Queue Theory: Putting an Old Process to Work on Retail Lines
Retail is using Queue Theory to manage lines … something we can probably agree will always be with us!
Retail businesses are putting queue theory, a mathematical process developed over 100 years ago, to work to make the line wait process both faster and more tolerable for their customers. Queue theory is an effective line management strategy that can enhance a retailer’s bottom line, too!
There’s nothing worse than a customer, irritated with either the time or process, leaving a line and abandoning their purchase. All the marketing dollars spent bringing the customer into the store plus the time, energy and money spent to make the shopping experience as good as possible…all lost! That’s backlash and reneging, in retail-speak.
Customers Exiting Lines is More than an Immediate Loss of Business
Perry Kulkin, in a customer experience blog, notes 38% of customers wouldn’t return to a store with long or badly managed lines and 81% of dissatisfied shoppers will tell others about an unpleasant checkout line experience.
That’s where queue theory helps! Automated line management systems use queue theory to both expedite customers through checkout and reduce the perceived wait time. The systems use call-forward technology such as digital signage with audio and visual prompt the line forward.
Effective line management also creates sales opportunities from impulse buys that can contribute significantly to a retailer’s bottom line! Point of sale merchandising can “take the line out of waiting”, transforming it from tedious necessity to opportunity. Impulse products extend the shopping experience! Point of sale purchase opportunities coupled with automated line management can reward retailers with up to a 400% increase in impulse sales, according to Kulkin.
Digital Signage Brings Automated Line Management System Closer to the Customer
The digital signage component of a line queue system provides a great opportunity for retailers to enhance marketing efforts. Ticker-style messages on the digital signage can remind day-to-day shoppers about Monday’s big sale to encouraging the casual customer to join Friday’s wine tasting. A comprehensive line management system can also target messages to different shopper profiles at different times of the day.
CPS offers QuikLine, an automated line management system geared towards enhancing the customer experience and the retailer’s bottom line. Let’s talk about how your checkout process can be more than the end of the line!