Best of Mobile Self-Scanning - How Brands Have Used it to Achieve Their Aims

Self-scanning is already well established. But you can do much more when you deliver it via a smartphone application.

As part of this, Scandit has helped retailers around the world develop self-scanning applications.

Here are just a few of our clients.

customer logos retail

Our work for these brands covers various requirements and KPIs – from introducing contactless shopping to delivering a personalized shopping experience.

This report collects some of the innovative mobile self-scanning apps we have helped build. So you can use these best of class examples to develop your own.

You’ll discover brands that have utilized mobile self-scanning to:

  • Create an excellent in-store experience
  • Reduce costs through better implementation
  • Improve revenue through additional features
  • Drive better adoption across the multi-channel experience
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1. Smarter selling with smartphones

Handheld Self-Scanning solutions can increase revenue by 10%

There’s nothing like a big number to focus the mind. According to VDC, handheld self-scanning solutions can increase total store revenue by 10%.

Revenue can also be extended by upselling and cross-selling using scanning apps. According to Insider Trends, there’s a potential 25% growth in upselling, as well as a tendency towards bigger baskets. While Boston Consulting Group found adding product reviews can increase conversions by x.2.7.

Guitar Center utilizes product information to upsell in‑store

Guitar Center

One store that integrated product reviews into its app is the US store Guitar Center. It provides in-store, real-time product information to customers at its 280+ stores – all through its mobile app.

Guitar Center has a content-rich e-commerce website where customers learn about the instruments. They turned to smart data capture when they wanted to make this information available in a store environment.

Customers use its mobile app – developed with Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK – to scan barcodes and overlay information on the device’s screen. Customers can view videos, reviews, customer ratings, and recommendations for related products – all by scanning product barcodes.

“We wanted to make it easy for customers to make the most informed decision possible in the store and at the same time set up a longer-term sales cycle when an in-store purchase is not made.” Josh Feldman, Guitar Center’s Senior Product Manager for Mobile

Customers can also look for similar products, alternative colors and check availability at other Guitar Center stores. They then order through the app.

There is also a wish list feature, and a product alert option for when an item is in stock or is reduced in price.

Decathlon raised in-app purchases with mobile self-scanning

Constrained by costly real estate in Singapore, Decathlon wanted to introduce a way for customers to access and view all products and also make shopping convenient and fast.

Maximizing floor space was important and with a growing product range it was a challenge to stock and sell items.

Decathlon implemented a self-checkout app powered by Scandit Smart Data Capture.

The app offered an omnichannel experience and ensured that customers had access to all Decathlon products whether they were browsing in store or online, and eliminated queues with faster checkouts.

“Shopping on their smartphones should be a consistent and convenient experience, irrespective of the environment they scan the barcode, or the mobile device they use. While we expected a 99.9 percent scanning accuracy, Scandit delivered 100 percent accuracy, a feature that encourages more customers to use our scanning-based smartphone app.” Gael Robin, E-Commerce & Mobile Solutions Product Owner, Decathlon

As a result, the app has had over 200,000 downloads and in-app purchases account for over 10 percent of digital sales.

2. Reducing costs with smartphone-based self-scanning

Mobile self-scanning can help reduce costs and do more for less. A good example of this is avoiding the need for expensive handheld scanners.

Dedicated devices are a costly option, especially when they might be under-utilized during non-peak periods.

With Scandit, you can avoid this pitfall. It allows you to turn any smartphone into an enterprise-grade scanning device. This comes with the added benefit that customers prefer to use their own devices, rather than one somebody has just placed in a dock.

Globus focuses on smartphones in self-scanning drive

In 2013, German retail group Globus CZ became the Czech Republic’s first retailer to offer customers self-scanning. In the beginning, it used dedicated scanning devices to scan, create digital shopping lists, and check product prices.

Globus CZ

By 2017, the scheme’s popularity had risen to the point that Globus realized it would need additional dedicated scanners.

But while the store wanted to give its customers self-scanning, it wanted to avoid this outlay. It was aware many scanners would be idle outside of peak shopping times like Easter and Christmas.

So Globus went for a different option. It built a smartphone app using Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK and gave each customer their own equivalent of a dedicated device. Plus, the ability to customize each customer experience.

This strategy brought a number of benefits.

There was a lower total cost of ownership over dedicated scanners. More than that, it meant it had theoretically scaled self-scanning to its whole customer base at a minimal cost.

“Scandit is just way above the rest in terms of performance. After testing, Globus CZ rolled out the ‘Můj Globus’ app using the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK.” Jiří Budinský, Head of Product Department at Globus CZ

Colruyt puts performance first


A vital requirement of any mobile self-scanning app is that it scans quickly and correctly every time. One or two missed scans can lead to a customer dumping your application – possibly for good.

So getting the scanning right is crucial. No matter what lighting conditions, barcode symbologies, or smartphone model.

European retailer Colruyt created a smartphone scanning application they hoped would work well for customers.

The initial version performed well overall; but it failed when it came to scanning performance. One particular issue was the harsh artificial lighting found in most stores. This creates a reflective light glare on products and makes barcode scanning challenging for the average scanning engine.

Colruyt brings in Scandit

So Colruyt turned to Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK. The app returned exceptional performance and substantially reduced failed scans. This was borne out by the basket sizes, which showed customers were using the app for big and small transactions.

“We were concerned the open-source scanner wouldn’t satisfy our needs. In a realistic setting, such as a store, lighting can be an issue. Our customers are not used to scanning product barcodes themselves, so we wanted to make sure we had the best barcode reader available in our app,” Kristof Schraepen, Digital Transformation Manager, Colruyt Group

Since the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK is compatible with a wide range of iOS and Android devices, including older models with lower-resolution commodity cameras, there have been few app adoption issues for Colruyt Group’s diverse customer base.

See below how our Barcode Scanner SDK performs in an actual store environment.

3. Using the app to improve the in-store experience

Retail success is also dependent on customer experience. On the one hand, a store like the Guitar Center is going to be a pleasant browsing experience for guitar aficionados.

On the other, by necessity grocery shopping needs to be seamless and wait-free.

According to Forrester’s ‘Consumers Cringe At Slow Checkout’ report , 84% of customers say checkout wait times are as influential as price or location when it comes to returning to a store. While only 23% are satisfied with the length of the lines in the stores they visit.

Mobile self-scanning has emerged as the solution.

It first hit the headlines in 2018, when Amazon launched Amazon Go. Here the consumer logs in with their smartphone on the way in and pays for what they take out.

But retailers do not need Amazon-like resources to launch an “autonomous” store.

Valora introduces staff-less stores for less

In 2019 European convenience store Valora, introduced Valora Avec, a small-format store that operates entirely with mobile self-scanning.

To maximize space, Valora removed the checkout space and created a self-scanning app to handle the payment. Scandit’s ID scanning capabilities were used to allow customers to quickly register personal details. It means a customer can sign up with a simple scan, and make a purchase through the app in just minutes.

Staff are available during peak times to deal with any questions about the app.

“The customer experience plays a central role in the whole Avec convenience concept of Valora. The process begins with registration and continues through customer contact and error handling and on to payment,” Dominique Martin, Manager – Consumer Application, Valora

Coop DK moves towards contactless shopping

Coop DK, Denmark’s largest grocery retailer, launched its Scan and Pay application in 2016. The app proved popular and has steadily grown.

Yet it was with the pandemic that it really came into its own. In many stores, self-scanning usage doubled in just a few months. The app now has over 1.6 million downloads.

As more people shop in this way, the more they will embrace technological innovation as part of their shopping experience.

4. Brands who’ve added features that customers love to use

As we pointed out in our guide How to 10x Your Self-Scanning App, there is much more to a mobile self-scanning app than Scan. Pay. Go. Yes, self-scanning is about convenience, but there are opportunities to add many more features.

Our clients have used our technology to help create more than just a mobile self-scanning app.

Yuka builds nutritional information into its app

In January 2017, Yuka launched a mobile app that lets consumers check the nutritional value of food products on the shelf.

A shopper scans the product’s barcode. The app then evaluates the nutritional value on a scale ranging from red to green and displays the information on-screen.

Yuka screen

Red indicates levels of high levels of fat, salt, sugar and additives. If a product is determined to be unhealthy, the app will recommend alternatives that contain more nutritious ingredients.

A later iteration enabled the app to scan products such as soap, shampoo and skin cream to help check the quality of cosmetics.

5. Building adoption through seamless performance and communication

As with any application, adoption is a major challenge. Many things feed into this, such as performance, information, onboarding, even a decent wifi connection in your store. However, the overriding factor is scan performance.

Scanning is the one function people will use all the time. If it doesn’t work or causes frustration, people will stop using it.

Coop DK focuses on performance with a strong marketing campaign

When it launched its mobile self-scanning application, Coop DK put a big emphasis on performance. But it also made an effort to understand why customers would want to use self-scanning and shop like a ‘rock star’.

In the video below, Coop DK head of innovation (payments and Scan and Pay) Lotte Lund Larsen explained how these two elements dovetailed with each other.

“Being a customer, I want to shop and do my purchases at my own pace without interruptions and I want to skip the line. It’s a self-service solution so you are giving all the control and [sic] hard work to the customer. If it doesn’t work then it is a very very bad experience.”Lotte Lund Larsen, Coop DK Head of Innovation

6. Using mobile self-scanning to boost omnichannel take-up

Retailers around the world are focusing on boosting omnichannel operations and improving their overall cross-platform experience.

Despite being an in-store application, mobile self-scanning is an excellent way to bring customers into a store’s omnichannel ecosystem.

There is extensive research that demonstrates omnichannel customers will shop more with that store. In fact, according to BI Intelligence, omnichannel customers spend on average three times more than single-channel customers.

This is backed up in our mobile self-scanning webinar, The State of Self-Scanning in Europe. In it, research specialist Forrester said integrating the digital and in-store experience is a crucial focus point for retailers right now.

An excellent way to achieve this is to add our Augmented Reality and MatrixScan features into your app. This allows for the integration of personalized coupons, product reviews, and other information.

Metro brings the online experience in-store with its mobile self-scanning app

Metro app screen

German specialist wholesaler Metro needs to know its customers well because only commercial traders – like restaurateurs, the self-employed, or associations and institutions – can shop at the company’s stores.

Metro stores offer purchase prices that are specific to each customer. But these prices are not visible in-store, as the shelf labels only show the current product retail prices.

So Metro utilized Scandit’s Augmented Reality and MatrixScan technology to display customer-specific prices when they scan barcodes on a shelf. From there the customer’s individual product prices are overlaid on the image.

“Customers using the app have a better level of knowledge at the time of their decision to buy. They feel appealed to and looked after personally. Displaying the individual product prices is a very special service we provide for our customers.” Jörg Decker, Product Owner for Mobile Commerce at METRONOME, the tech unit of Metro

7. Make your mobile self-scanning app as good as it can be

Mobile self-scanning can help you achieve your objectives no matter whether they are financial, customer-focused, or both. It will make a huge difference to your business and is safer for shoppers.

Recent challenges and trends have led to a substantial increase in online shopping and contactless technology in store.

Mobile self-scanning is a way to bridge the convenience of online shopping with the experience of being in a store.

Scandit can help you create a great mobile self-scanning experience that adds to the bottom line. Our Barcode Scanner SDK will turn your customers’ smartphones into enterprise-grade barcode scanners.

But, as you will see by looking at some of our other solutions, it can do so much more.But, as you will see by looking at some of our other solutions, it can do so much more.

Find Out How We Can Help

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