The new store Sam’s Club opened in Texas will require shoppers to use a mobile app to check out. And that will provide the Walmart subsidiary with valuable information about how grocery shoppers use digital tools while shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores.

Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO, ContentSquare

Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO, ContentSquare

Sam’s Club, a Walmart Inc. company, made waves in the e-commerce and digital marketing industries last month for its cashier-less store in Texas, which allows shoppers to scan and purchase items in-store using their smartphones. It was a big move for the retail giant, but was it a reaction to AmazonGo’s cashier-less stores, like some proponents are saying?

Walmart is no stranger to leveraging innovative technology to get closer to its customers, so opening a cashier-less location is the natural next step for the brand. As consumers, we are still working out which tasks we prefer to experience digitally, and which activities we want to carry out in-store. This is particularly true when it comes to grocery shopping.

The eGrocery boom that we are currently seeing is a multichannel phenomenon, with shoppers routinely switching from online to offline. While no one wants to stand in line for hours after a long day at work, many consumers still like to see, smell, and touch the produce they end up buying. Disruptors like Walmart are leveraging technology to attract consumers to their physical stores, and to integrate the digital convenience we have all become addicted to into the brick-and-mortar shopping experience we still value.

The new store will require the use of an app, allowing Sam’s club to analyze consumer behavior.

This is an opportunity for the brand to experiment with a comprehensive digital shopping experience—not just from the consumer’s side but also from the retailer’s side. More than simply removing the headache of checkout, it’s a chance for Walmart to test out other technologies that feed into the in-store experience, and simplify the buying process. It is really the first step to giving shoppers the best of both worlds—real-life experience combined with digital seamlessness.

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The way consumers integrate digital into their shopping routine is changing fast and often. The only way to provide experiences that help shoppers achieve their purchasing goals—both online and offline—is to analyze their behavior, and put their actual needs and expectations at the heart of experience development.

There is also a big advantage in terms of data. The new store will require the use of an app, allowing Sam’s club to analyze consumer behavior, and gain a better understanding of how shoppers hop from one channel to another on the path to purchase. This level of insight will ultimately allow further personalization of service and experience.

ContentSquare provides technology designed to enable retailers to capture and analyze data about digital interactions with consumers and to optimize the user experience.