Unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions. With Q4 and the festive season fast approaching, many retailers are looking to virtual queuing systems and appointment booking software to increase sales, footfall figures and customer loyalty.
Stores have only recently reopened after months of lockdown, yet the agenda for many retailers has already switched to Q4 and Christmas. But along with winter comes rain, wind and snow, and asking consumers to queue up outside stores will dampened the customer experience – not to mention create a potential PR disaster.
That’s why a number of prominent retailers are using queue management software and appointment booking software to manage footfall traffic and create safe, engaging and seamless customer experiences. Here are some of the results many retailers experience:
1) Safe and engaging customer experiences
In today’s Covid-19 retail environment, ensuring customer safety has taken precedence over any financial or sales targets – you can’t make in-store sales if all your stores are closed.
But that being said, when customers do make a trip to your store, they want it to be safe, but they also want it to be engaging. A survey of 1,050 UK consumers by ChannelAdvisor and Dynata revealed that 40% of shoppers found the in-store experience ‘less enjoyable’ than their experience before Covid-19.
Virtual queuing and appointment booking apps allow customers to have a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience by eliminating queues outside and inside of stores, saving them valuable time and helping to put their minds at ease.
2) Higher average customer transaction rates
Waiting in a physical queue not only creates a lacklustre customer experience, it actually stops your customers from spending. Retailers with virtual queuing software often experience significantly higher average customer transaction rates as a direct result of giving customers the freedom to browse their store while they wait.
A well-known furniture retailer found that 24% of customers made an unplanned purchase while waiting in the virtual queue for service – a major increase from before the software was implemented.
And an international eyewear retailer found that average customer transaction rates increased by 33%, as customers had more time after appointments with opticians to browse for eyewear.
Appointment booking software also has a major impact on in-store sales figures, as store managers can pair customers with appropriate subject matter experts, and store associates have time to prepare in advance and tailor their approach. For instance, a travel agency experienced a 10% store conversion increase using appointment software.
3) Increased footfall figures
A key challenge for many retailer right now is attracting customers in-store, but appointment booking software can help.
After enabling customers to book appointments with in-store style experts on its website, a department store retailer found that 60% of service footfall came from these online appointments.
Electronics retailer and manufacturer, Samsung, experienced a significant rise in footfall figures when enabling customers to book appointments with technical experts, and a travel agency found that 60% of store appointments were new customers to the brand.
Virtual queuing software is also valuable at helping to keep walk-in customers engaged and reduce walkout rates. For instance, telco retailer, O2, experienced a 62% walkout reduction due to better management of walk-ins from virtual queues.
4) Stronger omni-channel engagement
Omni-channel customers are highly engaged, incredibly loyal and higher spending, so targeting these customers is crucial for your Q4 campaigns.
Allowing customers to book store appointments online is a great way to draw these customers in-store, but you can also provide them the same level of service online.
During the lockdown period, many retailers invested in a virtual video service offering, and as many experienced a strong demand for virtual service, many will continue to do so going forward. During the lockdown, luxury department store retailer, Brown Thomas, found 60-70% of customers signing up to virtual appointment bookings were new customers.
And even before the lockdown took place, a major retail bank doubled its number of virtual video appointments just by enabling customers to book appointments online.