Sainsbury’s trials virtual queuing system so customers won’t have to wait outside

27 July 2020, 10:53

Sainsbury's is trialling a virtual queueing system
Sainsbury's is trialling a virtual queueing system. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Sainsbury's is trialling a new virtual queuing system to manage the flow of customers.

With supermarkets limiting the number of customers allowed in store during the coronavirus lockdown, doing a weekly shop has become difficult for many people.

But now Sainsbury’s is trialling a new system which means shoppers could save a lot of time.

As of today, the grocery store will be running a ‘virtual queuing system’ that gets rid of the need to wait outside its shops.

Instead, shoppers will be able to join a line on their smartphone through an app called ufirst.

Sainsbury's is trialling a new queueing system
Sainsbury's is trialling a new queueing system. Picture: PA Images

According to The Sun, it is being rolled out in five stores across the UK which are Uxbridge, Pimlico, Dome Roundabout in Watford, Leicester North and Newham Royal Wharf.

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Nigel Blunt, director of eCommerce at Sainsbury’s told the publication: “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.”

This trial is set to run until mid-August, with Sainsbury’s bosses hoping the technology will help manage the flow of customers in and out of stores.

It could also be used as a quick response if there is a local lockdown in part of the country.

Virtual queueing is already being used in many restaurants and bars during lockdown in order to manage strict social distancing rules.

Nando’s has abolished its usual ordering practise and instead diners join an online queue from their seats, ordering and paying for their food via their phone using a QR code and mobile app.

Meanwhile, this comes after Sainsbury’s also announced the launch of its new SmartShop Mobile Pay, which allows customers to use their smartphones to scan their shopping and pay for it through the app.

The app - which is now live in over 75 Sainsbury’s Locals and 40 more convenience stores - eliminates the need to physically go to a till.

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