Costco leads the wholesale club business model, and they have all the latest business and convenience concepts.
Costco’s biggest warehouse club competitors Bj’s and Sam’s have the Scan and Go checkout system embeded in their registers, but that’s not the case for Costco.
Does Costco Have Scan and Go?
Costco does not have Scan and Go as of 2023, and they have no plans to make an app with same capability in the near future. Instead, Costco offers Express Lanes and Self-Checkout Lanes to improve customer’s shopping experience.
Reasons Why Costco Does Not Have Scan And Go
Costco doesn’t give us a direct answer to that question. Like any other player in the wholesale and retail business, they are playing with cards closer to their chest.
In the pandemic and post pandemic era the trend has been home delivery. If the business thrives in the current market then investing money and labor in a new system may not look particularly profitable. But is that all? Here are some other possible reasons.
Get more customers to their food court. More visits by people means more food sales. People tend to buy food when they see it, not adding it to a shopping list, like ingredients.
Customers usually throw in a few additional items when they visit a store. Usually a cashier can lure a customer to throw in a few items they are promoting at the checkouts. A customer may just add a few items which are not in their shopping list.
They can promote the Executive Membership. A cashier can drum up their Executivecard when customers visit the store physically. Just casually pointing out the difference between savings of the two memberships they can lure you to upgrade your membership.
It saves trouble too. Not everything is convenient with Scan and Go. It involves assistance by the staff, especially when a customer is not conversant with “apps.” While a majority of customers may find it useful, many others may find it hard to go back and forth correcting purchases.
Costco is proud of their fast checkout. If the Costco checkouts are fast then it’s convenient to just pick your items and pass the trouble on to the cashier than to keep on aiming your mobile phone every time you want to buy something. Costco said in their instagram that their checkout time is less than 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Why Do Costco Customers Want Scan and Go?
The main reason why consumers prefer Scan and Go is because it can minimize the shopping time. This is even more meaningful today as you should keep away from crowds as much as possible due to the pandemic.
Avoid waiting in line for ringing up your items again at the checkout counter. It is also preferred by customes who want to avoid direct contact with sales staff as much as possible means reduced risk during the pandemic.
Scan and Go is a way to allow customers to pick and bag items themselves without having to go through the whole list again at a checkout point. The procedure is simple.
- Customer opens the Scan and Go App of the relevant merchant as they enter the market premises.
- Pick up what you want, scan the barcode or the QR code of the item, bag it, and proceed on. In other words, pick each item you want to purchase and scan them and bag them as you shop.
- Pay your bill in-app, or at the Scan and Go counter by just scanning the QR code.
The checkout method may slightly vary from merchant to merchant but it’s the same principle.
Scan and Go is not the ultimate convenience where you don’t have to interact with a sales assistant at all. You still have to get their help with items sold by weight. But it’s far easier than what we’ve been used to.
Does Costco Have an App?
Yes, Costco has apps for both iOS and Android. It offers so many capabilities for the shoppers who’s on their mobile a lot. However, despite this extensive list of functionality, the Costco apps do not seem to be very well received by their users.
- On Apple App Store, the Costco iOS app only has an average rating of 2.5 out of 5 based on 3,600 ratings.
- On Google Play, the Costco Android app has an average rating of 3.4 out of 5 based on 29,700 ratings.
You can find the apps here. The Costco apps offer a rich set of features:
- Digital Membership Card: Use the app as a digital membership card to get into Costco warehouses
- Gas Price: Look up the current gas price at your local Costco gas station
- Costco Shop Card: Buy a Costco Shop Card or check the balance of your card
- Costco Photo Center: Order photo prints and photo books
- Costco.com: Browse and place orders at Costco.com
- Costco Pharmacy: Refill your prescriptions at Costco Pharmacy
- Promotions: View the latest deals and promotions at Costco
- Costco Travel: Purchase vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, hotel stays, theme park packages, and more
- Costco Grocery: Place grocery orders and have them delivered to you
Can I Use Scan and Go on Costco App?
You cannot use Scan and Go on the Costco app as it does not have Scan and Go capability. Costco App is packed with some excellent features. It allows you to explore, shop, and accumulate points among the many other functions.
- Shop online at Costco.com – Browse items, apply online-only savings, get the merchandise delivered.
- Promotions – View the latest promotions and stay updated.
- Information – View local gasoline prices, contact information, hours and other location-specific details.
- Manage Your Account – Access your account, view shopping history, set up payment options.
- Pharmacy – Refill prescriptions, manage family accounts and set medication reminders.
- Shopping Lists – Create and manage shopping lists.
- Business Center – Shop online for products from the Costco Business Center.
- Photo Center – Print photos straight from your phone. You can also order art materials through the app.
- Other Services – Sign up for life insurance, apply for a home loan, and much more.
What Other Stores Offer Scan and Go?
- Amazon Go – This is more advanced than basic Scan and Go. A group can shop items without having to scan what each one picks, and they will be added to the total. Then you can leave the store and the merchandise will be delivered to your home.
- BJ’s Wholesale Club –, 20 item limit or Order Total less than $750.
- Kroger – called Scan, Bag, Go® service. Pay using app or at counter.
- Walmart – Coupons cannot be applied.
- Sam’s Club – Also valid for fuel and alcohol
- Meijer – Payment is only accepted at any self-checkout register.
- 7-Eleven – called Mobile Checkout. Age-restricted items not allowed. Redeem rewards.
What is the Fastest Way to Checkout at Costco?
The fastest way to checkout at Costco is their self-checkout lanes. However, not all Costco locations have self-checkout. According to Costco, by Sept 2019 about 100 out of the 540-ish Costco locations in the United States already had self-checkout installed. The plan was to quickly expand that to 250 locations.
But that still leaves about half of all Costco locations without self-checkout. The best way to find out if your local Costco has self-checkout or not is to call them and ask.
So far, reactions from customers are quite polarized. The people who do not buy a lot of stuff on their shopping trips tend to like self-checkout. On the other hand, people who do buy lots of stuff tend not to be fans.
Costco has met Scan and Go halfway with their self-checkout lanes. It’s fast, and eases the congestion especially at high-volume locations.
They have mentioned on their website that self-checkout is available at some of their locations, and they will be introducing it to more locations.
Self-checkout has its additional advantage of your merchandise being handled/ touched only by you. Not only does it save labor for the company, it also makes you less worried about disease transmission.
Express checkout lanes
Their rationale for this decision is that at average a member buys sixteen items. That means the express lanes are the least busy lanes to pay for your merchandise.
However, the interesting line in their explanation is “we made the decision not to include express lanes—at least for now.” In other words this decision may change in future and you’ll have to stay updated.
Express Checkout is a feature in Costco online shopping which allows you to set up a default payment method and a default delivery address.
After that you can make any future purchases through the Express Checkout, where you will be charged and items delivered to the default address without having to enter payment methods or addresses etc.
Does Costco Have Scan and Go in 2023?
Costco currently does not have Scan and Go. Instead, they have introduced self-checkout lanes in many locations. They have also introduced Express Lanes for customers who buy less than 16 items.
Self-checkout is the fastest way to bag your merchandise and pay for them at this time, and it has the added benefit of minimum handling of your items.
However, with the Costco App you can still create shopping lists, manage your account, and even view your shopping history which are undoubtedly some commendable ease-of-use features.
Costco is a main actor in the warehouse club front, and they have a loyal customer base. With the competition getting intense by the day, they will have to embrace the new system sooner or later in order to stay ahead.
Traditional supermarkets like Walmart have adopted the Scan and Go system, and it will be an invaluable feature if Costco decides to add it.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.