A virtual queuing system can help retailers to manage customers during Covid-19 in a multitude of ways. Not only does it help ensure social distancing in stores, it creates a positive customer experience.
With social distancing here to stay for the foreseeable future, retailers are busy planning how they can ensure their customers and employees are safe, as well as providing a positive and engaging customer experience that keeps their customers coming back for more.
That’s why many retailers are turning to queue management software. Here’s a brief explanation of how it works and how you can use it in numerous ways throughout your store.
How a queuing system works
Virtual queuing works by eliminating the need for physical queues inside or outside of stores, reducing the number of consumers waiting in your stores and providing an experience that makes people feel safe.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how a virtual queuing system works in stores:
- Your customers join a virtual queue through their mobile phone, or through a host with a tablet.
- Customers receive an estimated wait time and queue position by SMS and a live smartphone countdown (or even TV displays). They also receive automatic updates as their turn draws near.
- Store associates can manage customers from any desktop, tablet or smartphone device. A quality queue system will have native apps for IOS and Android, and can be integrated with footfall counting tools.
3 ways virtual queuing systems can work in stores
1) Create digital queues outside your stores
When the lockdown first started, the majority of stores that stayed open, such as supermarkets and banks, asked customers to line up outside their stores, standing 2 metres apart, in order to limit the number of customers inside and adhere to social distancing protocols.
But with the majority of retail stores now opening back up, there’s a huge risk to everyone’s safety as there could be queues outside of every store.
That’s why many large retailers such as ASDA are using virtual queues outside their stores that allow customers to check-in via QR code, text message or via a store host. This provides customers with an estimated time and allows them to track their position in the queue. Customers can wait in the neighbouring area, or even from the comfort and safety of their own cars.
2) Allow customers to digitally queue for in-store services
A retail queuing app is also great for managing queues to in-store services. This allows customers to join a queue either through a host or kiosk, or through their smartphone, and either continue shopping in-store (which has a proven impact on average customer transaction rates), or if the wait is significant, return to your store later.
This approach not only gives your customers a better waiting experience, as they are not required to physically stand in a queue, they also have full visibility of the process and can manage their expectations. It also allows your store associates to better manage their time and be more productive.
A good example of a retailer using a queuing app for its in-store services is telco provider, O2, which uses Qudini for customers requiring technical support.
3) Provide a contactless click and collect service
Instead of asking customers who have bought items online and are collecting them in-store to wait in a line at a dedicated click and collect desk, many retailers are using a retail queue management system to eliminate the need for queues completely – and that was before Covid-19.
In the coronavirus era, where customers are significantly more likely to use click and collect services, many retailers have adopted the software to offer a fast and safe pickup experience.
Customers arriving at a store can check-in via a weblink or QR code to let store teams know they have arrived, and wait at the store entrance, curbside or even in their cars while their orders are prepared and brought out to them. A quality queue app will alert customers of their position in the queue via SMS or smartphone countdown and provide regular updates.
This allows store teams to better manage their time and resources – it also means store associates can manage the process from any smartphone or tablet device.
Watch the video below to learn more about Qudini’s Virtual Queuing System: