The End of Check-Out Lines?

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Check-out process is one of the most crucial stages of the Patient Journey and the keystone of customer satisfaction. No matter where they are (supermarket, store, pharmacy, etc.), consumers dread check-out process. Self-service check-outs or express check-outs have been designed to offset this negative image. Today, some leaders in the retail industry want to go further by testing single line queuing.

One Line for Several Check-Outs

How does it work? A single queue serves several check-out counters, with a smart customer distribution. Goals: always have two customers at the check-out, reduce waiting times, and avoid the “other line is quicker” syndrome.  And it works! In the US, Whole Foods has set up this concept for several years and is very satisfied with it. It has attracted other brands such as Starbucks and Wal-Mart, according to an article of the New York Times.

You can watch here a report from French TV  that deal with Carrefour supermarkets testing single line queuing.

Europe seems to go further than its American neighbors as it automates single line queuing: special sensors are positioned to detect if customers are present and indicate when the check-out counter is available.  The system also enables the check-out managers to optimize their resources management according to the attendance.

A Quick ROI

Single line queuing has several benefits:

  • Speed up and make the check-out process more uniform : at Whole Foods, it is 4 times quicker.
  • Increase sales with final impulse purchases: sales can increase up to 400% if  nearby screens broadcast advertising
  • Improve cashier staff’s working conditions
  • Maximize productivity by increasing the effectiveness of your resources by 35%.
  • Reduce up to 30% sweethearting theft.

With single line queuing, brands capitalize on a positive image of check-out process and improve in-store customer experience. Several countries have adopted this solution for decades and do not seem to go back, which proves how efficient single line queuing is.

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