Woolworths rolls out new service to allow customers to avoid crowds

Supermarket shoppers are now able to track foot traffic in their local Woolworths store to help them avoid peak times, making social distancing easier.

The new feature also allows customers to book a time slot to shop at some locations, so shoppers can avoid long queues.

Tracking crowds at Woolworths

The new Q-tracker tool advises shoppers how busy a store is in real time and is available in all Woolworths locations.

The supermarket hopes the new tool will help stop the spread of coronavirus by allowing customers to plan their visits to their stores and avoid peak times.

The tracker is updated every five minutes to show customers whether stores in their area have had to implement a queue at the entrance to support social distancing and any wait time associated with it.

Photo shows people walking past a busy Woolworths store. Source: AAP
The Woolworths Q-Trcker hopes to alert customers to busier times in store so they can avoid long queues and practise social distancing. Source: AAP

Woolworths Director of Stores, Robert Moffat told Yahoo News Australia the tool will help to protect customers and staff.

“Even though most of our stores do not need to implement queuing at the moment, this tool has been developed as another measure to support the safety of our team and customers,” he said.

The tracker will also be imperative for some Melbourne residents who are only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons such as grocery shopping, by allowing them to check the number of customers at their local stores before they leave the house.

“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,” Mr Moffat said.

Book a time slot to shop

Woolworths is also trialing a booking functionality within the Q-Tracker tool at its Taylors Lakes, Hampton Park, South Melbourne and St Helena stores, where customers will be able to pre-book a time to do their shopping.

Bookings can be made in 15 minutes intervals and will allow customers who have planned ahead to skip any queues that may be in place.

Photo shows a crowd of older people lined up waiting to enter a Woolworths store. Source: AAP
Woolworths is also trialing a booking functionality within the Q-Tracker tool at some locations which will allow customers to book a time to do their shopping. Source: AAP/Woolworths

In the trial stores there will be two lines at the front of the store with accompanying signage - one for customers who have booked their shop via Q-tracker and one for walk-in customers.

“This means they will be able to head straight into the store without needing to stand in a queue and be able to safely practise social distancing,” Mr Moffat said.

Woolworths store teams will monitor the queues to ensure social distancing guidelines are in place.

The launch of the Q-Tracker comes as Woolworths lifts all product restrictions in Victoria, with the exception of two packets of toilet paper per customer.

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