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Sam's Club Rolls Out AI Exit Technology

The AI and video exit technology, built in-house to speed up the purchase-to-exit process, has rolled out to 20% of clubs in four months.
Sam's Club AI exit technology

Sam’s Club has implemented artificial intelligence and computer vision technology at more than 120 clubs as part of its efforts to solve a key member concern: waiting in line for receipt verification to exit the club. 

First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, the exit technology confirms members have paid for all items in their shopping carts without requiring an associate to check purchases before leaving the club. Sam’s Club plans to bring the tech to all of its nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. by the end of 2024, according to a media release.  

This rollout achieves Sam's Club's initial goal to deploy the member-facing exit tech at 20% of its locations in the first quarter, a milestone the retailer claims many others have struggled to reach at scale with similar tech.

The Walmart-owned warehouse club built, designed and rolled out this technology in-house to address member pain points in the “purchase-to-exit process.” According to Sam’s Club, members want a faster, more convenient shopping experience and have consistently rated the potentially lengthy wait times at exit — especially during busy periods — as a primary pain point in their shopping experience.

Sam’s Club said initial results are positive and created an enhanced customer experience “almost immediately,” reporting that all members are leaving clubs 23% faster on average.

"I’m incredibly proud of the innovation and dedication of our team to deploy this member experience technology at scale," Todd Garner, chief product officer at Sam’s Club, said in the release. "Both exit technology and Scan & Go are driving new levels of convenience and raising member satisfaction among members. What distinguishes Sam’s Club from our competitors is our ability to seamlessly deploy this technology at scale across our nearly 600 clubs nationwide. Whether it's a single item or a cartful, we're revolutionizing the checkout experience."

Before this technology, exiting the club often took longer and went slower as lines formed waiting for associates to review receipts and examine items in a member’s cart, a process similar to other channel rivals. 

Now, after a member completes payment at a register or via Scan & Go, a combination of computer vision and digital technology at club exits captures images of carts and verifies payment for all items within a member’s basket. This innovation also allows associates to refocus their time on other tasks. 

As AI continually learns from thousands of exit transactions at more locations, Sam’s Club said it will continue iterating and enhancing the technology as the rollout continues. 

The retailer said this technology is a “natural extension” of Scan & Go, which allows members to use their mobile Sam’s Club app to capture purchases on-the-go and bypass the traditional checkout line in the club.

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