Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.
Wrongly perceived as a necessary evil, the often "lost" space and time of a checkout line can easily be transformed into both an important revenue source and a happy diversion.
If customers are distracted as they wait, the perception of how long they wait decreases and their overall satisfaction then increases. Coupled with the fact that 65 percent of retail sales are driven by impulse shopping, the line at checkout can be transformed from just another frustrating wait, into a source of increased customer ease and sales.
Planning in-queue merchandising:
Determine your space and formation: The lanes need to be wide enough to accommodate people, merchandise and carts. The type and amount of your merchandise will obviously vary, depending on a single-line or multiple-line queue setup, as well as your queue's width and structure.
Combine belts and merchandise racks: When selecting one of the many fixtures, merging the typical checkout line belts and stanchions with merchandising is highly effective and spatially efficient.
Use merchandising displays: From impulse bowls attached right on the stanchions, to signage, display walls, racks, in-line tables, and hooks and shelves, the options are many and scalable to better present your selection of products.
Mark an entrance: Standard post-top signage and a belted stanchion marks the recognized entrance to the waiting line.
Make it scalable: Make ebb and flow organic, using retractable belts with merchandise also available on the shorter lines.
Employ in-queue signage: Help draw immediate attention to products while providing direction to those in the line. Digital signage is especially effective, keeping customers more engaged and entertained while more effectively promoting products on display.
Pitfalls to avoid:
Overdoing it: Whether piling merchandise too high or pinching customers with a line narrowed by too much "stuff," it's a fine line that takes some experimentation to find, but one that you don't want to cross.
Neglecting the shortcut: During slower periods and shorter queues, make sure the merchandise is in the line, regardless of its length.
Overlooking the clue to the queue: It can look less like a line with merchandising in place. A belted stanchion and a post-top sign universally say, "Line forms here."
The important thing to remember is that people want to be entertained, and they want to spend money. While you've got them in line is a perfect time to do both.
How effectively, on the whole, do retailers address selling opportunities at the checkout?