To help retailers to combat the significant financial loss caused by queuing during and outside of Covid-19, we surveyed 2,000 UK consumers to get on their opinions on:
- Store hosts with tablets to manage waiting experience
- Virtual queuing systems
- Appointment booking software
What do shoppers think of systems used to choreograph their store experience?
In September, 2020, we surveyed consumers on their opinions of key Retail Choreography software solutions being implemented by retailers:
- Stores hosts – that greet customers at the door to provide them with queue and wait time information using tablets.
- Virtual Queuing Systems – that enables customers to join a virtual queue (via a host or using their phone) and to receive SMS and on screen updates about their turn to enter or receive service within a store.
- In-store appointment scheduling software – that enables customers to pre-book times to visit stores to shop or receive personalised service.
Our insights showed that every type of retailer had an opportunity to improve customer experience for their customers during the pandemic. With grocery stores, building societies, pharmacies, shopping malls, opticians, department stores, fashion stores, garden centres, electronics, DIY, homeware/furniture and phone stores proving most popular.
We also found that a high percentage of customers ranked all three of these solutions as almost equally useful before the pandemic as they did during the pandemic.
Why do consumers think these solutions could be beneficial?
When looking at appointment booking software, we found that the main benefits are safety and efficiency.
Consumers who stated the same benefits (safety and efficiency) for virtual queuing systems, with reducing the risk of contracting Covid-19 and more productive use of time being the most common benefits.
How would these in-store systems impact customer spend, loyalty and advocacy?
When asked what the benefit of a retailer offering one of these services would be, the survey respondents indicated that these systems used to choreograph their in-store experience would have the following impact:
- 13% would be more likely to buy something in-store and 11% would be more likely to buy something online – demonstrating that using these tools to better choreograph their customers’ store experience post lockdown would help retailers to drive both immediate store sales and ongoing omni-channel revenues.
- 23% would be more likely to visit the retailer’s stores in the first place – demonstrating that in-store appointments, hosts and virtual queue management will enable a retailer to drive more traffic into their stores long-term.
- 23% would feel safer and happier and 24% would think better of the retailer – showing that such tools will enable a retailer to improve brand relationships and perception.
- 15% would be more likely to tell their friends about the retailer and 17% would be more likely to choose the retailer over their competitors – demonstrating that a retailer could improve customer advocacy and better stand out amongst competitors by offering these in-store services post lockdown.
All this presents a powerful business case for using in-store appointments and virtual queuing systems when stores reopen and suggests that retailers looking to implement these services post-lockdown could put themselves in a strong position to combat customer concerns around visiting stores and to recoup the revenues that would otherwise be lost to queues and waits for service.