Winter Is Coming

Is Your Business Prepared For Holiday Shopping Lines?

The Big Picture

As the Winter months quickly approach, retail shops and government offices are starting to prepare for the winter crowds that are going to be lining up for their business. With social distancing and max-capacity limits still in place, you may be asking some of your patrons to wait outside in order to keep everyone safe. Not only will you have to manage your holiday shopping lines, but you will also have to manage the higher expectations that customers have for your business. With the rise of online shopping, customers will expect their in-person experience to be just as quick and safe as going online. That can pose a big problem when the cold air and snow decide to pay a visit.

Landing Page Quotes-01-1Businesses are starting to consider the different options they have for winterizing their space. Maybe spend thousands of dollars on patio heaters? Try to serve customers outside? Just deal with unhappy customers? None of these options are great, so many are turning to technology to solve their problem.

With a queue management system, businesses can easily manage their holiday shopping lines, serve customers efficiently, and keep staff safe. It’s the best way for businesses to provide an exceptional experience without losing customers or turning to solutions that don’t work.

Challenges for Retail

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for most retail shops. According to the National Retail Federation, November and December make up 19% of the total revenue for the average retailer, with some even higher than that. Retail shops often rely on these months to keep their business afloat, pay their employees, and attract new customers. Studies show that 80 percent of profits come from 20 percent of a retailer’s best customers, so consider ways to make these top shoppers feel welcome, special, and safe.

This year presents a different challenge, though. With store capacity limits being set around 50%, stores are wondering what to do about the winter crowds that will be trying to enter their store on Black Friday or the days before Christmas. Since we haven’t been through anything like this before, many retailers don’t have an answer. They’re hoping that their staff will be able to manage the holiday shopping lines, meet customer expectations, and deliver an excellent shopping experience, all while keeping themselves safe. It’s a lot to ask of staff members, and many retailers are feeling like they aren’t prepared.

Challenges for Government

Government offices are presented with unique challenges because they are in charge of assisting the public and providing essential services. In normal times, citizens could walk into a busy waiting room, grab a ticket, and wait for their number to be called. Now, government offices are struggling to find ways to serve citizens while maintaining social distancing.

When departments get busy and the queue starts to grow, staff have no option but to ask citizens to wait outside and try to manage the winter crowds.

This can quickly turn into a disaster when the line continues to grow and people are waiting for extended periods.

Now imagine what would happen if all those people were now waiting in the snow. Yeah, it’s not a pretty sight. The problem? Most of those people are relying on that department for help, sometimes because it’s an emergency that can’t wait another day. The challenges brought by the pandemic came quickly, leaving many government offices no time to prepare. They are looking for a solution… and quick.

The Fix

Businesses are turning to queue management systems for help. Instead of waiting for their turn outside, customers can wait their turn wherever they want rather than in busy holiday shopping lines. That means customers can wait in their warm car, at the local cafe, or even just wait their turn at home before coming into your business. Not only does this eliminate the need to winterize your space, but customers will be happier knowing they can get other things checked off their list while they wait and not standing out in the snow.

Your customers can easily get into your in holiday shopping line via the QLess app, SMS text, or your website. People in the queue will receive automatic updates about their place in line and the current wait time. They can even cancel their visit or ask for more time if they’re running late. Now you can manage the winter crowds waiting in your holiday shopping lines, maintain social distancing, and keep your customers from standing out in the cold.