Almost half (46%) of retail executives claim that actively managing queuing and waiting would increase their hourly transactions, according to a survey by Qmatic. Customers' spend in-store would also be enhanced with better skills and service routing.
In fact, in the survey "Customer Flow in Retail" over half (54%) of respondents revealed their inability to match expert staff to customers during peak demand periods to handle face-to-face enquiries hampers their capability to capitalise on cross- or up-selling opportunities.
"Today's customer flow management (CFM) is no longer confined to installing a standalone call forward system," explained David Anahory, UK CEO at Qmatic. "Retailers are looking to CFM to improve on-premises sales, efficiency, store layouts and to drive customer interaction and satisfaction."
Customers feeling happier at the point-of-sale emerged as the biggest benefit of reduced queuing and waiting for retail respondents (62%), with 60% confirming that if customers leave the store feeling positive they are more likely to return.
However, when it comes to managing queuing and waiting 36% of respondents confirmed that limited space in store was an issue, while 26% cited cultural differences in queuing behaviours as an impediment.
CFM encompasses the entire customer journey from pre-arrival through to post-serving and includes the provision of management information at every stage. It can range from both independent and networked virtual and linear queue management, intelligent camera deployment, digital media, kiosk systems, customer feedback devices and mobile phone applications through to simple barrier and in-store merchandising configurations.
The Qmatic research was conducted by specialist IT market research consultancy, Vanson Bourne among 100 retail respondents, broken down evenly between board level directors and mid level store based managers, and across varied sizes of organisation: 16% with 500-1,000 employees, 36% 1,000-3,000 employees and 48% more than 3,000 employees.