A Woolies worker has detailed an “awesome” hack for using a self-serve checkout in the supermarket’s first official TikTok video.
It’s one of the most convenient ways to shop quickly, but if you’re using the self-serve to do your weekly grocery shop it can be hard to fit all your groceries on the checkout.
But one Woolworths employee has lifted the lid on a little-known feature on the self-service screen that lets you bag and move groceries after you’ve scanned them.
Sydney Woolies worker Liam Kirley shot to fame last year for his viral food hacks and store announcements which got millions of views on TikTok.
Now he’s hung up his apron at the Baulkham Hills store he worked at and has stepped into a new role as content co-ordinator for Woolworths’ very own TikTok account.
In one of Mr Kirley’s first TikTok videos for the supermarket he shows how you can move items that have been scanned but not paid for off the checkout without setting off alarm bells.
“When customers are in the self-serve checkout and they have filled up a grocery bag, there’s an icon on the bottom left of the home screen that says ‘Own Bag’,” he told news.com.au.
“Just tap, remove the loaded grocery bag, add your new empty bag in the bagging area, and continue checking out.”
Mr Kirley also shows how to scan items more quickly at a self-serve checkout, explaining in the video: “Do something called a ‘power slide’ – slide them across and the barcodes will scan easier.”
There’s also a light above the scanner which lets you know when it’s ready to scan another item, with Mr Kirley explaining: “If it’s green, you can scan another item.”
Mr Kirley began working at Woolies customer service at 19 while he was studying at film school and would make funny clips to share with his mates.
“It started off by me sharing videos to my friends privately on Instagram and they were getting such a kick out of it,” he said.
“They suggested to give TikTok a go, which was relatively new at the time.”
Mr Kirley wasn’t expecting much to come of his TikTok account so was surprised when the third video he posted managed to clock over a million views.
“It was the one where I hopped on the store intercom to make the closing announcement. I sang out, ‘Thank you for shopping at Woolworths The Fresh Food People with the fresh ideas. Do do, do do do do do!’ which got about 1.6 million views,” he said.
“Viewers commented saying, ‘I need to start shopping at this store’, and, ‘Awesome closing attitude, especially at that time of night. Love it!’ with lots of laughs.”
Mr Kirley now has more than 162,000 followers on TikTok, with his most popular videos a Woolies Belgian lava cake hack and his now-signature quirky store announcements.
Rather than be penalised for making content about his job, Mr Kirley was encouraged by Woolies management.
“My managers were supportive so I could also run ideas past them to make sure I wasn’t creating something they wouldn’t like,” he said.
“A lot of it is common sense to make sure my work responsibilities always came before making a TikTok, and I wasn’t making videos that didn’t align with Woolworths’ values.”
A chance meeting with someone from Woolies’ media team has seen him now step into an official TikTok role for the supermarket, with Mr Kirley signing off from the store floor in May.
“I was working a couple of shifts at the Easter Show and funnily enough, a woman that works closely with the Woolworths content team approached me as she recognised my face and videos from TikTok,” he said.
“We exchanged details and shortly after, there were a few phone calls with the content manager who shared their desire to launch a TikTok.”
Mr Kirley will be sharing everything from “shopping hacks to team member stories and general behind-the-scenes operations” on the account, giving news.com.au a head’s up on one useful titbit.
“Working in store and mingling with team members across different departments, you learn quite a bit along the way,” he said.
“One tip that stuck with me is if your 99c ‘Bag For Good’ ever gets damaged and is no longer usable, you can replace it for free at the Customer Service desk.
“Woolworths will even recycle the damaged bag too.”