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Walmart Canada

Scan & Go

Design Research | Shopalongs |


Walmart Canada launched Scan & Go in the fall 2017 in Ontario. Scan & Go is a new mobile app designed to be used exclusively in-store; customers can scan barcodes to add items to their shopping cart and pay in-app, bypassing the checkout line.

To ensure a seamless omnichannel experience between the mobile app and in-store environment, we conducted ethnographic research at a Walmart store to better understand the tactical scanning and cart management behaviours of customers.

Shopalong Sessions

We facilitated 10 shopalong sessions at a Walmart store. Customers chose from one of the following shopping scenarios: 1) planning an event 2) weekly grocery shop or 3) shopping for toys or kids clothes. This ensured that customers would naturally scan a variety of items from all departments available at Walmart. 

Sessions were captured using a combination of methods, including handwritten notes, a screen recorder and a smartphone to capture photos & videos.

Research Objectives

  • Tactical scanning behaviour (expectations, triggers, preferences, pain points)  

  • How the store environment physically impacts scanning behaviour 

  • How participants interact with their phone during the shopping experience 

  • Relationship between the digital cart and the physical shopping cart 

  • Expectations and reactions to different shopping scenarios and edge cases



  • Identified participant criteria

  • Worked with Android developer to build testing scenario into prototype

  • Wrote research brief & interview guide

  • Facilitated shopalong sessions


Customers shopped using 2 versions of a fully functional Scan & Go mobile app prototype, switching over halfway through the test. Each prototype featured a working camera, barcode scanner & shopping cart with real product pricing & data.

Key Findings



The day after the shopalong tests, we met for a rapid synthesis session. In this session, we reviewed our notes & video recordings from the tests, identified which features tested positively and which needed improvement & put together a list of recommendations for UX to explore in the next sprint.

User research is integrated into our sprint work alongside traditional design work. After reviewing the test findings and aligning with the product owner, I created UX tickets in JIRA for the upcoming sprint to update cart & scanner designs. Test findings were added directly to JIRA.


Key Findings & Opportunities

Scanner in Cart

8 out of 10 participants preferred shopping with the split screen camera + cart prototype, particularly being able to see totals for budgeting and their cart contents all on one page.

Value Proposition

Participants found scanning & item management easy and intuitive. The premise of Scan & Go (saving time, skipping the checkout line) was very compelling).

Edge Case Handling

​Participants expressed concern about the accuracy of the items in their physical cart vs their digital cart if there were technical issues, not want to accidentally be overcharged or accused of stealing.

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