Sainsbury's trials new queuing app

Date : 28 July 2020

Nick Gladding

Senior Retail Analyst

Sainsbury's has launched a trial of an innovative virtual queuing system designed to help customers save time and stay safe while shopping at its supermarkets.

Virtual queuing 

The app will allow customers to join a virtual queue without needing to physically wait in line at a store. They can monitor their position in the queue remotely, for instance from a car or a coffee shop, and will be alerted when they reach the front of queue. Customers without a smartphone can be manually added to the queue by a Sainsbury's colleague.

Five store trial

The trial will run until mid-August at five stores: Sainsbury's Uxbridge, Pimlico, Watford (Dome roundabout), Leicester North and Newham Royal Wharf. It aims to test how customers respond to such a solution, as well as to see how it supports colleagues to manage queues and the flow of customers in and out of stores. It will also help Sainsbury’s respond quickly should such a proposition need to be implemented at short notice in the event of a local lockdown, or scaled up if government guidance changes. The trial will run the ufirst app.

SmartShop Mobile Pay

Sainsbury’s is also rapidly rolling out SmartShop Mobile Pay to more of its convenience stores, offering 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 already live in over 75 Sainsbury’s Locals and the retailer is continuing to rapidly roll out the technology to more convenience stores – 40 more will follow this week alone. 

One million customers per week now using SmartShop

Covid-19 has boosted shoppers' usage of till free shopping technology and SmartShop has now been rolled out to all Sainsbury's supermarkets. In some stores it accounts for more than half of sales and the app is now used by over one million customers per week.   

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