How to Study Your Customers Behavior and Change Proactively

We live in an age of impulse buys. In the retail space, it’s not at all uncommon for a customer to walk in with the intention of just browsing, but to end up making a purchase. Shoppers are always grabbing things off the shelf and head to the cash register based on little more than a whim.

An obvious enemy to these types of impulse buys are long lines. The more time that a customer has to think about an impulse decision, the less likely it becomes that they are going to go through with that decision. Furthermore, long or boring lines can make a customer question whether or not a 10 or 15-minute wait is even worth it for the purchase he or she was going to make.

As you can see, queue management is very, very important. However, managing the queues in your store is about more than shortening your lines. Cutting the line at the cash register in half, while an attractive idea, is not always possible—particularly at peak shopping hours.

Plus, even if you could shorten your lines, would you want to? After all, having a busy, bustling store often leads directly to higher revenues.

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5 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Queue Management

If we were to add up the amount of time we spend waiting in line every year, we’d probably be pretty shocked at the final number. It’s best not to think about it too much.

Sometimes, though, the wait is more unpleasant in some places than it is in others. The line to renew your driver’s license is unbearable, and if it weren’t mandatory, you would never set foot in a DMV office again. But the wait for a table at a restaurant, when you’re comfortably seated at the bar with a drink in your hand, isn’t so bad.

Other than the presence of alcohol in the latter scenario, there are a few things that set the two waiting experiences apart, and it has a lot to do with queue management. In fact, there are five things your customers wish you knew about queue management.

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4 Reasons That Wait Times are Costing You Sales

When you’re standing in line, how do you feel? At ease? Sympathetic to the cashiers rushing through each customer’s purchase? Or do you feel tortured?

According to a New York Times article, waiting is torture. This notion isn’t new. In the post-World War II era, mirrors started popping up next to elevators to ease the wait time blues. The mirrors were meant to distract the person waiting, making the time go by faster.

The Houston Airport did a similar approach. Wait times were costing them customer service rankings. To combat this, they rearranged the airport so travelers walked further to the baggage claim area, lessening the time they spent standing and waiting.

In the retail industry, customer wait times are a major concern too. In fact, they’re costing many stores money. Here’s how:

Scared Away By the Perception of Long Customer Wait Times

While window shopping at the mall, your customer sees a blouse that catches her eye. Then she glances towards the cash wrap and sees a long line. Many times, this line is enough to turn her away and make her avoid shopping with you. Someone who might have spent money was already so frustrated by the potential wait time that she never stepped foot in your store.

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Customers Abandon Purchases When Queues Stay Long

Perhaps there wasn’t a long line when your buyer came in, but now there is. She glances over at the line and frowns. Instead of standing around waiting to make her purchase, she decides to keep browsing.

On the surface, this scenario might seem ideal. However, the longer your customer has to continue browsing the store waiting to buy an item, the higher the likelihood that she’ll leave before she gets in line. You’ve lost a sale before ever knowing your customer was waiting in line.

Click here to learn how to optimize queue length in your store

Customers Put Back Items Before Buying

Sometimes, a customer won’t wait to see if the line diminishes. Instead, she’ll put her items back right away and leave before buying.

This is common among customers who are making impulse purchases. The items in their hand aren’t something they need right away so instead, they choose to put them back and leave. Perhaps they’ll go see if they can find them online. Perhaps they’ll find what they’re looking for at your competitor’s store. In either case, they’re not buying from you.

Customers Wait in Line and then Never Return

What happens to the customer who begrudgingly stands in line and waits? She reaches the cash register and makes her purchase. You got your sale. Why should you worry?

Many customers will stand in line and wait, but they won’t forget their poor experience. While watching the cashier check out the people in front of them, they’ll make mental notes about whether or not they want to return. Most of the time, their mental note isn’t a positive one. You’ve just lost a potential repeat buyer all because of one bad experience with a wait time.

What Can You Do?

Finding ways to hide lines or make them appear smaller is essential to getting shoppers in your store. With multiple cash registers, or a simple rearrangement of your store, you can avoid scaring away your potential buyers.

Want other ways to minimize wait times (or at least make wait times feel less torturous)? We’ve put together a few smart approaches. Download your free copy of “What is Your Queue Costing You? Queue Management for Modern Retailers” to find out the top solutions for lowering wait times in retail stores.

Queue Management for Retailers




How to Create Stellar Customer Experiences in the Fitting Room

We’re on a mission to help you understand how to make fitting rooms better. This is the third of a three-part series intended to provide the basics of a great fitting room experience. This post focuses on creating consistently stellar customer experiences in the fitting room.

You can have fitting rooms that are comfortable, well-lit and perfectly laid out to make customers feel at home. You can have a store that subtly but assuredly directs customers to the fitting rooms each and every time they shop. You can do everything right, and still have trouble getting customers to try stuff on.

So what is the problem? It could be your staff. Not a problem with the people working in your stores, per se, but with their training.

The most engaged employees are the ones that feel valued, appreciated, and empowered. They’re also part of a team that works together to ensure the best possible customer experience.

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How to Make a Fitting Room Presentable

We’re on a mission to help you understand how to make fitting rooms better. This is the first of a three-part series intended to provide the basics of a great fitting room experience. The initial focus is on ensuring fitting rooms are presentable.

If you have been following along with us for a little while, you’re probably starting to come around to the idea that fitting rooms are important. Really important. Because this tiny room is where the customer makes their buying decision, it’s really one of the most critical elements to retail success.

And yet the fitting room, where the success or failure of the retail transaction hangs precariously in the balance, is often among the most neglected areas of the store. Think about it:

Is there another area of the store that’s so completely void of technology, either to support the fitting room process or to collect invaluable consumer data?

Once you accept that the current approach to the fitting room experience is, in most cases, completely broken, you can start doing something to address it.

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How to Stand Out by Utilizing Modern Retail Technologies

Are you ready to update your customer shopping experience? Here’s how you can use modern retail technologies to differentiate your brand.

With the growing amount of competition on the retail landscape—thanks largely to the number of customers who are shopping online instead of at brick-and-mortar retailers—it is no longer enough for your store to merely sell quality products and services.

On the contrary, today the most successful retailers out there are also engaging their customers on intellectual and emotional levels.

Said another way, emphasizing a unique and satisfying customer experience is one of the best ways that brick-and-mortar retail stores can continue to draw shoppers who might otherwise opt to shop online.

Ask yourself this: why do so many people buy coffee at Starbucks instead of just buying Starbucks-brand coffee grounds at the grocery store?

Opting to visit a Starbucks location and order a drink there is not only less convenient and more time-consuming than brewing coffee at home, but it is also markedly more expensive.

The catch, though, is that Starbucks, instead of trying to compete with home-brewed coffee on cost (not a feasible option) have focused instead on creating a stellar and customized customer experience. From friendly and personal baristas to a comfortable store atmosphere established by familiar aesthetics and good music, Starbucks’ success is as much about the customer experience as it is about the product.

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What Women Really Want When Shopping for Clothes

Alert Tech recently hired a retail technologist to perform an informal survey of two dozen women between 19 and 33. The goal of this study was to get inside the female buyer’s mind and understand how women shop.

The results were quite telling. After learning about shopping habits and retail preferences, the findings gave retailers a lot of significant data to use in their store.

Here are some of the most compelling findings from the survey.

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3 Ways to Squeeze More Profit Out of Your Retail Store

What is the mission of your retail store? Are you a value provider of fashion for all seasons and occasions? Or is your store mission to attract consumers who demand high-end designer goods regardless of price? It does not matter if you specialize in purses, childrens clothes, maternity, swimsuits or men’s suits – they are all designed to bring in sales and profits.

Regardless of whether you are a new business owner or someone who has owned or managed a retail store for years, your company wants to maximize revenue to drive profitability for the business and its stakeholders.

To help take your business to the next level and ensure your profits are at an all-time high, implement the following strategies to squeeze maximum earnings from your retail store.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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5 Tested Best Practices for Retail Analytics

You know you can’t make guesses when it comes to your customers, just as you can’t guess what type of apparel is in fashion for the current season. When you’re in the retail industry, everything needs to be calculated carefully to maximize your units per transaction, average dollar sales and improve your brand identity among your potential buyers and existing customers.

An effective retail analytics campaign can:

  • reveal the problems your customers are facing
  • uncover the concerns your store associates are facing
  • accurately analyze the behavior of your consumers
  • use the data generated to help increase brand awareness, as well as customer loyalty and retention rates.

If you’re searching for the ingredients required for an effective retail analytics campaign, check out the following five best practices.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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Fit Happens – Free Chapter Filled With Fitting Room Data & Optimization Tips

fitting room data

Shopping may be digital, but the decision to buy is still an analog process requiring the customer to try-on before deciding to buy.

Marge Laney, CEO of Alert Tech, steps out of the boardrooms of Big Retail to talk truth about the places we take it all off.

Fit Happens illuminates the most important square footage in the store, and provides practical solutions that will transform every fitting room into the most productive square footage of every retail store.