Use the Checkout Line to Amuse and Sell

Digital signage can help boost basket size, and easy-to-move gondolas can help extend queues.

April 16, 2020

This article is brought to you by Lavi Industries. Lavi-Logo-Dark_300-(1).png

VALENCIA, Calif.—Have you looked at your queue and seen an opportunity? With the right approach, retailers can use in-queue merchandising to both appease antsy shoppers waiting in line and boost basket size—all by using this prime real estate to increase revenue per square foot.

The key to successful queues is to offer an ample and interesting assortment of merchandise throughout the checkout area. Utilizing digital signage to complement the products boosts sales even more. Convenience stores also should consider using easy-to-move portable gondolas that can be rearranged to extend the queue line during high-traffic times.

“Impulse merchandising and line management are powerful mechanisms for retailers to manage this area of their business,” said Perry Kuklin, director of marketing with Lavi Industries. “When in-queue merchandising is implemented at checkout, we’ve seen triple-digit increases in impulse purchases.”

A recent case study conducted by Lavi Industries proves this point. A national chain found that integrating merchandise into their checkout queues pushed up impulse sales. By transforming the in-queue experience from a jumble of items arranged haphazardly into a cohesive unit with a category focus, the retailer increased per-month average sales of impulse merchandise by 78% and saw a 107% bump in gross profit during the pilot program. When the retailer rolled it out to more than 730 locations, year-over-year sales jumped 130%, with transactions growing 64% more at these stores.

“Impulse merchandising at checkout can take advantage of a captive audience and keep people busy while they wait in line, which can boost overall customer satisfaction,” Kuklin said. “This approach also dovetails nicely with a retailer’s current customer experience program.”

Kuklin recommended that retailers place merchandise from popular categories or seasonal items along the queue. “Retailers should recognize the importance of this area as being the last opportunity to build their customer’s baskets,” he said.

Attention to the waiting line goes a long way toward showing customers that you care about them. Having digital signage along the queue route can also help alleviate frustration for customers. When a retailer thoughtfully manages the checkout area with carefully selected merchandise arranged to encourage browsing and a well-planned line layout, customer flow is maximized, queues keep moving, and customers leave the store satisfied.

This is the second installment of a two-part series about why it’s important to pay attention to the line. Read about how to decrease real and perceived wait times in lines in the April 14 edition of NACS Daily. For more about what Lavi Industries can do for the gas and convenience store industry, click here.