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3 Ways a Lack of Queue Management Costs You Sales

queue management strategy

Do you have a queue management strategy? If not, you could be putting your store in bigger risk than you realize.

Out of the top 10 experiences where people wait, the retail store checkout lines were the second most frustrating only behind having to wait at the hospital, according to NCR Corp.

It’s not the wait time itself that’s so frustrating. It’s the experience of standing in line.

In a robust queue management strategy, your focus is not on reducing the wait time as much as it’s on improving your customer’s experience while standing in a queue. By ignoring the customer’s experience, you’re taking a gamble.

3 of the Biggest Risks You’re Taking by Not Having a Queue Management Strategy


1. Lower Staff Happiness

61% of customers said that they felt the staff in retail stores focused more on scanning items than they did on their happiness, according to a study by Harris Poll for Digimarc. Your staff is feeling rushed. They’re stressed trying to lower the length of the queue. Instead of focusing on the customer checking out, they’re focused on working as quickly as possible.

As your employees get more stressed, there are two things that can happen:

  1. They’ll quit, forcing you to find a suitable replacement;
  2. They’ll take their frustration out on the customer, destroying your store’s reputation.

Training sales teams, offering regular breaks, and focusing more on the customer’s experience while waiting in line will take an enormous weight off your employee’s shoulders.

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2. Lower Sales

Do your lines intimidate your customers as soon as they walk in your store? You’re probably losing more sales than you realize.

Customers are quick to make a snap judgment about how much they’ll be inconvenienced by shopping in your store. If all they see is a long line, they’re probably going to avoid waiting by avoiding your store altogether.

Shortening your lines (or at least making your lines look shorter) is an easy fix to this problem.

  • Change the way people queue up
  • Move your cashwrap stations around the store
  • Offer mobile checkout options so your customer never sees a line
  • Text your customers when it’s their turn to enter the fitting room.

These are all easy ways to reduce the appearance of lines and boost your sales.

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3. Fewer Impulse Purchases

When you don’t have a proper plan to entertain your customer while she’s waiting in line, you’ll lose more than just good employees and sales – you’ll lose an opportunity.

Related PostHappy Customers in Line – 4 Easy Retail Queue Management Tips

Customers love to have something to do while waiting in line. That’s where impulse buys happen. A customer is bored while waiting, so she distracts herself with another potential item she can add to her shopping cart. Optimizing your store for impulse buys will help you improve satisfaction and boost your sales.

Want More Solutions?

We’ve written the book on queue management solutions. Download your copy of “What is Your Queue Costing You? 9 Ways to Improve Sales With Queue Management.” In it, you’ll have strong ideas for how to improve your employee and customer happiness levels with a few small tweaks.

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