636625213176210086636625213176210086636625213176210086636625213176210086 Queuing in the Age of Aging

Queuing in the Age of Aging

January 14, 2014Perry Kuklin

According to an article by Graeme McVie, VP of LoyaltyOne, retailers should be adjusting their in-store strategies to accommodate an aging population. By 2020, an estimated 55 million people will be age 65 and older compared to 40 million in 2010. Retailers have opportunities and challenges in meeting the needs of this demographic, but one thing is clear, they will need to impress these senior shoppers to secure customer loyalty and ensure repeat business. Retailers should focus on an in-store experience targeted to older shoppers which can include:

  • Adjusting the physical layout of the store to cater to this consumer base. Consider lowering shelves or creating larger aisles.
  • Adjusting product quantities to highlight value promotions in monetary discounts, not bulk purchases.
  • Alter the product mix to increase pharmacy and health related offers.
  • Leverage technology to deliver targeted and relevant information for increased engagement. More and more seniors are not only using online services, but using social media platforms. Gone are the days of assuming seniors do not understand or use technology.

While considering the needs of this target demographic, do not forget to include queue management techniques to improve their in-store shopping experience. Here are 3 ideas to keep older-aged shoppers happy while they are waiting for service:

mobile queue

1.   Pre-scheduled waits

Let your older, yet still tech-capable customers, register for their place in line prior to showing up at the place of service. By utilizing web-enabled devices, customers can reserve their place in line from the comfort of their homes or while out having lunch with friends. This technology can be employed in more than just retail settings, but in such places as walk-in clinics, vision centers, computer repair shops, bakeries and nail salons.

2.   Plan the physical queue wisely

Start by considering the width of your queue lanes. Beware of the need for easy accessibility for walkers and wheel chairs. Utilize in-line tables as a place for your customers to get started on any necessary paperwork before approaching the head of the line. This queue management approach could be employed tactfully in a pharmacy line.

in-line merchandising

Your in-line merchandising strategy should include items tailored to meet the needs and wants of your older customers and deploy simple, bold signage next to the products to clearly identify the items and their prices. Do not leave your customers searching for the information they need. Consider using digital signage to display how-to videos alongside key merchandise for product awareness and to demonstrate how unique products are used.

3.   Consider eliminating the queue

Through a virtual queuing system, you can eliminate the need to keep the seniors on their feet and standing in line potentially getting tired, uncomfortable and irritable. Create a pleasant seating area where your customers can wait to be called to service in a relaxing environment. They will even have time to update their Facebook status or peruse pictures of the grandkids. Do not let the aging population hurt your retail sales. Take advantage of the opportunities present to cater to this expanding demographic.

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