered!

Costco is a renowned membership-only warehouse club famous for its wide selection of products, competitive prices, and exceptional customer service. Although the company has adopted various technological advancements in its operations, it has consciously decided not to implement the Scan and Go checkout system.

Instead, Costco offers a personalized checkout experience through self-checkout lanes and a mobile checkout option.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Costco’s Checkout Strategy: Opting out of scan-and-go, Costco instead provides self-checkout lanes and a mobile checkout app for efficient shopping.
  2. Decision Drivers: Costco’s choice is influenced by its focus on personal customer interactions, inventory control, job preservation, and cautious tech adoption.
  3. Looking Ahead: While scan-and-go is not currently offered, Costco continues to evolve its checkout options, balancing technological innovation with customer service excellence. The future adoption of scan-and-go remains a possibility.

Does Costco have scan and go checkout?

Costco has chosen not to implement a scan-and-go system, unlike its competitors. This technology allows customers to scan items as they shop, skip traditional checkout lanes, and pay directly through their smartphones.

Does Costco have scan and go checkout
Does Costco have scan and go checkout

Costco decided to forgo scan-and-go based on its distinctive business model and customer demographics.

Self-Checkout Lanes: A Convenient Alternative

Despite the absence of scan-and-go technology, Costco has acknowledged the increasing demand for quicker checkout options.

The company has installed multiple self-checkout lanes in its stores, allowing customers to independently scan and pay for their items. These self-checkout lanes are particularly popular among shoppers who prefer a more streamlined checkout process, especially when paying with credit cards.

Additionally, Costco strategically positions these lanes in high-traffic areas to manage queues effectively and minimize wait times.

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How to Use Costco’s Self-Checkout?

Costco has a self-checkout system to make your shopping experience more efficient. It allows you to pay for your purchases quickly and conveniently.

How to Use Costco’s Self-Checkout
How to Use Costco’s Self-Checkout

Whether you are a frequent Costco shopper or a new member, mastering the self-checkout process will make your visits even smoother.

1. Identify Eligible Items

Before heading to the self-checkout lanes, ensure your items are eligible for self-checkout. While most items can be processed through self-checkout, there are a few exceptions, including alcohol, tobacco, jewelry, and some bulky or heavy items. These items typically require assistance from a cashier.

2. Scan Your Membership Card

Once you’ve gathered your eligible items, proceed to the self-checkout lanes. Begin by scanning your Costco membership card. You can use the digital membership card stored on your mobile device. For a seamless payment experience, consider adding your Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi to your digital membership card.

3. Scan or Weigh Your Items

Follow the on-screen instructions to scan or weigh your items. Use the handheld scanner to capture the barcode for items with barcodes accurately. For produce, place the items on the scale and wait for the weight to register. If unsure about an item’s barcode or weight, refer to the on-screen product lookup feature.

4. Choose Your Payment Method

Select your preferred payment method once all your items have been scanned or weighed. Costco accepts cash, debit cards, and credit cards. If you’ve added your Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi to your digital membership card, select the ‘Costco Anywhere Visa’ option and tap your card on the payment terminal.

5. Complete the Transaction

Follow the remaining on-screen prompts to finalize your transaction. If paying with cash, insert the designated amount and wait for your change. If using a card, tap or swipe your card and enter your PIN when prompted.

6. Collect Your Receipt and Exit

After completing the transaction, collect your receipt and exit the warehouse. Please note that Costco exit greeters may ask to see your receipt to ensure the accuracy of your purchase.

Express Checkout for Online Orders

Costco has made online shopping a more convenient experience for its members.

The retailer now offers an express checkout feature on its website, which allows customers to place orders quickly and easily. Members must log into their Costco.com account and store their preferred payment information and default shipping address to use the service.

This streamlined process helps minimize the time spent processing online orders, making it hassle-free for tech-savvy shoppers.

Advantages of Costco’s Self-Checkout System:

  • Reduced Waiting Times: Self-checkout lanes often have shorter wait times than traditional checkout lanes, allowing customers to save time and get in and out quickly.
  • Convenience and Independence: Customers can control the pace of their checkout experience and avoid interacting with cashiers if they prefer.
  • Accessibility for All: Costco’s self-checkout lanes are designed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities, ensuring an inclusive shopping experience.

Mobile Checkout: Enhancing Convenience with Technology

Costco’s mobile checkout option allows customers to scan and pay for their items using smartphones.

Through the Costco app, shoppers can scan barcodes on products as they shop and proceed to checkout seamlessly.

This feature eliminates waiting in line or interacting with cashiers, offering a personalized, time-saving solution.

Benefits of Costco’s Mobile Checkout:

  • Ultimate Convenience: Customers can scan and pay for items anywhere in the store, saving time and effort.
  • Reduced Checkout Hassles: Mobile checkout eliminates the need to wait in line or handle physical products at the checkout counter.
  • Personalized Shopping Experience: The app lets customers track purchases and manage shopping lists effectively.

Reasons Behind the Absence of Scan-and-Go at Costco?

Costco’s decision to forgo scan-and-go stems from a combination of factors, including:

  1. Investment in Technology: Costco has historically been cautious about investing heavily in technology, prioritizing its core business operations. While functional, the company’s website and app lack the sophistication and features seen in those of its competitors.
  2. Commitment to Established Practices: Costco is known for its adherence to time-tested practices, often prioritizing stability over rapid change. This is evident in its slow adoption of online grocery shopping and curbside pickup, which are now commonplace among major retailers.
  3. Inventory Loss Concerns: Scan-and-go technology, while convenient, raises concerns about inventory loss due to potential theft or scanning errors. Costco’s razor-thin profit margins make inventory control a critical aspect of its operations.
  4. Prioritizing Customer Interaction: Costco values the personalized interactions between cashiers and customers, believing it enhances the overall shopping experience.
  5. Employee Job Protection: Costco is committed to preserving employee jobs and maintaining a human-centric approach to the checkout process.

Exploring Scan-and-Go at Alternative Retailers

While Costco has opted against scan-and-go, several competing wholesale clubs readily embrace this technology. BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club offer scan-and-go services, allowing customers to scan items as they shop and pay conveniently through their smartphones.

Beyond wholesale clubs, numerous mainstream retailers have adopted scan-and-go, including Walmart, Kroger, Amazon Go, and 7-Eleven. For those seeking the convenience of scan-and-go, these alternatives readily fulfill this need.

The Future of Checkout at Costco: Potential Scenarios

Given Costco’s history of adopting new technologies at a measured pace, it’s difficult to predict when or if scan-and-go will become a reality.

However, the growing popularity of this feature among consumers and its potential to streamline checkout processes could eventually compel Costco to reconsider its stance.

Final Words: Embracing a Balanced Approach

Costco’s decision not to implement Scan and Go technology demonstrates its commitment to providing a personalized customer experience, prioritizing inventory management, and valuing its employees’ jobs.

By offering self-checkout lanes and a mobile checkout option, Costco balances embracing technological advancements and preserving its unique customer service approach.

As a result, Costco members enjoy a seamless and convenient checkout experience while benefiting from the company’s dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why doesn’t Costco have scan-and-go?

Costco’s decision to forgo scan-and-go stems from its focus on bulk purchases and its emphasis on personal customer interactions at checkout.

Does Costco have a self-checkout app?

Yes, the Costco app allows customers to scan items and checkout with their phones, eliminating the need to wait in line or handle physical products at the checkout counter.

Does Costco have self-checkout lanes?

Yes, Costco provides self-checkout lanes in its stores across the nation. These lanes offer a convenient alternative to traditional checkout, particularly for shoppers paying with credit cards.

Does Costco have an online shopping cart?

Yes, Costco offers an online shopping cart where customers can browse, add items, and purchase them for in-store pickup or delivery.

Can I use scan-and-go at other wholesale clubs?

Yes, scan-and-go is available at BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club. These competing retailers offer scan-and-go services through their mobile apps, enabling customers to scan items as they shop and pay conveniently.

Does Costco have a digital membership card?

Yes, Costco provides a digital membership card that is accessible through the Costco app.

Can I pay at Costco using my phone?

Yes, Costco accepts contactless payments via Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet at the register.

What other retailers offer scan-and-go?

Numerous mainstream retailers have adopted scan-and-go, including Walmart, Kroger, Amazon Go, and 7-Eleven. These alternatives provide the convenience of scanning items and paying through smartphones.

Can I use someone else’s Costco card?

No, only the primary cardholder and one additional member can use the card during each visit.

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Faisal Mian

With a decade of experience as a manager, advisor, and marketer in the retail and consumer service sector, I understand the intricacies of the shopping landscape. I’m committed to delivering valuable insights to enhance your shopping endeavors.

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