[EN] How To Manage The Crowds In Stores During The Holiday Season?

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For several years rate of frequentation skyrockets in December and even doubles the previous week of Christmas. The beginning of the rush starts each year with the Black Friday in the United States, a retail event that comes to France for the first time. How retailers can manage this influx without damaging the customer experience?

A crucial period for the stores

image2For the last weekends of this year there are 200,000 visitors a day expected at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann. A demanding and stressed crowd not easy to manage in a space that is not expandable. Yet the stakes are high: in Paris from 20 to 25% of the annual revenue of major retailers is made between mid-November and late December. So, each company is strengthening its teams but very often this is not enough and they must develop services to facilitate customers’ visits and ensure that the customer journey does not become too difficult.

Innovative services

Among the interesting ideas, we note the possibility of leaving your toys shopping list at Galeries Lafayette. A hostess is collecting all the gifts and packs them in a period of three hours. This allows the customers to do their other purchases before picking-up the toys « ready-to-put » under the tree. Also attractive the « Personal Christmas shopper », the users can make an appointment with a salesperson on the website of the store,  identify once on site with an interactive kiosk and be accompanied and advised by staff who suggests gifts according to the person to spoil and the budget. At BHV, from 300€ of purchases, the store graciously provides a car and driver to bring customers back to downtown Paris.

The importance of checkout process

If it seems important not to neglect the in-store customer experience, it is critical to optimize waiting time in queue line. Indeed the excessive queues discourage many consumers who decide to turn to the web stores. EZQ  Automatic single line queuing solution enables to increase productivity and reduce by 30% the waiting time.

Free the customer from waiting time

Waiting 20 minutes at the television department or 30 minutes at the IT department where besides the person who just arrived takes your turn, this situation is not uncommon during the holiday season and frustrates customers. It is now possible to download an application that allows them to identify their needs and to be inserted into a virtual queue. They will be called through a text message that warns them of the impending call. So the client is free to continue its purchases while waiting his turn without worrying about who came first.

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