Virtual queuing and shop-by-appointment platform, Social Q, has officially launched, designed to help Australian businesses and consumers adjust to new social distancing guidelines.

Social Q is a shop/dine-by-appointment and queue-management platform for retail and hospitality venues that can mitigate crowds queueing outside shops and restaurants and ease frustrations being felt by shoppers, as a result of social distancing measures.

Drawing on over 30 years of experience in the retail and tech space, Social Q has been developed by Dean Cherny, the Melbourne entrepreneur behind storePlay and Marketing Melodies.

“Time is our most precious commodity and too valuable to be wasted waiting in queues. Social Q allows shoppers to pre-book an appointment online and skip to the front of the queue when they arrive,” Cherny said.

“Social Q’s virtual queuing system can improve the consumer experience to ensure customers enter a store with a positive mindset and ready to purchase. We’ve seen how retail has evolved with the times, and this is just the next step, a merging of online and brick-and-mortar offerings.

“Why would you want to wait outside a shoe shop with your kids for 45 minutes, stressed about social distancing, when you could arrive at a pre-booked time and walk straight through the door?

“The retailer even knows you’re looking for new school shoes before you’ve entered. It’s a reimagined shopping experience that’s about health and safety, but also bringing back joy to what has previously been quite a stressful experience.”

After arriving at a store that is already at capacity, consumers simply need to scan the Social Q QR code in the shop window to join the virtual queue and they will be alerted by text message when it is time to enter.

Consumers can also pre-book appointment times, book in for click & collect or book out the store during off-peak times for a group of friends.

Social Q offers businesses customised branding for seamless integration into their website, specific questions at the time of booking to make store visits seamless for customers, help staff manage social distancing measures and track foot-traffic and use appointment data to optimise staff ratios and maximise sales.