Innovation That Matters

The skip-checkout app is aiming to be useful during the COVID-19 crisis | Photo source Future Proof Retail

Skip-checkout app aiding shoppers during the COVID-19 crisis


A grocery chain in New York is offering shoppers an option to avoid long lines while promoting social distancing

Spotted: As shoppers practice social distancing and self-isolation, stores have seen a major increase in the number of customers using mobile checkout apps to avoid standing in lines. Now, Fairway Markets is ramping up the promotion of its skip-checkout app. The company is signing up more than 1,000 new users a day and has added additional servers to help process the extra orders.

The company has been promoting its scan-and-go app on social media sites, as well as in stores. After shoppers download the app, they use their phones to scan product bar codes.  When they have finished with their shopping, users scan a special QR code that tells the app they are ready to pay. Around one in twenty transactions is audited after checkout by a store employee, to deter theft.

In addition to adding additional capacity, Fairway is also rapidly training its employees to promote the app, to sign people up in-store, and to help shoppers with using it. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, around 10 per cent of Fairway’s sales in New York were via the app, but that has now risen to 30 per cent – and is rising further each day.

Fairway launched its skip-checkout app across all stores last year, in partnership with FutureProof Retail. Mike Penner, Fairway’s director of retail applications and technology has reported that use of the app has become a way to keep lines manageable in the face of stockpiling, and could help customers practice social distancing.

Springwise has seen a steep rise in the past couple of years in the development of apps that allow customers to skip checkouts. Innovations in this space include smart grocery carts and an automated shopping platform.



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