Queue lengths


Long queues can drive customers away and hurt your sales. Here are some tips on managing queue lengths for a better customer experience..

Queue Management - A Must for Retail Success

That’s according to Box Technologies and Intel's report, which highlights the importance of technology in reducing queues. The research also found

  • 86% of consumers will avoid a store if they think the queue is too long
  • After 9 minutes of waiting, most shoppers will give up and leave
  • Moderate increases in queue length can reduce sales by as much as a 5% price hike

Note the last point I emphasised because it is frequently not realised.

Excessive queue times can deter customers and damage your business. Monitoring and optimizing your queue management should be a priority.

Queue management system

To assess your current situation, you need to track two metrics:

1. Number of People in the Queue

  • Periodically count the number of customers waiting in line.
  • Aim for less than five people to minimise walkouts.
  • Look at your Peak foot traffic

2. Average Wait Time

If people are waiting too long, often they will walk out.

  • Time: How long does it take to process each transaction?
  • Multiply the number of people by the processing time.
  • For example, ten people x 30-second processing time is 5 minutes.

If you go to "find transactions" and call everyone, you will get something like this.

This shows the dates and times that transactions are being processed. Use this to calculate your average processing time

Shortening Your Queues

Once you've measured queue length and wait times, here are some ways to reduce delays:

  • Open more registers - Add staff during peak times.
  • Speed up transactions - Train staff to scan items quickly.
  • Improve queue layout - Make lines look shorter by using barriers to hide.
  • Make a fast lane - Account customers and customers with big orders are often willing to wait longer.

Taking steps to minimize queues will boost customer satisfaction, sales, and loyalty over the long term.