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Who Are You Behind in Line? Avoiding the Supermarket Stereotypes

  
  
  
  

We’ve all been there – the long line, packed self-checkout, and slew of slow shoppers.

Grocery stores have become synonymous with shopping stereotypes, so much so that The Huffington Post recently put together its list of the “11 Worst Types of People to Get Stuck Behind in Line.”

Among the list include the “couponer,” the person with 40 items in the express lane and the talkative shopper. But fortunately these scenarios – and shoppers – can be avoided with Irisys’ grocery queue management solution.

Installed in more than 4,000 of the world’s busiest supermarkets, Irisys’ intelligent Queue Management solution delivers actionable traffic data that creates shorter checkout lines – and faster checkouts – to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

Thermal people counting devices at entrance/exit doors and over checkout lanes unobtrusively identify shoppers by sensing their body heat. This data is then utilized to predict the number of staffed checkouts needed in 15- and 30- minute intervals.

Ask us how Irisys’ Queue Management solutions can help enhance the shopping experience for your customers – building strong customer loyalty, and breaking the stereotypes.

Big Data: Enhancing Customer Experience in Real Time Builds Brand Loyalty

  
  
  
  

Delivering the ultimate shopper experience increases customer loyalty. And though retailers have personalized customer service for decades, they have primarily been limited to using historical data to make critical in-store decisions.

Retail Customer Experience explores why retailers should utilize real-time and historical data to develop effective service-delivery strategies that keep shoppers returning for more. Real-time data gives retailers the insight they need to effectively adjust store layouts; optimize staff scheduling; reduce queue wait times; and gain in-depth knowledge of conversion rates.

When retailers don’t truly grasp the fluctuations within a variety of performance metrics, they may be tempted to drop prices rather than to change store and service strategies – a knee-jerk practice that can become a race to the bottom, according to Retail Customer Experience.

The world’s leading retailers recognize the value of real-time data, which is why they utilize Irisys’ People Counting and Irisys’ Queue Management solutions.

Irisys’ most recent innovation – the Gazelle intelligent analytics platform – unites modern design with a powerful software suite, providing capabilities with incredible valuable. Its WideTrackerTM feature delivers up to 16 counting lines and provides greater behavioral insight in spaces where video and legacy systems are challenged – giving retailers insight on how to create better traffic flow and increase sales through higher conversion.

And with more consumers comparison-shopping online before heading to their local stores – or comparison shopping via smart phones while they’re in a store – traditional retailers must be equipped with timely information that drives superior, consistent customer experiences.

Learn more about Irisys’ technology by downloading our People Counting case studies and Queue Management case studies.

And ask us how the world’s No. 1 supplier of People Counting and Grocery Queue Management solutions can help you build better customer insight and stronger customer loyalty through that increases sales.

Amazon Prime Ups Membership Fee – and Opportunities for Traditional Retailers

  
  
  
  

Some consumers did not react well to Amazon’s announcement that the cost of its annual Amazon Prime membership fee would jump from $79 to $99 this spring. The New York Times reports some shoppers don’t think the perks of the program – including streaming video content, e-books, and two-day shipping (that some say takes longer than two days) – are justified by a higher price.

It’s the first membership-fee increase since Amazon launched the service in 2005. And at least one online retailer didn’t wait to reach out to customers who may flee – ShopRunner, according to The New York Times, announced it would waive its annual $79 fee for Amazon Prime members for one year.

Traditional retailers may consider utilizing the opportunity to appeal to some of Amazon’s 237 million active customers. Those who offer online ordering with in-store pick-up may be particularly poised to market convenience and speed to potential customers – and without the additional expense of an annual membership fee.

But are retailers truly prepared to impress new customers if their stores don’t deliver optimal staffing levels, ample product, fast checkouts, and a best-in-class experience? They would be with Irisys People Counting and Irisys Queue Management in place. The world’s leading retailers utilize these solutions to deliver superior customer experiences that make great first impressions and drive loyal customer relationships.

Its most recent innovation – the Gazelle intelligent analytics platform – unites modern design with a powerful software suite. Its robust capabilities can be incredibly valuable in determining whether responsive marketing strategies – like timely promotional pushes to attract former Amazon Prime customers – are effective in achieving higher traffic.

Its WideTrackerTM feature delivers up to 16 counting lines and provides greater behavioral insight in spaces where video and legacy systems are challenged. And sequential line logic enables data analytics like store penetration, customer / kiosk engagement and customer flow and walk-through.

And Irisys’ Queue Management solution delivers the intelligence that makes checkout lines shorter and faster for customers. Kroger has credited Irisys’ Queue Management solution for drastically reducing its customers’ checkout times – from an average of four minutes down to just 26 seconds.

Take action today. With Amazon opening the door for online retailers to evaluate – and increase – premium pricing strategies, retailers that operate traditional stores should be prepared to take advantage of potential customer gains. Contact us, or explore our People Counting case studies and Queue Management case studies – and you’ll see why Irisys is the world’s No. 1 supplier of People Counting and Grocery Queue Management solutions.

Study: Customers Walk Out of Stores, Abandon Purchases when Lines are Long

  
  
  
  

Americans will abandon a checkout line and leave a store without making a purchase after eight minutes of waiting in a checkout line.

British shoppers won’t even wait around that long. They’ll walk out after just six minutes.

These are among the findings of a new Omnico Group study, which also found 77 percent of Americans are less likely to return to a store where they experienced long checkout lines.

These findings aren’t surprising to us at Irisys, the world’s No. 1 supplier of grocery queue management systems. Irisys’ intelligent Queue Management solution is installed in more than 4,000 of the world’s busiest supermarkets – making checkout lines shorter and faster for millions of customers.

Mass retailers are pulling out as many high-tech stops as possible to remain competitive and keep their customers happy and loyal – especially in the grocery industry, where profit margins are incredibly slim.

Click here to find out how Morrisons and Tesco enhanced their service-delivery strategies using Irisys’ Queue Management solution.

Click here to see the type of powerful – and positive – buzz America’s largest traditional grocer, Kroger, generated when it deployed Irisys’ Queue Management solution nationwide.

Or click here to Contact Us for more information.

Make 2014 Count: Industry Group Forecasts 4.1% Retail Industry Growth

  
  
  
  

The National Retail Federation projects U.S. retail industry sales will increase 4.1 percent in 2014.  That growth – higher than last year’s 3.7 percent – presents a timely opportunity retailers can seize to grow and, more importantly, sustain a wider base of loyal customers.

While consumers are out exploring their favorite shopping centers and malls, they will also be out exploring retailers they've never visited before with most returning to those that deliver the best service and a positive experience the first time and every time.

But consumers have increasingly high expectations about in-store shopping. While twenty-one percent of U.S. shoppers who responded to a recent survey by Accenture plan to make more purchases from physical retail stores, they also want those stores to offer the same convenience of online stores – meaning products are well merchandised and easy to find; price points are competitive; and checkout is simple and fast.

For traditional retailers to deliver that same level of efficiency, both company-wide and store-specific operations must be addressed. This process often begins with obtaining actionable traffic data that is utilized to create the ultimate experience for your customers – which includes delivering superior service throughout the store and ensuring checkout is fast

Both of these elements encourage consumers to spend more time browsing and seeing what a store has to offer, which can lead to larger purchases and significant revenue gains. 

Contact us to learn more about Irisys' intelligent People Counting and Queue Management technologies. And be sure you're prepared to maximize new relationships with new customers now – and in the future. 

Experts Cite Super Service as Key to Nordstrom and Kohl’s Being Named America’s Favorite Fashion Retailers

  
  
  
  

One is known for high-end fashion and accompanying high prices – and the other for affordability. But they’re both committed to delivering consistent, high-quality service to their customers. And that’s why a recent Market Force Information study found that Nordstrom and Kohl’s, respectively, are America’s No. 1 and No. 2 fashion retailers.

In addition to earning the top overall spot, Nordstrom also took the “Service” category – followed by Banana Republic, American Eagle, Express and Dillard’s.

The survey studied more than 4,000 consumer opinions about specific fashion retailers, and then took into consideration each chain’s number of physical locations to calculate weighted results.

The ability to deliver superior customer service is a crucial component to defining consumers’ perceived experience with a particular retailer – and building a loyal bond that brings customers back.

But the failure to deliver on customer expectations can cause retailers to flounder. Take Radio Shack, for example. Once regarded as a leading consumer electronics retailer, it now falters in its ability to connect with customers. A recent survey of 10,000 consumers by Temkin Group Research ranked Radio Shack dead last – for the third consecutive year – in its customer experience.

Radio Shack also scored the lowest across consumers’ perceptions of “functional,” “accessible,” and “emotional” components of service delivery.

Particularly in today’s competitive landscape, it’s crucial for retailers to know as much as possible about their customers. That’s why analytics – from loyalty programs to targeting – are becoming even more powerful business development strategies. But such programs assume the in-store customer experience is strong enough to make a shopper return to cash in on special offers.

That’s why retailers should also use analytics to understand how consumers interact with their stores – from the moment they walk through the doors until they check out. Thermal people counters can accurately and unobtrusively capture the analytics that quantify a store’s actual traffic patterns – including peak and low-time trends.

The same data can also help feed an intelligent checkout management solution that helps improve staff scheduling and deployment. It even predicts the number of staffed checkouts needed in 15- and 30-minute intervals.

With that information, managers can adjust and allocate front-end and other staff according to real-time information – and help ensure each store delivers the service that nurtures healthy, long-lasting customer relationships.

Capture Unprecedented Door-to-Door Analytics

  
  
  
  

Retailers can now unobtrusively detect shoppers’ patterns and capture an unprecedented door-to-door view of their behavior patterns thanks to a partnership between Irisys and WirelessWERX, a leader in in-store behavioral analytics. The result is one of the most complete depictions of retail shopping behavior ever provided.

WirelessWERX_Irisys Joint Solutions Graphic

 

Lack of Online Grocery Options Drives Focus to In-Store Customer Service

  
  
  
  

For today’s consumers, grocery shopping primarily remains an in-store task. The lack of online options drives customers into physical locations, making service a key differentiator for grocers.

Failed online ventures emphasize the limited market options for supermarkets, as seen in 2001 when online grocer Webvan filed for bankruptcy after failing to convert and sustain a strong following of online buyers.

But the lack of online options does not alleviate grocers from the pressures of competition.

Customer experience remains a dominant focus for supermarkets, as they strive to satisfy shoppers every time they enter a store.

For grocers, big crowds and long checkout lines are two of the biggest concerns, according to the 24,000 respondents of Consumer Reports’ 2012 supermarket survey.

But high-tech in-store solutions are becoming effective tools to manage crowds, shorten checkout lines and keep customers happy.

Thermal-powered technology and checkout management systems can help grocers acquire new customers, retain them, and improve their shopping experiences.

Advanced technology can observe customer behavior and convert data into valuable footfall analytics – providing grocers with a roadmap for critical improvements. A thermal-powered checkout management system, for example, feeds grocers extensive data from non-intrusive infrared sensors installed over key points at the front end. Based on shopping patterns observed and learned over time, the system predicts how many staffed checkouts will be needed in 15- and 30-minute intervals.

In essence, thermal technology can translate to happier, more loyal customers and can improve bottom-line performance. 

Manage Checkout without Turning Customers into Cashiers

  
  
  
  

Technology plays a role in nearly every facet of our lives. Innovators work tirelessly to find the next big idea to make life easier. And the world of retail is not immune.

Groundbreaking ideas have completely transformed the entire shopping experience – from the once awe-inspiring automatic doors to the revolutionary introduction of ecommerce. And traditional in-store shopping still has several advantages over online, making it a prime target for high-tech improvements.

Today, significant innovations in retail technology have circled back to the front end.

But from self-checkout aisles to which we’ve become accustomed to smart phone checkout apps, recent upgrades can burden customers with the task of playing cashier.

On the other hand, what if retail technology improved the shopping experience by making the store itself smarter?

An integrated system that compiles data about shopper traffic both from the entrance/exit doors and the checkout could draw a roadmap for substantially improving store operations – enabling staff to emphasize customer service.

The various components of the system would have to work together seamlessly, collaborating to produce real-time analytics so managers could ensure sufficient registers are staffed as traffic fluctuates. And this system would have to do more than just store information; it would have to learn from history – constantly uncovering improvement opportunities.

Most importantly, if shopper traffic is to be monitored, customers should know their privacy is protected. The tracking system should be non-intrusive – utilizing innovation to develop advanced technology that detects people without the use of video cameras.

Rest easy, retailers. Such a solution exists. Click here to learn more.  

The Retail Run-Down: Thermal Imaging solves retail's oldest problems

  
  
  
  

Irisys’ checkout management and people counting solutions change the way consumers shop, increasing profits and customer loyalty for retailers. And with more than 82 percent of retail executives looking to make customer service a priority in 2012 – according to a survey by the National Retail Federation – Irisys thermal-powered checkout technology may be key in improving your customers’ shopping experience.

 

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