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Retailers embrace pay by phone, in-store pickup

Homeland and Pita Pit are examples of retailers that are using smartphone applications to speed up the customer experience.
by Jennifer Palmer Modified: October 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: October 2, 2013

Retailers see the future in the palm of their customers' hands.

And for some, smartphone applications for shopping, paying and finding discounts aren't the future — they are the present.

The Pita Pit, for example, offers a free app that allows customers to order and pay for their meal wherever they are. At a new Edmond location, opening soon at 33rd and Broadway, they can even grab their food in the drive-thru, giving new meaning to “fast food.”

Oklahoma franchisee Ray Reyes, who operates the Norman and Edmond locations, said the app speeds up the whole process of ordering food. Within a minute, a customer can place an order; repeat orders take just seconds.

“Sometimes, we're just in a hurry,” he said.

Scan and go

Oklahoma City-based grocery chain Homeland also is using mobile payments to speed up the customer experience. With the SwiftScan mobile app, shoppers can pay for their items at the register by scanning a QR code and selecting the payment option — eliminating the need for cash, checks and debit or credit cards at check out.

The program was launched in June, and 1,500 people have downloaded the app and used it to collectively purchase more than $55,000 in groceries, according to DoubleBeam, a technology company that designed the app.

SwiftScan is available at 20 Homeland locations, with plans to add 26 more locations by the end of the month.

“Homeland is one of the first grocery chains in the country to bring the convenience of mobile payments to their customers,” said Ted Tekippe, chief executive of DoubleBeam.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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At a glance

Customers shop online, pick up items at store

Apple: Often, items can be picked up the same day. And a free personal setup service gets customers up and running before they leave.

Best Buy: Order and, in some cases, pick up in as little as 45 minutes.

CVS: Order photos and greeting cards to pick up the same day. Guests can also refill pharmacy orders online and pick up in store.

Gap and Banana Republic: Some locations offer the option to reserve online but pay at the store, so shoppers can try items on before committing.

Home Depot: Free assembly on some grills when shoppers choose to buy online, pick up in store.

J.C. Penney: The retailer charges $2.95 for in-store pickup on orders under $24.99; others are free.

Nordstrom: Shoppers can customize how they want to receive items within an order, including pick up in store, ship to home or mail to someone else.

Sears: Offers curbside pickup for many items and guarantees orders will be ready within five minutes or customers get $5 to spend on a future purchase.

Target: In-store pickup is being tested in Minneapolis and is expected to be available everywhere by the holidays.

Walmart: Has long offered in-store pickup. Now, customers can also choose a FedEx office as a pickup spot if it's more convenient.



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