Queueing to Pay – How the Shopping Experience Can Be Improved

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Everyone who has ever been in a retail environment will know that standing in line for the privilege of paying for items is no fun. After all, few shoppers enjoy the experience of queuing and will often do the best they can to avoid waiting even for a few minutes. For boutique retailers who rely on higher value items going through the tills, queuing can be especially harmful to businesses. This is because although shoppers are willing to tolerate queuing for the low prices and convenience of a superstore, they will rarely stand in a queue for very long in order to pay for an impulse purchase. Waiting, in other words, leads to people changing their minds. If you sell luxury items, one-off knick-knacks or goods that rely on passing trade, then you need to minimise queuing. How do you for that?

Have More Than One Cash Register

When a shopper brings an item to the till to buy it, you really need more than a lone cash register. Point of sales systems should be quick and efficient, but at busy times you will need to open a second one so that shoppers' needs are rapidly fulfilled. If they see shop staff reacting to a queue by opening a second piece of point of sale equipment, then they are more likely to stay in the queue, safe in the knowledge that everything possible has been done to speed things up.

Invest in Wireless Technology

When you are in your showroom or shopfront, why ask customers to queue for a till at all? Instead, bring the point of sale system to the customer. After all, this is what restaurants have been doing for years, so why not use the same principle in a shopping environment? In retail, you can engage with a customer on the shop floor, make recommendations and then strike while the iron is hot to conclude a card sale by simply handing over the point of sale card reader to the customer. Modern point of sale software means you can perform all of this part of the sale wirelessly and even email a receipt to your client rather than having to wait for the terminal to print one out.

Organise Your Queues

Where queuing needs to happen – perhaps so that good can be scanned or wrapped up for customers – it is a good idea to lay out a queue pattern so that clients can immediately tell where they need to stand for service. If the tills are organised like a pub's bar with a free-for-all approach, then customers can become frustrated if they feel others are pushing in. Simple queuing barriers are an effective means of organising queues rationally.


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