Virtual queuing apps: the solution retailers will need when reopening their stores post-lockdown

Imogen Wethered
by Imogen Wethered

As the government seeks to ease lockdown restrictions, it has issued some new social distancing guidelines for shops and branches – and we’re seeing retailers turn to virtual queuing apps, as a result.

Last week the government published its Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines for all types of workplaces, including retail stores. Here’s some of the most relevant requirements for retailers:

Find out how a virtual queuing system can help enforce social distancing.

Retailers need to build customer confidence through social distancing

When the lockdown first came into effect, there was talk of a great retail resurgence, where retail shops, cafes and restaurants are flooded with consumers looking to make up for weeks of very little spending. That might currently be the case in New Zealand, but unfortunately here in the UK, we are a fair way off. 

And even if the lockdown were to lift overnight, the majority of consumers are cautious about contracting the virus, and it will stay like that unless retailers take action. 

In a survey of 2,000 consumers in both the UK and the US, we discovered that 77% of Britons and 82% of Americans were avoiding non-essential stores as much as possible in the weeks prior to the lockdown. We believe these insights are reflective of how customers will behave after lockdown.

Read more findings from the survey of 2,000+ consumers here.

Physical queues outside of stores will place the public in greater danger 

There are a handful of things Britain is known for on an international scale – our Queen and her corgis, our love of football, an eclectic collection of unorthodox singers and bands that we tend to either love or hate (or love to hate), tea, and our obsession with queuing.

Our queuing obsession began during World War II, when the general public had to line up in lengthy queues to receive day-to-day necessities. But now, three quarters of a century on, every open store you walk by has queues stretching down the street, from banks, to supermarkets, to pharmacies and post offices – which makes very little sense considering the new smartphone technology we have at our disposal. 

This approach might be working fine for now, but as the government seeks to reopen non-essential stores, the pavements could soon become overcrowded with customers in queues standing 2m apart, contradicting the essential social distancing measures that will still need to be in place. (This will become even more problematic during the bad weather, and may prompt many consumers to avoid visiting stores).

Without digital queue management software, when stores reopen the pavements could become flooded with queues of customers, contradicting the essential social distancing measures we’ve been abiding by for months now.

But with virtual queuing apps, this need not be the case – stores can stay open, pavements can be clear and safe, and customers can be healthy…and happy.

How a virtual queuing system works for retailers

Here’s the type of customer experience that retailers are creating using remote queuing apps to enable in-store social distancing: 

Find out more about Qudini’s Virtual Queuing System

The new era of virtual queuing apps

Before Covid-19, a virtual queuing system was a forward thinking initiative operated by big brands to enhance their brand reputation. But in the Coronavirus era, we’re seeing the software become a retail necessity – keeping customers safe, restoring their confidence to visit stores, and retaining brand reputation.

Qudini has been building our virtual queuing system for more than eight years now, working alongside leading customer-centric brands, including Samsung, Telefonica, Specsavers and Tui – and we’ve seen an influx of brands coming to us in the last few weeks asking about our software. Outside of the current Covid-19 context, our virtual queue management software is proven to increase walk-in retention, customer spend and loyalty, alongside enabling significant operational improvements in productivity, resource allocation and data insights.

We’re excited for what this new era of virtual queuing could mean for brands, not just for keeping their customers safe, but for realising the significant value of offering a good experience that encourages customers to buy more and return more frequently.

Here’s how Qudini can support your brand during Covid-19.

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