Crowd Control - Winning in Retail

September 12 2017 0comment

Crowd Control - Winning in Retail

Crowd Control & How It Can Help You WIN in Retail!

Crowd control is the name often used for the practice of managing customer waiting lines. Of course, in retail environments the only time this name may be appropriate is during Black Friday sales. The correct name for this process is queue management. So how does the practice of managing customer queues help retailers win?

Reducing Loss

Studies have shown that improving the customer’s experience in the checkout queue can raise their overall satisfaction rating by 20%. The reason is that the checkout queue is the retailers last touch point with the customer and the experience here will color their perception of the whole store visit. There is more at stake than just satisfaction.

A poorly organized, slow moving queue can cause walkaways, customers who have selected merchandise but balk at joining the queue and leave the store without making a purchase. By counting the number of walkaways and multiplying by the average transaction value the hard cost of poor queue management can be calculated.

The results can be shocking, larger retail chains have found the losses to be in the millions of dollars per year.

Unleash the Power of Impulse Purchasing

The queue is the best impulse purchase location in any retail store. Why? Because the customers are standing idle the desire to fill the time leads to browsing. Items merchandized in the queue typically see an uplift in sales from between 35% and 50%.

Merchandizing Crowd Control

A traditional queue is dead space but a merchandized generates revenue. Reducing the loss from walkaways and generating new revenue can give an ROI on queue hardware of just a few months.

Three Simple Steps to Winning Queue Management

  • 1. Use a Single Line Format

    With a single line servicing all cashiers the customer is never ‘stalled’ behind another customer with a long transaction, the line keeps moving as it is served by the other cashiers. Best of all the customer is guaranteed to be served in the order they arrived in the queue so they can relax.

  • 2. Inform and Entertain

    Boredom always makes a wait seem longer, to avoid this provide the customer standing in line with something to read or do. Post top signage can be used to inform about promotions or advise on relevant regulations. You can supply promotional literature using post top literature holders.

  • 3. Merchandize the Queue

    By far the best option to engage and entertain customers standing in line is to sell them something. By fixing portable slatwall paneling between the stanchions you can fully merchandise the queue.

    Not only does merchandising the queue generate revenue from otherwise dead space it is the best way to entertain and therefor make the wait seem shorter.


Crowd control or more accurately queue management plays a key role in generating customer satisfaction. An efficient well-organized queue system can speed customer flow and reduce the cost of customer walkways. The queue can also provide a source of high value impulse sales that not only adds to the revenue stream but entertains customers making their wait seem shorter.
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