Innovation That Matters

Mobile app lets retail store shoppers skip the checkout lines


QThru is a mobile-enabled technology that lets shoppers skip the checkout lanes by using their smartphones to shop, scan and pay.

We’ve recently seen numerous innovations brought to bear on improving the in-store shopping experience, including scanners that require no barcodes and slower-paced checkout lanes for the elderly and disabled. One we hadn’t seen until just recently, however, is QThru, a mobile-enabled technology that lets shoppers skip the checkout lanes altogether. QThru is a mobile point-of-sale platform that allows consumers to shop, scan and check out using their smartphones, and earlier this month its Seattle-based maker launched mobile apps for both Android and iOS. How it works? After installing QThru’s software, a retailer’s products and pricing are seamlessly synchronized with the secure and fully PCI-compliant QThru cloud. Customers can then download the QThru smartphone app of their choice, input their credit card information and start shopping – scanning items’ barcodes as they go along. Shoppers can view in-store specials and get product details such as nutritional information as they shop; they can also view their personally created shopping list and a running total indicating their spending so far. To complete the checkout process, shoppers simply enter a previously stored passcode and scan a QR code at a checkout kiosk, which then generates a receipt that’s highlighted in a different color for review by a store employee at the door. The video below demonstrates QThru in action: It’s free for stores to integrate with QThru, but each checkout kiosk costs USD 900; with a digital scale, the price is USD 5,000 – still “a fraction of the cost of the self‐checkout stands you see today,” QThru notes. Following a successful beta test in Snoqualmie, Washington, QThru is now planning to bring the service to 14 grocery and retail stores in the Seattle area by the end of March 2013. Retailers and app-minded entrepreneurs around the globe: one to get involved in? Spotted by: Katherine Noyes



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