House of Fraser has kicked off a trial of a virtual queuing system that will allow shoppers to browse the store while waiting to collect online orders.

The trial, at its London City store, asks shoppers using its Buy & Collect service to check-in from a self-service kiosk as they enter the store.

Shoppers will then receive a text with an estimated waiting time and a link allowing them to check their progress.

House of Fraser selected its City store as it has longer queues than most, given many consumers in the area shop online.  

House of Fraser executive director of multichannel Andy Harding said: “We’re extremely excited to be trialling this innovative virtual queuing solution at our London City store. This is a new technology to the retail market and it demonstrates our strategy to continually evolve and differentiate our customer service offering.

“Early signs are that customers enjoy the experience and prefer to be given the option to browse the store or enjoy a coffee rather than wait in a queue.

He added: “Following the trial we will use the feedback gained from both customers and staff to develop the experience before implementing the service across the portfolio.”