In over 100 of Sainsbury’s convenience stores across the UK, customers can now enjoy shopping that involves no cash, and no tills.

Customers can do their shopping via the app

Using either the SmartShop app or a SmartShop in-store handset, customers simply have to do their shopping, scan their products and bag them up. People can skip the queues for the tills and instantly pay for their shop using the new SmartShop checkouts before they leave.

By using their smartphones, customers can track their spending as they go along before they pay for it through the app, and Sainsbury’s are now serving over a million customers a week.

Since it’s trial period started, over half of the sales in Sainsbury’s supermarkets are being done through SmartShop, so it is looking to be successful.

Virtual queuing system on trial

Sainsbury’s are further testing whether increased use of technology in supermarkets can make customers feel safer, allowing them to do their shop quickly and conveniently. Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, supermarkets are aware that customers aren’t wanting to spend too much time in shops.

A second trial involving a virtual queuing system is currently taking place using the ufirst app. As this technology has not yet been tested within the UK, it will only be live in five Sainsbury’s stores throughout the trial period, which will run until the middle of August. The first customers allowed to test ufirst will be those shopping at Leicester North, Dome Roundabout in Watford, Sainsbury’s Uxbridge, Newham Royal Wharf stores and Pimlico.

The app works by allowing customers to simply download an app and join a virtual queue. This way, there is no need to wait in physical queues within the store and will be alerted when it is their turn to pay. This way, people can watch their position in the queue through the app from the comfort of their home, car, or any area that may be outside the confines of a busy supermarket. For many people, this may make shopping much less stressful as there is no need to be in contact with too many people.

Sainsbury’s will be listening carefully to the feedback gained from completing these trials to further increase a fast, contactless and convenient shopping experience. They will be observing how customers respond to each of the solutions, and will also be taking into account how it affects colleagues and workers within the store.