Finance Consumer Woolworths trials real-time app for customers who hate queuing

Woolworths trials real-time app for customers who hate queuing

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As anxiety about outbreaks of COVID-19 grows in Australia’s two major cities, Woolworths is rolling out technology to help customers work out the best – and safest – time to shop.

Known as Q-Tracker, the new tool monitors queue lengths outside shops with restricted customer numbers – and will also help shoppers pick a less busy period when there is no waiting time.

“By helping customers plan when and where they shop before they leave home, Q-Tracker makes it easier to avoid busy periods, save time and shop with health and safety in mind,” Woolworths director of stores Robert Moffat said.

woolworths q tracker
The also app helps choose the quietest time to shop. Photo: Woolworths

The tool allows customers to view real-time data of shopping activity, including how long the queues are at selected supermarkets. Some stores will also allow shoppers to “book” a spot in a queue.

Woolworths reportedly trademarked Q-Tracker in May, at the first peak of the coronavirus in Australia.

It is now rolling it out at some supermarkets in Melbourne and Sydney as Victoria grapples with a worrying surge in virus infections.

Woolworths says the data used by Q-Tracker is updated every five minutes and includes the number of people waiting outside the supermarket and the average “flow speed” of queues.