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TotalRetail: The Importance of Tracking Line Abandonment

Article Publish Date: May 8, 2023

Article Abstract:

A long wait in a crowded physical queue can undo the best customer experience. Even a short line that takes forever can torpedo your reputation with a customer.

That said, you can consider a customer who decides to endure a long line a victory — you still made the sale and now just need to repair the relationship. A customer who abandons the line, however, represents a bigger failure.

To understand line abandonment, retailers must identify what’s causing long lines and eroding customer satisfaction. Good data becomes essential to establishing the root of the problem — and solving it.

An Incomplete Picture

Eyeballing a long line might be good for instant operational decisions, but it’s not always accurate. Two customers with elaborate needs might take longer to serve than 10 who each require less than a minute of the associate’s time. Furthermore, eyeballing a line doesn’t generate effective data.

Video sensors would seem to give retailers a better way to flag and measure long lines in real time. However, this technology also has shortcomings. For example, the camera might see a mom with three kids as four people, but they likely only need one service. Again, the data produced might not be accurate, both in real time and for long-term strategy.

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