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What is a Queue Management System?

We define queue management as an approach used to develop more efficient systems that can reduce customer waiting times or perceived waiting times for service. The aim is to increase both the number of customers that can be served and customer satisfaction with the entire queue experience.

The measurement of the queue is achieved by the number of people’s journey through the queue system, this starts from the first point of entering a queue. In the case of a linear queue this is relatively obvious to see but if the queue starts off-line this should be the start point for measurement. The journey is then measured at all points including both abandonment and successful conclusion.

By counting how many people enter your queue and their progress the success of a queue systems can be measured. Overlaying the queue performance with your footfall means we can determine other key metrics which are crucial for survival in today’s retail climate – such as conversion rates and ATV (Average Value Transaction) relative to the queue and non-queue customers.

retail queue management

What is a queue management system?

Queue management allows businesses to understand how many customers are waiting in line in their venues or for their products and services. We define queue management as an approach used to develop more efficient systems that can reduce customer waiting times or perceived waiting times for service. The aim is to increase both the number of customers that can be served and customer satisfaction with the entire queue experience. 

Queue management systems are used to control queues of people by managing waiting times, the flow of customers, and their experiences as they queue. These systems can be used across a range of different situations and industries. The system is used to monitor and shape this aspect of the retail experience to minimise customer dissatisfaction, increase efficiency, and keep customers informed and engaged.

The measurement of the queue is achieved by the number of people’s journey through the queue system, this starts from the first point of entering a queue. In the case of a linear queue this is relatively obvious to see, but if the queue starts off-line this should be the start point for measurement. The journey is then measured at all points including both abandonment and successful conclusion.

By counting how many people enter your queue and their progress the success of a queue system can be measured. Overlaying the queue performance with your footfall means we can determine other key metrics which are crucial for survival in today’s retail climate – such as conversion rates and ATV (Average Value Transaction), relative to the queue and non-queue customers.

What software can be used for queue management?

The software which makes up a queue management system provides a smarter and more straightforward way to manage flows of people. The software provides an automated platform, linked up to sensors and cameras which collect information about consumer numbers and queue length and speed. This can then inform the way you manage the queue.

Electronic queue management solutions by Ipsos Retail Performance provides software which enables consumers to book a place in the queue using a mobile app, and then to continue browsing while they wait for their slot. The system provides high quality data which businesses can use to optimise the store experience and ensure that any time spent queuing isn’t wasted.

Why should I count my footfall

Calculating retail queue management performance is a key metric for store and senior managers wanting to increase sales and drive profits. By counting conversion rates and queue AVT (Average Value Transaction) retailers can identify, at any time of day – how many purchasing opportunities they have in-store and crucially by incorporating that with sales data – how many sales opportunities are being missed.
Knowing your hourly, daily and weekly retail footfall can also give retailers that extra edge to target peak hours, convert browsers into customers and ultimately optimise store performance.

Queue Management can help Store Managers with:

  • Understanding what customers are doing in-store
  • Organising their staff efficiently
  • Managing budget accordingly
  • Discovering new opportunities to drive sales
  • Evaluating and improve conversion rates

Queue Management can help Head Office with:

  • Planning with confidence
  • Understanding customer behaviour and trends
  • Assessing the real impact of a new store refit or layout
  • Discovering the best in class queue management system techniques which improve conversion rates and Average Transaction Value (ATV)
  • Using effective queue patterns and techniques
  • Optimising store layout
  • Measuring effectiveness of changes