With the continuous development of the retail industry, consumer expectations have also undergone major changes. From convenience stores to exclusive retailers and specialty stores, convenience and instant gratification have become the top priorities of enterprises.
In short, every customer wants to achieve their goals while facing the fewest obstacles. If they need sales help, they may be willing to wait a few minutes. However, if they repeatedly find long lines in a particular store, they are likely to take your business to competitors.
New customer behavior and changing expectations
As e-commerce sales continue to grow, online merchants expand their customer fulfillment systems to meet demand and improve technology to improve the overall experience. Comprehensively, customers can enjoy fast delivery of products and make them feel satisfied with their shopping experience.
To combine physical and digital experiences and enhance them, many retailers are implementing technologies to promote positive results, build customer loyalty, and create memorable experiences. With customers now expecting their in-person shopping experience to reflect their high-quality e-commerce purchases, technology plays an indispensable role in enhancing the capabilities of customers, employees, and business owners.
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The benefits of good customer flow and queue management
Good customer flow for retailers and finding an effective way to manage their customer queue in store will achieve several important benefits. While some benefits are easy to identify and appear immediately, others are more intangible in nature and have a long-term positive impact.
• Better customer shopping experience: When customers enter a retail store, they can focus on buying specific items and exiting. Other customers immerse themselves in the shopping experience and discover products that may pique their interest. Both types of customers want a smooth flow of people in the store. They are more willing to walk the hallways at their own pace.
If clients need consulting service assistants, they don’t want to waste time looking for someone who can help them. Customers want to feel that retailers respect their time and strive to simplify the service experience.
Customers who can easily reach your goals are more likely to have a positive shopping experience. They may stay in the store longer than expected, giving them additional exposure to the product and increased revenue. When they leave the store with a positive attitude, they are more likely to return.
• Benefits for employees and business owners: Well-controlled consultation or help desk appointments enable customers to get personalized help from employees who are never exhausted. When customers can make these appointments through their mobile phones, they can browse the store freely until the appointment time.
The well-designed queuing management system makes it easier for shoppers to shuttle in the store. When the customer arrives at the checkout counter without delay, the salesperson can handle more POS transactions. This allows retailers to generate higher revenue.
The shop has a smooth flow of people, and employees can complete their assigned tasks without bypassing the customer base. This laid the foundation for increasing productivity.
With the help of the right technology, team members also feel more capable of performing higher-value tasks instead of managing customer flow. Finally, employees who feel more valuable are more interested in meeting customer needs.
Use technology to maximize results
Retailers can gain so many benefits through technology to improve their operations, so implementing best practices is critical to long-term success. Although each retail business is unique, there are some general tips to maximize results:
• First, review data to accurately staff retail locations, predict customer service needs, and switch BOPIS options. Look for occupancy patterns, sales peaks, and other factors that allow you to maximize your personnel needs.
• In addition, employees are trained to analyze patient data before starting customer appointments and generate relevant recommendations before customers arrive. This kind of “patronage experience” will not only speed up appointments, but also make employees feel prepared and confident.
• Finally, link the face-to-face shopping experience with digital data, BOPIS, and customer loyalty to obtain a comprehensive 360-degree view of each customer. This will provide the richest and most complex view of customer preferences, behaviors, wants, and needs.
IKEA implements effective queue management solutions
To emphasize the importance of queue management, let’s look at an example. Global home furnishings retailer IKEA (an Ombori customer) has implemented a new queue management system to simplify its massive customer service and design consultation process at different store locations in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. From a customer perspective, this once-time-consuming task now serves customers physically and virtually, and has become more convenient and accessible than ever.
Each customer booked an IKEA design consultation (planning service or any customer service inquiry) through the company website or the interactive display in the store. The customer receives the confirmation immediately via his mobile phone. This new solution also completely eliminates banknotes and reduces the impact on the environment, which is an important factor for many buyers.
Final thoughts on new customer behavior As the world continues to dominate the retail industry, business owners can predict changing customer behaviors, desires, and values. Many times, implementing technology to help maximize the customer experience is critical to maintaining relevance in the retail space.