Asda is testing a “virtual queue” system as it seeks to address buyers’ security concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.
The system allows customers to connect to the remote queue and wait in their cars to enter stores.
Britain’s third largest supermarket chain said it was part of its investment in longer-term social distancing measures.
CEO Roger Burnley said it was “increasingly clear that COVID-19 should be part of our lives for the months to come.”
Asda said two-thirds of customers are still concerned about safety in the supermarket.
The virtual queuing system is being tested at its Middleton store near Leeds.
British supermarkets remained open coronavirus foreclosure as they are classified as essential retailers unlike other businesses such as fashion stores.
But the virus has changed the way people can shop there due to measures to limit contact and maintain hygiene.
This means that long socially distant queues have become familiar sites outside of supermarkets.
Details of the virtual queuing test were revealed as Asda released a trade update in the first quarter showing that like-for-like sales, excluding gasoline, increased 3.5% from compared to the same period of the previous year.
This included a boost from customers sourcing before the lockdown from March.
Asda said that at some point during the period, its website was receiving more than 3,500 visits per minute.
However, the company said it had seen a significant drop in non-essential items such as fashion, fuel and general merchandise.
Patrick O’Brien, UK director of retail research at analytics company GlobalData, said Asda had underperformed other companies owned by U.S. parent company Walmart, as well than lagging British competitors such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
He said: “A 3.5% like-for-like growth would normally be enough to impress us, but Asda’s performance is somewhat weaker than the others, indicating that it is struggling to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis and its rivals. “