Esselunga, Coop Italia Introduce Customer Control Systems
Italian retailers Esselunga and Coop have started testing systems to limit customer numbers in stores during the coronavirus emergency.
Esselunga has activated tests in two stores in Milan in collaboration with the uFirst application, according to Gdoweek.
uFirst is a 'queue-cutting' platform that has been offered free of charge to retailers until 30 June, as part of the 'Digital Solidarity' initiative by Italy’s Ministry of Innovation.
The system allows public administrations, doctors, pharmacies, health care facilities and retail outlets to manage queues in an orderly manner through totems or apps, notifying users when it is their turn to enter a store or go to the checkout.
Elsewhere, Coop Liguria and Coop Lombardia have implemented [email protected], a digital solution that enable consumers to book (online or over the phone) an entry slot to a particular store within the next two to three days.
After choosing an available time slot, they will receive e-mail confirmation with a booking number which they have to present at the entrance of the store.
Slots are available every half hour, with access information customised at the discretion of the store manager, such as the number of people that can enter at a given time, or allocating a limit a time slot for a particular type of customer, such as over 65s, health professionals, etc.
The [email protected] solution is based on the Salesforce platform, resides in the cloud, and is offered by Sopra Steria to Italian retailers free of charge for two months. It is currently available at selected point of sale of the two retailers.
Coop Liguria conducted its first test of the system at the end of March in the Ipercoop L'Aquilone in Genoa, with the software later extended to the Il Gabbiano store in Savona. If it receives positive feedback, it plans to extend the solution to all its hypermarkets.
Earlier this month, Coop Lombardia implemented the solution in four of its Ipercoop hypermarkets and two supermarkets in Milan.
Two further apps have been developed to enable retailers to minimise crowds and the risk of contagion at outlets.
With DoveFila, shoppers can check online and via their mobile device whether there is a queue in front of a supermarket, as well as the exact number of people already in line. The service collects and shares data, allowing changes and suggestions from those who are already in line, so that the reported waiting times are as reliable and precise as possible.
A similar alternative is offered by Filaindiana, a web-based app for the monitoring of queues.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine