Four essential queue busting strategies for Easter weekend


Just a few days remain until the Easter weekend – one of the biggest spikes in the retail calendar.
The Easter egg market alone is worth £365 million, while many consumers use the public holidays as a time to shop. In fact, according to Experian FootFall, European consumer activity often increases ahead of the weekend and continues into the week after, creating the potential for a two-week surge in spending.

This presents a fantastic opportunity for retail businesses to boost profits, however, it’s not without Download Free Whitepaperits pitfalls. Namely, more shoppers equal busier stores, and therefore place a greater strain on operational resources.

Queuing is a particularly big challenge for retailers, who fear that long wait times will lead to shoppers abandoning their purchases.

To help you control the crowds this Easter weekend, we’ve put together 4 tips for reducing queue lengths during busy trading periods:

1. Predict when your store is likely to reach crisis point
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Looking back over previous Easter periods, trading patterns can reveal vital details on when your store is likely to be busy, enabling you to put measures in place – such as increasing workforce – to ensure customer service standards are upheld.
A good retail business intelligence tool is essential for these insights. Although it won’t stop ebbs and flows in consumer traffic, it will prepare your business for the most intense stress moments.

2. Increase your payment points
Many retailers rely on one or two fixed points of sale, so waiting lines can quickly build up during busy moments. Mobile POS technology is a very effective tool for preventing this congestion, as retailers can quickly and easily open up an alternative point of payment when queues begin to lengthen.
Not only that, but the portable nature of mobile payment devices mean retail staff can use them at any point within the store – so shoppers don’t even have to join a queue to make their purchase.

3. Keep an eye on the queue
It’s very easy for a seemingly controlled situation to suddenly become very chaotic at peak trading times; queues can go from 2 or 3 people to 7-10 in the space of a few minutes.
Again, mobile Point of Sale systems can come in very useful here, as dedicated ‘queue buster’ staff can wander up and down the lines processing payment details to quickly get the queue back down to a manageable length.

4. Speed up transactions
Another factor compounding queue times is the length of each customer transaction. While there are a limited number of things you can do to make scanning and packing goods a speedier process, there are ways to decrease payment times.
Promoting contactless payments for low value purchases is a good example. Another is integrating loyalty schemes onto an application for consumers’ mobile phones, so they don’t have to spend minutes searching through their wallet to collect or redeem points.

How can your mobile strategy stay ahead of the retail curve?

How can your mobile strategy stay ahead of the retail curve?

Mobile, mobile, mobile. It’s dominated retail discussions over the past 12 months, yet knowledge of how consumers use this technology – and how businesses should be incorporating it into their strategies – still feels as though it’s in its infancy. If anything, shoppers are ahead of the curve, quite frequently using their own devices in the store to research products or check prices. However, all that is set to change. According to a BRP special report into mobile technology, the number of retailers using mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) will increase by 300% over the next two years. So what does this mean for the industry? Well firstly, it’s going to shape consumer expectations. As mentioned, there is already a huge appetite for shoppers using their own devices as part of the journey to purchase, and these consumers will become more accustomed to relying on in-store technology as its adoption increases. While there are a few forward-thinking retailers pushing the boundaries by using mPOS for flexible customer service and queue busting, the majority of customers still expected to make transactions via a traditional, fixed Point of Sale. Mobile POS gives retailers the capacity to redefine in-store customer service, offering shoppers added value options such as:

  • Real-time stock availability updates, by linking to inventory data
  • Advice on different colours and styles, using online catalogues
  • Recommended accessories or accompaniments, again using catalogue information
  • Ability to order or reserve from anywhere in the fulfilment network, integrating operational data across the business
  • Transactions anywhere in the store, by connecting to an online payments gateway

Secondly, the more retailers incorporate mPOS into their store strategies, the more competitive it will become as a Edge_Ahead_with_mobilityEdge_Ahead_with_mobility customer service tool. This means ‘making do’ with existing equipment will not suffice – retailers will need to be at the forefront of their game when it comes to both hardware and the supporting solution, in order to innovate experiences as shopper expectations increase. In order to stay ahead of the competition, therefore, retail businesses need to future-proof their mobile engagement strategy. This means choosing a flexible, scalable mobile POS management system that can add new functionality without slowing down day-to-day interactions. The quickest, most painless way to do this is to invest in a cloud-based solution. By moving deployment and maintenance of technology infrastructure into the cloud, retailers can upgrade or roll out applications to any device within their network remotely, minimising disruption to trading.

Not only that, but moving to the cloud lifts the boundaries applied by on-site solutions. By outsourcing their mPOS management to an expert third party, retailers remove restrictions imposed by store networks, data storage and operational resources. And should the time come when front-end hardware isn’t meeting customer needs, they can easily implement new technology that plugs straight into the cloud, drawing down existing data and capabilities as soon as the upgraded devices are connected.

Mobile POS Coming to Forefront

Mobile POS Coming to Forefront

Globally retail stores are beefing up their sales capabilities ditching the old-fashioned point of sale machines and having salespeople — and even shoppers themselves — ring up sales on smartphones and tablet computers.

Barneys New York, a luxury retailer, this year plans to use iPads or iPod Touch devices for credit and debit card purchases in seven of its nearly two dozen regular-price stores.

Mobile point-of-sale devices are no longer just a tool for specialty retailers or smaller merchants to accept card payments. Increasingly, large U.S. retailers are equipping associates with smartphones and tablets that let them accept customer payments from the sales floor.

Technology has consistently been a major driver in retail but mobile POS devices are transforming the retail industry in aNRF-Blog-images-copy-2 way that few technologies have done before. “Retailers which have eschewed cumbersome cash wraps in favor of a mobilized checkout are already reaping increased savings, sales and customer satisfaction,” said the report, written by Yankee Group analyst Jordan McKee.

Industry experts are of the opinion that year 2014 marked the transformation of Point of sale terminals as they became increasingly mobile and the trend would take Big Box retailers by storm in the coming year

The need of the hour is to look for ways to better understand customers and deliver the right products to the right channel at the right time at the right price. Customer’s reach to more product information along with a myriad of product choices has shifted power to the consumer while resulting in higher customer expectations.

Mobile POS technology helps retailers enhance their customer’s shopping experience, while reducing the costs of providing that enhanced experience. While operational efficiency remains important, retailers are leveraging mobile POS technology to close sales instantly, optimize demand side processes, attract and retain more customers and drive future growth.

To create marketplace advantages in the future, retailers already know their customers intimately, including their needs, wants, preferences, and values and are restructuring their business processes and in-store technologies to ensure customer expectations are fully satisfied.

Mobile POS has a positive impact on revenue as it doesn’t add complexity to the existing retail environment and considerably empowers the store associates.

The new POS technology that extends to mobile devices as applications, employee hand-held, new payment devices, numerous displays and customer facing systems can help fuel loyalty and sales technological com, making the job of a Store Associate more effective without adding technological complexity.

We always hear the old say that “People buy from people” and this is essentially true in context to the retail sector. If your forward workforce is happy and motivated and as a result the interaction with customers is a positive one. For any retail business, this positive experience really does go a long way to reinforcing a positive brand reputation.

Specialty Retailers turn Customer Centric and Profitable with Mobility

The hype-to-reality transition of mobility in retail has been the fastest in the recent times. Ever since Apple started using mobile devices in their stores, which was not too long ago, retailers started taking notice. Today retailers expect the same level of customer experience that one would experience in an Apple store.

Retail Applications like iVend Retail along with retail hardware providers have come a long way in providing complete solutions on mobile devices of different sizes and operating systems.

One of the Forbes reports pegs mobile in retail today to be US $5.7 Billion business and it is the single fastest growing trend.

Mobile POS has a pertinent significance in the context of Specialty Retailers having niche retail businesses like footwear, bookstores, wine & liquor stores, electronic stores, etc.

Retail Real-Estate Optimization, Customer Experience and Faster Business Expansion are some of the critical business drivers for Specialty Retailers. Mobile POS extends to these retailers unprecedented flexibility to effectively address these critical business needs.

Take for example the need for a retailer to open another retail store in an upmarket mall. With mobile POS directly connected to the head office servers, the retailer does not require to setup expensive IT infrastructure in his new retail store. All that is required is a mobile POS, which can also double up as a communication device.

Similarly, flexibility to increase checkout points on the fly is another feature that merits deployment of mobile POS by Specialty Retailers. Customer Experience, Special Attention and Preferential Treatment are some of the cornerstones of a Specialty Retailer And one of the ways a retailer can extend these to the customer is by eliminating the check out time. Mobile POS, given its ‘mobility’ ensures that there is never a queue at the check out point; infact there need not be any check out point – why should a customer walk to a designated area for checking out?

Any retailer would like to pamper his customer and what better way to do so by letting him know through notifications about his gift card status, coupon status and loyalty status by sending out a sophisticated, non-interfering, personal digital pass. All this when the customer is in the vicinity of the retail store.

Seamless integration of iVend Mobile POS with iVend Loyalty and iVend Passes, allows the retailer to extend the most sophisticated end customer experience to his customers.

As a result, specialty retailers are deploying about 45% of all tablets shipped to retail for POS. They are most popular in small independent retailers of all types and large mall-based specialty chains.

To know more about iVend Retail Management Suite and especially iVend Mobile POS, please visit our Knowledge Portal. You may also like to get in touch with our Channel Sales Manager to get more information about iVend Retail.

Mobility enhancing Retail Customer centricity

Mobile device multiplication among store associates, floor managers, back office and supply chain workers — and, perhaps most importantly, customers — has accelerated rapidly. For forward looking retailers who are focused on customer centricity, mobile tech integration has become the propelling force. Extension of enterprise applications to mobile devices is helping retailers achieve timely data access, break down channel-specific silos of information, facilitate tailor made sales and service, and enable true one-to-one CRM (customer relationship management) with consumers on their path to customer centricity.

The tidal wave of enterprise and consumer-mobility  is here and this new age technology really puts the customer at the center of the business.

 Customer-Centricity Trends and Tech Enablers

Mobility is about more than devices and wireless networks — it’s about data. Data is being gathered, processed, and pushed to applications faster than it ever has, allowing retailers to make better, faster decisions — from the storefront to the supply chain — and align those decisions with near real-time consumer preferences.

Retail Analytics enables customer centricity by giving retailers insight into data, which improves productivity and increases the depth of customer engagement. Forward looking retailers rely heavily on measurements and key performance indicators via dashboards and scorecards and relying on predictive modeling to make big decisions.

Omnichannel Retailing

“Cross-channel” retailing was the topic of discussion last year or the year before but the mobile Internet that 50% of shoppers are taking with them on their smartphones everywhere they go has blurred any distinguishable lines between retail channels. Consumer mobility has crossed a considerable number throughout the world and looking at the way it is embraced globally, it has become the primary retail touch point.

Most retailers have some serious “channel integration catch-up” to do before they can respectfully call themselves “cross-channel” enterprises. Much less omnichannel retailers are deploying an integrated retail solution which is agile, innovative and scalable. Such a solution is their primary concern

Mobile technology is forcing change from a channel mentality to a brand mentality, and as it relates to the brand, there’s nothing so important as the consumiVend Mobileer. Generating a user experience that is channel agnostic is the perspective so that the consumers are associated with brand, not a specific channel.

 Store-Level Device Mobility

Mobile technology beholds in the context of enhanced in-store shopping experience. Implementation of this technology in store increases business opportunities for retailers and engages their customers. More and more retailers today are turning to mobile technology at checkout to enhance customer engagement and repeat buyers.

Inside the store, mobile technology has removed physical location as an obstacle to customer centricity. Consider the store-level associate who, using an ipad, can check inventory on a shoe style and size, at her store or any other in the chain, without leaving the customer’s side. That same associate can use that same device to access the customer’s purchase history, their loyalty status, and, in truly omnichannel environments, their site-browsing history and Web shopping cart. In this way, the associate can assist the customer with the completion of a transaction that started in a different channel. With mobile POS, the customer centric guest experience culminates at an entirely higher level.

Beyond enabling personalized service and transactions, mobility fuels customer centricity by creating on-the floor access to back office and managerial applications such as availability, scheduling, and inventory lookup . Because so many of a store manager’s tasks can be executed with the aid of a tablet or smartphone — as opposed to yesterday’s fixed PC — both the customer and the retailer realize the benefit of new found sales floor access to the retailer’s best salesperson and brand advocate.

Mobile enables customer centricity, whether it’s leveraged in stores for communication (email, voice, planning), productivity (access to managerial reports and task management applications), or customer service (access to customer, product, and inventory data).

Mobile POS – The New Point of Service

iVend Mobile POS, is one of the latest innovations from CitiXsys and forms an important part of the iVend Retail Management Suite. Built to operate on iOS devices and Andriod tablets, iVend Mobile POS suites the retail strategy of retail leaders who adopt innovative retail technologies to make their customers happy.

As an application, iVend Mobile is as relevant to mid-sized retailers who want to expand their retail footprint much faster, as it is to large format retailers who utilize iVend Mobile as a queue buster and also as a tool to optimize expensive real estate space.

The application allows small format retail chains to expand faster and open new outlets by significantly reducing time required to setup an IT infrastructure. This is achieved by iVend Mobile’s ability to directly connect to iVend HO Server. On the other hand, iVend Mobile allows a large format retail chains where a retailer would like to increase the checkout points without compromising on expensive real estate space. In this case iVend Mobile connects to the store server.

This one feature of iVend Mobile gives all retailers an unprecedented leverage for a faster expansion without any compromises.

iVend Mobile will be made available at Apple App Store and Google Play in July 2013 and will get installed on the mobile device like any other App.

The configuration settings which include setup of the peripherals, preferred language, printers, etc. are done on the handheld device.

User can either specify a fixed time during the day when the synchronization is to be executed OR the user can specify the synchronization frequency at which the transactional data from iVend Mobile will get synchronized to the iVend Server.

The transactional data gets synchronized in real time whereas the updates from iVend HO server get synchronized at the defined frequency.

iVend Mobile not only works when the device is connected to the store or the HO server over a WiFi or 3G connection (on line mode) but is also designed to work even when there is no network connectivity (offline mode) With little to no investments in IT Infrastructure, iVend Mobile turns out to be an extremely affordable solution. The costs associated with procuring and maintaining retail peripherals for terminal POS are far more than those of running mobile POS.

The money value of time saved for the customers by busting queues is an important factor in enhanced customer satisfaction. In addition to the time saved at the checkout counter, a mobile POS gives an opportunity to the store executive to upsell items while interacting with the customers on the floor.

Retailing to e-tailing

Retailing has a long history, dating back to medieval traders and merchants. Since hundreds of years, retailers existed in defined geographies, with limited access to customer eCommerceneeds &  their shopping behavior with merchandise often limited to a single product category. All of that changed with the industrial revolution. With average incomes rising, markets emerged at a steady pace, and so did the consumer’s craving for consumer products.  This led to the rise of modern retailing with subsequent evolution of various channels of distribution, customer communication and transaction.

Modern retailing has rocketed with introduction of internet & mobility leading to wide acceptance of eCommerce & mCommerce platforms which in turn emerge as one of the fastest growing industries in world with likes of Amazon, eBay etc…  By 2020, online sales are projected to be USD500 billion or 20 percent of nonfood retail sales. For many types of retailers, the percent-to-total sales could even be higher, as eCommerce growth continues to significantly complement overall retail sales growth. Much of this will be fueled by the accelerating use of mobile platforms for shopping online.

Forward looking retailers have started integrating their brick-and-mortar stores with integrated Web stores to penetrate deeper into the market & boost their sales productivity. With Integrated eCommerce solution retailers no longer struggle to redefine the role of the store in a multichannel, millennial-led world.  They see Webstores as extended medium of their traditional store and want their customers to shop there with same ease & comfort.

With iVend Retail Management Suite retailers can successfully engage consumers wherever it makes sense in order to make it convenient for them to shop. Integrated eCommerce, Loyalty application and intelligent displays integrated with mobile devices can offer customers a satisfying multichannel experience that keeps them engaged. It is clear that all retailers need to aggressively embrace customer-shopping platforms of all types unless they find a way to create a differentiating value proposition that exploits the physical store advantages in a more compelling way.

For more details contact a CitiXsys representative in your region or mail us on [email protected]

Mobile Queue Busting: For Better Customer Experience

Even if you are confident that your latest marketing campaign has brought in a variety of new business, it will fail if your customers have a bad experience or simply Mobile POScannot get the help that they desire. Because of this, it is imperative that you implement a system that is simple to set up and is easy for customers to use in order to improve their experience. This is the main reason why mobile queue busting is an excellent technique utilized to improve the satisfaction of the customers.

Let’s face it. Customers never enjoy standing in line and want to purchase their items and leave in a timely manner. By utilizing Mobile POS systems, you can easily cut down on queues without having to implement expensive new equipment. These systems use mobile computing to speed up the checkout process while keeping transactions secure.

What is Queue Busting?

Queue busting simply refers to the means necessary in order to cut down on how long a customer will have to wait for a certain service. By automating this process, a worker can utilize a Mobile POS system in order to handle certain parts of a transaction. In this manner, customers can save additional time before heading to the counter or may be able to avoid the counter entirely. 

Business Sectors That Utilize Mobile Queue Busting

Although the travel and retail industry are two of the most common sectors currently utilizing Mobile POS for queue busting, any business that has queues can utilize these systems in order to help improve the overall customer experience. Suggested businesses include bars, restaurants, concert venues, and customer service offices.

  • The Retail IndustryRetailers can utilize mobile POS to their advantage to help cut down on long queues while increasing sales. Along with this, workers will end up becoming much more productive, as they can process more customers within a given hour. In this way, potential one-time customers may end up returning because of the excellent checkout experience they received and staff members can handle each customer fairly easily.Retailers can also use these systems if they have smaller store space that may become crowded on a daily basis. During the Holiday season, these queues can even reach out the door as shoppers are eager to score deals. By using these Mobile POSsystems, those with small stores can cut down on how long a customer will be waiting in line which can help to free up additional store space.Even retailers that do not have long queues can benefit significantly. With the implementation of these systems, staff members become much more productive and additional store space is made so that processes such as returns and the purchase of large items can be handled quite easily without having to make any changes to the staff or layout of the store.

Improving the Customer Experience

When your customers end up saving time on their queuing experience, they’ll end up walking out in much better mood and may become loyal customers. This is why mobile queue busting is such a powerful technique that you should be using with your business. No matter what industry you’re in, any customer who has to wait in line for longer that they would have expected will not enjoy the experience. Mobile POS systems provide convenience, security, and efficiency to both customers and staff members involved and will improve everyone’s experience.

For more details Contact us or write to us on [email protected].

Mobile POS as a Customer service opportunity

Whether or not you know it, you have used a Mobile POS system and it has made your experience at a retailer much better. As far as customer service is concerned, aMobility Mobile POS system puts the store at a customer service representative’s hands, which allows them to answer questions, look up prices, access inventory and stock, and contact their suppliers all from the same system.

But what exactly is in it for you, the customer? An integrated retail system stream lines what used to take several employees: it inventories, price checks, orders, and keeps stock current all while you are checking out at the cash register. Let’s say you are purchasing a pair of socks. As soon as the bar code on the socks is scanned, the Mobile POS system lets the inventory know that there is one less pair on the shelves and subtracts that pair from stock as well. The pair subtracted form stock is added to the order from the supplier and once the stock is decreased by a certain amount, the supplier sends the order to your retailer. The automation of an integrated retail system takes the menial processes out of your hands and allows you to focus more on what your company relies on: The Customer.

Another key feature of the Mobile POS system is the effectiveness of its customer loyalty systems. Keeping track of details is what POS systems do best and customer rewards, although essential, are just another tiny number that can be overlooked. A POS system can tell you all of the facets of a customer’s buying experience down to the very last detail: How much they spent? How often they shop? How many items they bought? &all of this data can be utilized as a positive information to engage with clients on the shop floor. It suddenly becomes much easier and more reliable to reward customers for their loyalty in an unbiased way.

The real benefit of a Mobile POS system is the elimination of long queues at the POS and the freeing of floor space, which enhances customer experience & saves investment in Real estate. It allows the floor manager to move out on Retail floor equipped with all information & move freely to interact with the customer actively ; combined with the mobile accessibility of inventory and ordering, the sales person can more effectively close a deal while the customer is present. The mobile POS system seamlessly integrates with your existing POS system, thus eliminating overhead for a new system.

The cutting edge technology that a Mobile POS system brings to a retail cannot be underscored enough; with immediate return coming from the customer experience and the sales person interaction with the customer heightening the overall customer experience at your company.

The roaming checkout –Why mobility is the new imperative for Retail?

iVend Mobile Today’s tech savvy shoppers are adopting new mobile technologies at a record-setting pace. The use of wireless devices is multiplying exponentially, with countless app stores and applications springing up to meet the demand.

As customers use Internet-enabled technology to accomplish even more of what they do, these applications and devices have become increasingly personal, anticipating customers’ needs and offering goods and services to meet them. Retailers must keep pace with this rising expectation of on-demand service whenever and wherever desired—including inside the retail establishment.

Mobile POS (Point of Sale) is a readily available solution. Mobile commerce has become increasingly familiar, convenient and secure, with consumers feeling more comfortable making purchases using this option. Big retailers have capitalized on the change—boosting sales and gaining repeat business via transactions on mobile devices.

But there is no reason to limit such sales to Smartphones. With the advent of wireless networks, Mobile POS equipment offers an ideal solution to (1) address poor service and missed sales opportunities resulting from insufficient information about features and promotions at product displays; (2) alleviate customer frustration due to long or slow-moving check-out lines; (3) replace outdated and non-scalable immobile software systems; and (4) avoid lost revenue from reduction in valuable floor space when additional hardware is installed to increase sales points.

Typical features include:

  • User authentication / security
  • Equipped for credit card payments
  • Scan and manual entry capability
  • Access to item details such as inventory
  • Recovery, suspension, cancellation or deletion of transactions
  • On-screen stylus signature

As a portable solution for completing sales transactions and processing returns, Mobile POS makes it possible to add to the number of “cash registers” without multiplying the number of stationary machines. Whenever there are long lines at the registers, portable POS devices can be distributed to store personnel so customers can engage them to make purchases.

Associates scan the customers’ items with the attached UPC (Universal Product Code) scanner, after which customers are able to pay by swiping a credit/debit card along a slot in the same machine. The transaction details are transmitted from the mobile POS to the business’s server using a secured wireless network. The server then communicates with third party agencies such as Visa or Master Card to authorize payment.

Once authorized, information is sent back to the business’s server, which then communicates with the mobile POS to produce a receipt for the transaction. The design of the device allows it to be integrated with legacy POS systems so the store’s data and processing will not be disrupted.

When using the mobile device to process transactions, the payment gateway connections should not be disrupted (they should be as effective as broadband) and location specific mobile payment security guidelines should be strictly followed. That said, it is clear mobile POS represents a positive change with a number of benefits and features to help forward-thinking retailers leverage technology to improve business.

Closely related to a reduction in customer wait time are:

  • Interaction with the store personnel to assist in making shopping decisions
  • Retailer can increase the number of POS without adding new cash registers
  • Can be carried to any location in the store, as needed.
  • Helpful in handling additional volume during peak shopping seasons
  • Keypad will feed in customer information with receipts sent to customer’s mail ID

Mobile technology represents an enormous opportunity to improve store operations and consumer interactions, with mobile POS offering another innovative way to win customer loyalty and gain greater market share by addressing the consumers’ never-ending desire for speed and convenience.