There are few things more frustrating than spending 30 or 40 minutes filling your cart only to have to stand in line at the deli counter for another 10 or 15. Likewise, a line stretching towards the back of the store can deter a person who only has one or two items.
In today’s high-tech, fast-moving world, business owners must do a better job reducing wait times in their grocery stores.
Stores Turning to Technology to Reduce Wait Times
Grocery stores have taken notice of long wait times and started implementing new types of technology to relieve checkout lines.
For example, the California grocery chain Ralphs has installed infrared technology to evaluate foot traffic and better staff registers during peak shopping times. And in the UK, Tesco shoppers scan virtual groceries with an app on their smartphones and the company delivers the selected items to their home the same day.
PayPal Creates Swipe-Free Payment System
PayPal recently released a device called Beacon that identifies shoppers by their smartphone when they enter a store. When the customer arrives at the register, the cashier can access a payment device associated with that person and make the transaction, removing the need for shoppers to use cash or a credit card.
The idea, it seems, is the perfect solution to ending long checkout lines. However, recent high-scale data breaches at retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus have consumers and retailers wary about high-tech payment options that can be susceptible to online hackers. Further, the information accessed by the store can also be used for marketing purposes. Beacon does have an opt-in feature, but it seems those who agree to this new payment form must also sign on for more marketing messages from the grocer.
Wireless Paging Increases Employee Productivity
Rather than asking shoppers to risk their digital security, grocery store owners can invest in other modern technology that speeds up and improves the customer experience. Much of it is already successfully used in other industries across the country.
For example: In the past, grocery employees relied on annoying overhead paging to call for help at the registers: “Price check at register 2! Cleanup on aisle 4!” Depending on employees’ location, the messages might not be heard by the intended recipients and have to be repeated.
Replacing this outdated method with a silent wireless paging system will allow grocery store employees to better communicate from all areas of the store. And, it allows customers to enjoy the cool music you pipe over the loudspeakers instead of your internal communications.
If a manager notices backed-up lines, he or she can call for more cashiers by simply pressing a button that sends an instant, silent page to one or more employees. This maximizes productivity because it keeps each employee where he or she is most needed.
Push-Button Paging Reduces Wait at Specialty Counters
It’s not just registers that have long waits. Increasingly, shoppers find themselves standing around at the deli, the butcher’s counter and even the florist. Long lines sometimes cause these delays, but more frequently it’s because the employee isn’t at the counter. The butcher, for example, might be in the back preparing cuts of meat.
Many specialty counters have a bell to ring for service, but it’s not always easy to hear. A better solution is a push-button pager. Employees can greet a guest within seconds of receiving the page, all but eliminating unnecessary waiting.
These are just two examples of how a modern paging system can improve the customer experience and increase employee productivity at grocery stores. You can learn about other solutions here.
Find Out More About Engaging with Customers and Promoting LoyaltyComplete the form below to download the free eBook, Can you Grow Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction at the Same Time?, for more detail about how new technologies can help you achieve both.
Skip Cass is the chief executive officer at LRS and an expert in operational efficiency and creating a memorable guest experience.