I thought I'd try it out. My experience of barcode scanning on my phone has been a bit disappointing. Taking ages to boot up the camera, scan items then jumping off to a separate web page - hopefully built for mobile if I'm lucky. So I was a bit sceptical about doing a complete shop using my smartphone.
Once you've opened the app, you need to find the QR code near the store entrance and scan to start your shop. The app is then ready to start scanning.
A convenient button on the bottom of the screen switches on the camera so you can scan. Pointing the scanner at various items I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the app recognised the barcode - even those crinkled packets that never seem to scan were recognised quickly. You have to go to a separate screen to see the list of items in your basket, which is a bit strange as you don't see the items listing as you did with the Waitrose scanner.
When you're done, you still need to find a Quick Check till and scan the 'finish' barcode then go through the check-out procedure.
So now Waitrose have got me using my smartphone actively in the store, and I've got their app open and that was my choice. It's separate to the standard Waitrose app, so integrating is likely to be a little more tricky. But there are many next step possibliities: reminding me of items on my shopping list, highlighting special offers, and even using beacons to help me round the store.
The success of this solution is Waitrose thinking like a customer and helping me with my shopping journey. Much better than the Waitrose 'Pick Your Own Offers' solution where you choose which items you will get discounts on via the website. A nice idea, but not very well implemented as a customer experience in store. I can never remember which items I have chosen!
It's a shame that Apple Pay isn't integrated into the app and I need to go to the Quick Check check-out to complete my transaction. Once those last two steps are resolved it could be the end of supermarket queuing for all of us.
Hey @Waitrose - you need to put iPhone holders on your trolleys!