automated cart scanners (l) H-E-B plus! Fresh Foods storefront with caption 'Wha? How does this work?' (c) QR scanner with caption 'I purposely missed an item to show y'all the scale will pick it up' (r)

@hurricane_katriina/TikTok

‘Going to HEB used to be a getaway. Now it’s work’: New self-checkout technology at HEB goes viral, sparking debate

‘Self checkout machines already need overrides every five minutes.’

 

Brooke Sjoberg

IRL

A new way to pay at regional grocery chain HEB is turning heads and dividing opinion online.

Posted by San Antonio-based content creator @hurricane_katriina, a TikTok video shows a pilot scan and weigh checkout system called Fast Scan, being debuted at a Schertz, Texas location.

The TikTok of the new setup garnered 1.2 million views.

@hurricane_katriina #firstofitskind #heb #schertztx #3009 #newtech #innovative #shoppingexperience #startstomorrow #heboftx #scanandgo ♬ original sound – ADAMRAY

“H-E-B coming in hot,” text overlay on the video reads. “Starting tomorrow.”

According to My San Antonio, all customers have to do to check out with the large scanner is run their cart through the archway and pay their total. According to My San Antonio, the technology as first spotted by a Twitter user in mid-July, and it’s in the pilot phase, only being tested by employees.

“At H-E-B, we continue to evaluate and utilize innovative technologies in all parts of our business,” a statement HEB sent to My San Antonio read. “This checkout option is part of a limited pilot program we’re currently testing internally with our Partners.”

In the comments section of @hurricane_katriina’s video, the TikToker aimed to explain to viewers how the new checkout option works.

“When you enter the store you grab a scanner and scan your buggy’s QR code,” she wrote. “Then you scan as you shop. This is end that will also scan your QR code and weigh your items to confirm your scans.”

She then took viewers on the “experience” of trying out the new technology in a follow-up. She first grabs a scanner at the door, scans her shopping cart to start, scans her items as she places them in the cart, and places her shopping cart on the technology. She says she purposely skipped scanning an item to show viewers what the scanner will say. A “weight mismatch” error code pops up on her scanner. A worker comes over and corrects her order total. She then pays, returns her scanner, and leaves. (She later, in a third video, shows viewers how to scan produce.)

“Feedback is appreciated as these vids will be viewed by other H-E-B team members,” she added in a comment. It’s unclear if the TikToker is an HEB worker or if the technology is now being used by customers.

Some viewers criticized the option, which is similar to how one checks out at Amazon’s Amazon Go stores.

“Yet no apple pay lol,” one commenter wrote.

“But who’s going to bag my groceries after the scanner?” another questioned. “Going to H-E-B used to be a get away now it’s work lol.”

“The amount of issues those machines will have,” a commenter wrote. “Self checkout machines already need overrides every five minutes because people don’t know how to use them.”

Others praised the grocery chain for exploring options to fit customer desires.

“Y’all just don’t get it!” one commenter wrote. “H-E-B is an experience that all you northerners will never get to experience unless you come to Texas and visit.”

“H-E-B the true governor of Texas sending us into the future,” another commenter wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @hurricane_katriina via TikTok comment.


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