How long does it take to lose a customer: reducing queues and increasing sales

The average person now spends one year, two weeks and a day of their lives stuck in shop queues. That’s according to a report by Box Technologies and Intel, which highlights the importance of technology in reducing queues. The research also found

  • Seven people in a queue is the tipping point – any longer and most shoppers won’t bother joining it
  • After 9 minutes, shoppers are likely to give up queuing and leave empty handed (other research says as little 6 minutes)
  • 86% of consumers will avoid a store if they they think that the queue is too long
  • The average shopping trip includes 20 minutes queuing time.
  • 70% are less likely to return to a store if they experience long waiting times on just one occasion
After 9 minutes, shoppers are likely to give up queuing and leave empty handed
After 9 minutes, shoppers are likely to give up queuing and leave empty handed

Previous research by Lu, Musalem, Olivares and Schilkrut has also found that

  • Moderate increases in the number of customers in a queue can generate a sales reduction equivalent to a 5% price increase.

No wonder retailers and other businesses try to minimise queues. With today’s technology reducing queues becomes much simpler. A CCTV queue management system lets businesses test measures to reduce queues, and assess their impact and profitability.

A video queue management system shows

  • The number of active service points (ticket booths or retail checkouts for instance)
  • The number of people currently in a queue.
  • The average queue length
  • The average queuing time over the last half hour (for example)
  • For how long the last person to be served waited
  • How often there were more than seven people in the queue
  • How many people abandoned the queue
  • How many people jumped the queue
  • Daily figures, for example, 95% of people queued for less than 5 minutes.

Integrating the queue management system with the point-of-sale system gives hard evidence about how queue length affects sales.

To learn more about measuring and managing queues, e-mail [email protected], call us on +44 (0)161 839 6437 or fill in the form.

 

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Further Reading on Managing Queues

Read more about measuring queues.

Measuring the Effect of Queues on Customer Purchases. Yina Lu, Andrés Musalem, Marcelo Olivares, and Ariel Schilkrut Management Science 201359:8 , 1743-1763

Tech evolution reducing queuing patience, Essential Retail

Retail Sensing

Retail Sensing manufacture the Video Turnstile people counting, vehicle sensing and smart city equipment. Our systems not only measure footfall and traffic, but monitor queues, display occupancy, track shoppers around stores, show heat maps of most visited areas, record passenger numbers, count pedestrians and provide retail intelligence and key performance indicators.

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