Lose the lines with smartphone shopping technology

07/18/2012 10:26:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

A Seattle-based technology company offers tech-savvy shoppers a way to skip the checkout lines. QThru is a smartphone based system that allows shoppers to scan a quick response code on products as they shop and self-checkout when they’re done.

The company is rolling out the application after six months of pilot testing at grocery, said Hamilton McCulloh, public relations director.

The system also works seamlessly for produce with shoppers using a self-service scale developed by Bizerba USA Inc., Piscataway, N.J. Shoppers choose and weigh their produce, key in a produce Look-Up Code and print out a label to scan with their smartphone.

When shopping is finished, they access the QThru smart phone application and check out using a personal identification number to activate the process, and scan a QR code on a QThru kiosk in the store.

“The kiosk prints a physical paper receipt, which is shown to a nearby attendant,” McCulloh said. “They will compare the receipt with the items in the bag to ensure that everything is accurate.”

McCulloh compared the process to exiting a warehouse store like Sam’s Club or Costco.

“If there is a question about the produce items or quantity, the bagged produce or bulk items can be double-checked and weighed at the attendant check point.”

QThru also is inexpensive to implement, requiring the $900 kiosk and a $5,000 investment in the self-service scale. McCulloh says the software is simple to integrate into a retailer’s existing system and does not require a specialist.

The system also allows a retailer to offer exclusive content to participating shoppers, such as event notifications and coupons.



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Ami Holtzman    
Israel  |  July, 19, 2012 at 05:53 AM

A great idea, a great application, a great team

Jimmy    
California  |  July, 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM

Great idea and would love to see it implemented and working... But still there seems to be a huge risk of theft. How do you eyeball 2.5 lbs of apples versus 3 lbs? Sneak in an extra item here and there and the store would be out of business with the slim profit margins.

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