According to the research conducted by Mastercard, almost 50% of Polish consumers think that queues to tills are the most frustrating element of everyday shopping. I share this opinion, too.

A while ago I asked myself a question if an owner can benefit from queues and make his or her shop more likeable and stand out from competition. According to Mastercard, 71% of customers are dissatisfied with queues and to 47% it is the most frustrating element of shopping, mostly because of a waste of time. Respondents say that during bigger shopping their waiting time is 18 minutes on average.

Queues arise negative emotions. Apart from the above mentioned waste of time (29%), people list impatience (35%, more often among older people) and boredom (25%, more often among younger people). Respondents are frustrated also with rude (26%) and slow (25%) cashiers.

On the other hand, shop owners who can solve the problem with queues may attract new customers and gain profits. As many as 71% of respondents claim that they would not come back to the shop if it meant queuing again.

Almost every second consumer (46%) happened to resign from shopping, when he or she saw too long queues to tills.

Proximity payments

The first solution for shortening queues is proximity payments, which are much quicker than traditional payment methods. 61% of respondents claim that queues would be shorter if everyone paid cashless.

I tap a card and the payment is done. The cashier is not looking for change, does not ask for small bills and does not exchange money in a different register. It is simply faster. Unfortunately, it is not still a standard and all you need is just a payment terminal and Internet access.

You may join Cashless Poland (Polish: Polska Bezgotówkowa) program and receive a POS terminal for free. Nevertheless, still few customers use PayPass or Blik.

In order to convince consumers to use such solutions we ought to promote them, especially by placing advertisements close to tills. Unfortunately, we still do not find much information on this subject in points of sale.

Scanning products

Another solution is to get rid of tills at all. A while ago self-service checkout machines were introduced. But it is still not enough. A more efficient solution was proposed by Tesco chain, where customers can scan products by themselves. For 38% consumers this is an interesting solution, but only 20% of them are interested in using it. It is visible in stores. In the ones where scanners were introduced, they are not popular to such extent that it could solve the queuing problem.

It is not surprising as people still more often use classic tills than self-service checkout machines.

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Advertising monitors in queues

Another trend is placing advertising monitors next to tills. Their main objective is making time spent in a queue more attractive. Although the monitors do not shorten queues, they engage clients’ thoughts with something else than waiting and because of that they feel like they are not wasting so much time.

Advertising monitors shorten queues on an unconscious level and, what follows that, reduce level of negative emotions connected with queuing.

According to the research conducted by MillwardBrown, advertising screens placed close to tills can reduce subjective waiting time by 40%.

In this research 64% of consumers claim that content displayed on the screens makes time pass quicker. For this reason advertising monitors were mounted by American Walmart chain already 10 years ago.

In Poland this solution was applied in such chains, as Tesco, Carrefour, Piotr i Paweł and Intermarche. Exemplary total cost of such an installation for 5 tills is approximately 6-8.000 PLN. Monitors can also be rented or leased.

Advertising monitors placed close to tills become information carriers, e.g. a shop owner can encourage clients to use proximity payments, promote shop’s own brand and seasonal products, insert discounts and remind customers about Sundays with trade ban.

(Here you can read about costs, service and selling ads: Advertising monitors next to a till – how much does it cost?)

Summing up, queues to tills are a chance for shop owners to stand out from competition. Encouraging customers to use proximity payments may shorten the queue provided that the encouragement is successful.

Introduction of self-checkout machines or product scanning option may also be helpful in reducing the number of people in queues. Advertising monitors can engage customers and leave a positive impression. If you have other ideas on how to gain a competitive advantage, please share them leaving a comment. If you are not sure about your choice or it is hard for you to predict the final effect, contact us and we will gladly help you find the most optimal solution.

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