Sam's Club is now using AI instead of humans to verify receipts in every fifth store

In locations with the technology in place, customers are leaving the store 23% faster, according to the Walmart subsidiary. All clubs should have the AI tech by year's end.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Sam's Club

If you're a Sam's Club shopper, checking out could soon get faster. AI-powered receipt-checking machines are now in place at 20% of the chain's stores -- or more than 120 locations.

Also: Not always honest at supermarket self-checkout? AI is out to get you

Instead of having to wait in line for a human to verify that you paid for everything in your cart, you can now walk through a large archway of sorts that uses computer vision to take an image of your cart from all sides and compare it to your receipt. From large packs of paper towels to clothing to rotisserie chickens, the AI tech can tell in seconds which items -- and how many of each -- are in the cart.

Amazon recently ended its take on this technology in grocery stores. Reports suggested Amazon's Just Walk Out tech was unreliable and many verification tasks had to be outsourced to more than 1,000 human employees in India. 

Sam's Club, however, claims that its AI tech's speed and accuracy are unparalleled.

The machines can check shoppers who use Scan & Go via the Sam's Club app (iOS and Android) and don't have a physical receipt, those who use self-checkout, and those who go through a traditional cashier.

In a January 2024 blog post about the new technology, Sam's Club said that waiting in a long line for a human receipt checker is one of the biggest pain points for customers. So far, that pain is being relieved. In locations where the technology is in place, shoppers leave the store 23% faster.

Also: How this retailer uses machine learning and computer vision to keep its shelves full

Sam's Club will continue to iterate and enhance the technology, which should also improve with the more transactions it handles. Some locations, for example, have a side-by-side design that lets two customers walk out at once. 

Sam's Club is the first retailer to deploy this shopping technology at scale, the chain claims, and the first to build, design, and roll it out entirely in-house. After testing the tech in 10 pilot stores and implementing it in an additional 100 stores, the retailer has plans to expand to all clubs by the end of the year.

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