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Wal-Mart thought shoppers would like the opportunity to use a smartphone app to scan items they want to buy as they walk through store aisles. In theory, they could speed through self-checkout. But customers couldn’t figure out how to work the “Scan & Go” app during tests in 200 stores, so Wal-Mart nixed it. Instead of looking at the app as a failure, though, Wal-Mart took what it learned from “Scan & Go” to create another service: It found that customers like being able to track their spending, an insight that became the impetus for a national program that enables shoppers to store electronic receipts.



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