Sainsbury’s trials virtual queuing system
The Sainsbury’s supermarket chain is piloting a virtual queuing system to test whether the technology will help customers to save time in-store and stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Running via the Ufirst app until mid-August, the trial will go live in five Sainsbury’s stores from Monday.
The pilot will be used to assess how customers respond to the solution and how it helps staff to manage queues and the flow of customers in and out of stores. The supermarket said it could also help it to understand how quickly the technology can be implemented if it is needed at short notice due to a local lockdown.
Customers are able download the app on their smartphone and join a virtual queue without needing to wait in line outside a store. They can then monitor their position in the queue from their car, home or other location before being notified when they reach the front. If a customer does not have a smartphone, staff will add them to the queue.
Stores participating in the trial include Sainsbury’s shops in Uxbridge, Pimlico, Dome Roundabout in Watford, Leicester North and Newham Royal Wharf.
Nigel Blunt, director of ecommerce at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re always on the lookout for how we can make our customers lives easier using technology. We’re trialling a virtual queuing system which enables shoppers to hold their place in the queue using their smartphone and we will be listening closely to feedback from our customers and colleagues.”
Sainsbury’s is also rolling out its SmartShop Mobile Pay app to more of its convenience stores to enable more customers to access till-free and contactless shopping. Customers can use their smartphones to scan their shopping, pack it and track what they are spending as they go, then pay for it through the app without needing to go to a physical till. The app is now live in over 75 Sainsbury’s Local stores and will be introduced in a further 40 stores this week.
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