When Technology Meets Retail: Potential Time and Money Saving

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Technology is touching nearly every aspect of life, from what we do with our time to how we do it. At it’s best, technology can streamline, automate, hasten, uncomplicate and hopefully lower the cost of tasks that are part of everyday life – like shopping for ordinary items such as groceries. Here are several examples of technology that may – someday – do just that:

Shopping vexation: Long checkout lines
Technology solution: QThru

This is a mobile app that allows you to self-checkout as you shop using your smartphone. You can even talk on your phone while shopping with QThru. Here’s how it works:

  • Scan in your credit card into the app your smartphone
  • Scan the UPCs of the items you purchase
  • Weigh produce at the scale at the QThru kiosk where you finalize your purchase
  • To checkout, take your purchases to the QThru kiosk at the store, punch in your passcode on your phone, scan the QR code on kiosk and take the receipt it generates
  • Show receipt to store employee who will visually verify the transaction

How it will save you money: You’ll spend no time in that pesky checkout line being tempted by pricy impulse items. Secondly, this innovation will make shopping less time-consuming, which may give you more time at your paying job.

A completely different solution to this same annoyance is QueVision, a system of infrared sensors used by grocery stores that tracks the number of people waiting in line. The data it collects is delivered to management, enabling them to staff adequate checkouts to accommodate need, reducing wait times for customers.

Shopping vexation: Difficult to find particular items
Technology solution: Aisle411

This app is a shopping companion which assists you in navigating a store.
Aisle411 allows you to:

  • Create shopping lists, then map your trip through a store according to the location of the items in that store
  • Search 130,000 recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list, indicating where they are in the store
  • Locate a single item within a particular store

How it will save you money: Research shows that the average shopper spends an extra $10 for every 15 minutes spent in a retail environment. When you can move through the store purposefully, with minimal time to browse and buy items on impulse, the more you’ll save overall.

Sometimes stores themselves implement technology solutions. I can’t tell you how often I’m nowhere near my shopping list when I realize I need to add an item. These apps would definitely help in that regard:

Shopping vexation: Making/managing shopping lists
Technology solutions:

Wegmans stores’ mobile app allows you scan a UPC on an item and automatically add it to your shopping list. Like Aisle411, it features recipes and the ability to add its ingredients directly to your shopping list.

Weis Markets mobile app lets you view their weekly advertisement and create and email a shopping list to someone else. The Android version allows shoppers to add items to their list using their voice.

How it will save you money: Forgotten items mean more trips to the store, which translate into extra gasoline usage, and more time spent in a potentially costly retail situation.

Of course, it takes a considerable amount of time for these types of practical technology to trickle outward and become mainstream. It’s incumbent upon stores to adopt and implement the technology so that it’s available to consumers. So, while these solutions won’t be available tomorrow, it’s nice to know that someday shopping will be made a bit more convenient and cost-effective by technology.

How does technology help you save when you shop?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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