Heathrow has just opened the first Personal Shopping Lounge to appear in any airport in the world. So, to try to make the shopping experience better than the usual high street experience, it commissioned a study into Britons’ retail bugbears.
It produced some very interesting findings – most intriguing to us being the fact that 42 per cent of people are most frustrated by constant queuing.
Other pet hates unearthed by the survey include stores being too generally crowded, with an enormous 70 per cent citing this as the worst part of their shopping experience, whilst 37 per cent disliked messy piles of clothes littering the shelves.
For all of this, British shoppers spend 24.5 days rooting, queuing and elbowing each other throughout their lifetime.
This is a hugely stark reminder of retailers’ need to create an efficient, easy and well-organised place in which to shop. Every one of the top bugbears mentioned in the survey could be easily alleviated with modern technology.
Solutions such as the Tensator Virtual Assistant are developed specifically to guide customers through the store with the smoothest possible flow, creating a buzz for products at key points but freeing up more restricted areas.
The Tensator Virtual Assistant has been used successfully within the industry for many years and with its small 50cm by 50cm footprint and portable design it is perfect for any retail environment
Virtual Queue Management Systems (VQMS), too, are particularly useful for combating busy tills at peak times. By dispersing waiting shoppers around the area, rather than lining them up, it results in a less stressful time that can be spent browsing. When customers reach the front of the virtual queue, their ticket numbers are then called to the tills.
Tensator VQMS solutions are available in conjunction with Inline Mobile, a smartphone app that allows shoppers to take their place in a queue before they reach the store. The app shows the user where the least busy stores are located and allows them to take a virtual ticket, which can then be scanned upon arrival to ‘check in’.
Automatic Electronic Call Forward (ECF) systems have also proved to be particularly useful in a wide variety of retail sectors. The Single-Line Queuing (SLQ) 3000 solution takes the form of a screen that simultaneously displays promotional messages and video and calls the next customer to the service desk. It can be completely integrated into the business’s central network for monitoring of the busiest areas, times and desks.
The ECF system and its associated solutions have been proven to reduce walkways by up to 96 per cent, speed up queue flow by up to 30 per cent and reduce frustration by serving customers in the order they arrive.
Technology such as this is already helping a wide variety of retailers to create a much more relaxed experience for their customers in store. As more adopt it, British shoppers could be in for a much more enjoyable trip down the high street.