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.
What Is Your Queue Costing You?
So how can you still manage your queues and change customer perception about long lines without necessarily shortening those lines? At Alert Tech, we recently released an informative eBook called What Is Your Queue Costing You? 9 Ways to Improve Sales with Queue Management. The book discusses nine different methods you can use to manage your queue and improve your sales numbers.
You can download the whole eBook by clicking here and filling out the short form. However, if you just want a taste, read on for a summary of the first tip in the book about understanding your customer’s behavior.
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How Understanding Your Customers Behavior Can Help Your to Manage Your Queues
The first step to managing the queues in your store is to understand how those queues affect your customers. To do that, you first need to understand the types of people who are visiting your store to shop.
You can gain this kind of understanding in several different ways—from metrics to simple observation. Your goal, though, should be to get into the mindset of individual customers you see out on your floor.
For instance, say a customer walks in, and a sales associate offers to help them find what they are looking for. The customer may respond in many ways including:
- They are just browsing.
- They provide a basic description of what they are looking for, “Just looking at ”
- They come in looking for a particular brand or product that they know your store carries.
These responses can help you to understand better the people who are visiting your store. Ultimately, you should be looking to pull three conclusions out of the replies you get, as well as the customer’s behavior in the store.
- Why the customer came to your store. Did they wander in randomly? Or did they actively choose your store over your competitors?
- What does your customer think while they are in your store? Are they shopping with laser-like focus, looking for a very specific product or type of product? Or are they just walking around, open to the possibility of an impulse buy, but not looking for any one thing in particular?
- Why does the customer leave the store? Do they find what they are looking for, conclude their transaction at the register, and walk out as a satisfied customer? Do they leave as passively as they came in, fulfilling their claim that they were “just browsing”? Or do they leave looking frustrated over the long wait time to make a purchase?
Bottom line, paying attention to and understanding the ways your customers behave in your store can give a baseline reading for how big of a problem long lines and queue management are for your store. This information, in turn, can be used to help you decide how to improve your queue management process.
- Perhaps you need your sales associates to be better about pushing customers toward the fitting rooms.
- Maybe you need sales and promotional offers to get shoppers to encourage more purchases and bigger purchases.
- You might even consider implementing an “impulse buy” section near the cash register, where customers can pick up candy, toys, and other fun trinkets, continuing the shopping process even when they are in line.
Related Post: 5 Ways Retail Analytics Can Improve Store Performance
I Understand The Importance of Understanding My Customer Behavior. Now What?
Now it’s time to take your understanding of queue management to the next level! Download What Is Your Queue Costing You? 9 Ways to Improve Sales from Queue Management from Alert Tech! Just click below to download it now.