Top Queuing and Crowd Control Tips for Black Friday and Beyond

Black Friday is almost here. Within a 24-48 period, you can count on some of the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds of the year. Shoppers historically pour out in droves early Friday morning (some even shopping on the holiday or camping out Thursday night). All are looking for the best deals of the season. Actual foot traffic reported in 2013 was more than 1.07 billion shoppers between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. And according to the NRF Holiday Playbook, last year 68% of retailers showed Black Friday as the highest sales revenues for the year.

In busy times like these, it’s critical to keep crowds calm, managed, and moving. To maximize safety and sales it is valuable to go even one step further and do your part to keep shoppers happy. What if you could surprise your customers by losing the long lines and providing a controlled and efficient queue experience? What if you could make this year all about the score and much less about the wait?

Disperse the Crowd with a Virtual Queue

Virtual queuing is a fast track solution to keep customers happy and crowds dispersed. A virtual queue allows customers to check in at their convenience, spend their wait as they choose, and receive a convenient ‘call forward’ text or email to arrive when their service time is near. Virtual queuing is transforming crowd control as it prevents the crowd from forming in one place, and distributes both the crowd and the wait time in more productive ways.

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Holiday Queuing: Top Preparedness Tips

customer experience

It’s already November. In the retail industry, there’s a lot to think about, consider, and plan for this time of year – in particular, Black Friday, which is when the best sales and promotions see the light of day, and stores have long lines reflecting such deals.

Even in the midst of a not-so-stable economy, retailers are still able to attract customers and drive traffic to their stores on this shopping holiday. It’s those specials and promos that draw the people, and with crowds come safety considerations. How can retailers successfully handle the influx of shoppers so that the busiest shopping season of the year is both safe and profitable?

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Effective Crowd Management Guidelines report is a great source of information on crowd management, offering tips and suggestions to retailers for maintaining the safety and security of their customers, employees, and store, especially in the potentially volatile queue.

Be proactive.

The NRF reports that retailers agree the top priority in event planning is safety, and the best way to keep customers, associates, and security personnel safe is by being proactive and thoroughly preparing for special events. Will your existing queue be able to handle the holiday excitement and numbers? If you’re not sure, it may be time to consider a new queue configuration.Continue Reading

Holiday Sales Expected to Grow (Along with Your Lines)

millennials shopping

A recent AdvertisingAge article summarized the latest projections by the National Retail Federation (NRF). And what’s the verdict this October? It’s pretty simple – retailers should be expecting to see more green this holiday season.

NRF forecasts retail sales in November and December to potentially reach $617 billion, an increase of 4% over 2013. This sales number does not include cars, gas, or restaurants and the NRF believes the potential gains are being driven by an improving economy.

NRF President-CEO, Matthew Shay, and NRF Chief Economist, Jack Kleinhenz, both made statements regarding their predictions:

“Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” according to Shay.Continue Reading