An Analytical Review of Existing Supermarket Billing Systems

  • Ocen Gilbert, PhD Busitema University
  • Semwogerere Twaibu, PhD Busitema University
  • Sekamwa Umar Busitema University
  • Matovu Davis Busitema University
Keywords: Billing System, Price, Queues, RFID, Supermarket
Share Article:


Retail shops and stores form part of the nation’s business sector involved in selling and providing several goods and services. The main objective was to study and analyse existing supermarket billing systems and possibly identify their weaknesses and strengths. This will enable us to generate an RFID billing system that is unique and even more advantageous than the existing systems. The methodology used was qualitative involving hard and soft document reviews and observational experiments. Findings revealed that there are several billing systems which include the manual price tag system where a mini-computer (calculator) is used to sum up the total bill per customer at a time, the barcode reader system, the smart chart with store cards, and the ‘smart shopping cart. It was noted that these have the advantage of giving confidence all the items are counted, paid for, save time and are cheap to use. However, they are also associated with several weaknesses like long waiting time (queues), the systems require a lot of human effort to read the barcodes which is not efficient, barcode systems sometimes fail to read, possible human errors while entering information, possible cheating through wrongly-fed information and the desynchronization effects because of the unreliable network. This was an awareness drive about the existing supermarket billing systems in order to enhance further studies on better ones


Download data is not yet available.


Andrew, S. W., Rome, F. A. O., & Gálvez, E. (2007). The response of traditional marketing channels to the growth of supermarkets and to the demand for safer and higher quality fruit and vegetables, with particular reference to Asia. Lotus Pang Suan Kaeo Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 304.

Armstrong, A. (2011). Reasons for Using Supermarkets. Cancas United States: CISCO Internet Business Solution Group.

Csipak, J. J., Rampal, R., & Josien, L. (2014). The effect of a Wal-Mart supercenter on supermarket food prices: The case of the city of Plattsburgh in upstate New York. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 18(2), 251.

Elepu, G. (2008). The growth of supermarkets and its implications for smallholders in Uganda.

Ferguson, R. B. (2006). Wal-Mart’s CIO Dishes on RFID at NRFTech Conference. E-Week. com.

Gary A. Smith, M. D. (2006). Shopping Cart–Related Injuries to Children. American Academy of Pediatrics.

Goldman, A. (2013). Retrieved from Managing Queues in the Service Industry, 25th, October, 2013.

Gwambe, T., & Businge, J. (2012, May 05). Blossoming Supermarkets. The Independent, pp. 9-10.

Hamilton, S. (2012). Supermarkets, Free Markets, and the Problem of Buying Power in the Postwar United States, in What's Good For Business: Business and Politics Since World War II, ed. Julian Zelizer and Kim Phillips-Fein (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Hamlet, J. (2008). “Regulating the UK Supermarkets: An Oral-Historical Perspective”. United Kingdom: History & Policy. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2010.

Hawthorne, N. A. (2013). Smart Carts, Veggie Vision in Grocery Stores to come, 26th, September, 2013.

Lawrence, M. (2013, August 27). Disadvantages of Barcodes use in Supermarkets.

Leonard, T. (2005). Impact of Queues on Customers. Newyork: Visa.

Li, S., Godon, D., & Visich, J. K. (2010). An exploratory study of RFID implementation in the supply chain. Management Research Review.

Lindsay, W., & Reade, J. (2003). RFID Systems for Enhanced Shopping Experiences. article dated Nov, 10.

Luthur, A. (2005, May 3). American Time Use Survey. Echaria, pp. 20-22.

Motohiko, I. K. M. (2003, March 4). Patent No. US 6,527,179 B1. United States Patent.

Rouse, M. (2011, March). Barcode reader (POS scanner, bar code reader, price scanner).

Smith, P. (2011, July 11). The History of the Supermarket Barcodes. Blogspot. 34.

Stuart, A. (2007, August 27). Cisco Internet Business Solution Group survey document, My Shopping. Newyork: NYTP.

Thomas, R., Timmer, C. P., & Berdegué, J. A. (2004). The rapid rise of supermarkets in developing countries: induced organizational, institutional, and technological change in agrifood systems. eJADE: Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, 1(853-2016-56108), 168-183.

26 November, 2021
How to Cite
Gilbert, O., Twaibu, S., Umar, S., & Davis, M. (2021). An Analytical Review of Existing Supermarket Billing Systems. East African Journal of Information Technology, 4(1), 1-6.