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System and Method for Adaptive Queue Management for retail environment *

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000224132D
Publication Date: 2012-Dec-11
Document File: 9 page(s) / 699K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a methodology to avoid long wait times at the checkout lanes of retail stores, and an efficient queue management solution for the retailers in order to streamline the checkout and in-turn increase the sales as well as customer satisfaction.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 31% of the total text.

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System and Method for Adaptive Queue Management for retail environment *

The methodology aims at reducing the amount of time spent waiting for checkout at the lane. For this, a shopping cart with checkout button coupled with an effective system and technique for queue management will be used.

Importance of Queue Management System

The competitiveness of the retail environment is at the core of a wave of new thinking when it comes to managing the last stage of the retail purchasing

process, the checkout queue. In fact, the aggressive quest by retailers to increase operational efficiencies and squeeze additional revenues from existing

properties has emphasized the importance of the discipline for completing consumer transactions. Queue management is helping the retailers
in increasing customer loyalty, improving customer acquisition and strengthening their bottom lines.

Waiting Line Survey Data

In the nationwide study of 500 parents with school-aged children, the vast majority, 75% of respondents say long lines are the worst part of the back-to-school shopping experience. Nearly four in ten (39%) parents, leave stores while back-to-school shopping without purchasing a single item because of long lines. Long lines are cited by 35%, 1 in 3 parents, as the primary reason for
leaving the store - worse than high prices, lack of supplies or inexperienced sales personnel. According to the researchers, "Time is money - reducing 'walkaways' and optimizing queue time is the end game. By
deploying a smart queue management strategy, retailers can take control of and ideally manage the customer journey, from when they enter the store, at the retail point-of-sale, in-line at checkout and once they walk out the door.

Courtesy: Study and survey Source: http://www.shmula.com/back-to-school-revenue-loss-waiting-line-frustration/4752/

Existing System

The system presently employed in few retail stores especially in grocery stores where the customer traffic is more, does queue management based on historical data. Data collected over a

period of time will be used to determine the number of terminals to be opened. There are also solution that works based on the total number of people inside the store. Terminal assignments is not there in any of the solutions and only free terminal(if any) that is ready for servicing a customer will be either announced or displayed over display terminals to direct customers to checkout.

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Drawbacks of existing system:

1. The number of terminals to be opened is determined by historical customer traffic data, which may not be realistic all the times, and they also have to employ additional measures / constantly monitor the store traffic to determine whether to open additional terminals.

2. Some systems work based on the total number of people inside the store at a given time, again this might also has its own short come as not all people inside the store are expected to do active purchases.

3. Shopping Cart to Term...