Queue Management in Supermarkets

How does queue management benefit supermarkets?

All supermarkets are looking for greater operational efficiencies whilst giving their customers the best possible experience.

Customers strongly prefer shopping in supermarkets and grocers where they don't have to waste time in queues. A queue management system can reduce queues through more efficient staff deployment, which in turn provides major staff productivity gains and lowers costs.

Even the most experienced checkout supervisor can't be everywhere at once. They can't measure the numbers of shoppers entering or making their way through the store, they can't see all the checkouts at the same time and they can't accurately measure the numbers of customers moving through the checkouts over time.

An Irisys electronic queue management system can.

Queue Management - Checkout
Queue Management Dashboard

Accurate retail queue management data for supermarkets

  • Automate the capture of accurate queuing data
  • Calculate in real-time average queue lengths, average wait times, cashier idle times and overall transaction service times
  • Monitor and predict queues
  • Predict optimum number of checkouts needed in 15 and 30 minutes to maintain desired service level
  • Dashboard reporting
  • Compare performance figures across stores, regions and even worldwide

Benefits and ROI

iconfinder_check-circle-outline_326568 black-smallOptimise staffing costs

Labour and staffing costs can be reduced or optimised by matching the number of checkout staff to the actual demand at the checkout; and by re-deploying labour that isn't required to perform other tasks within the store.

iconfinder_check-circle-outline_326568 black-smallReduce customer wait time

Research has shown that 56% of people will not return to a store after a bad queuing experience. By implementing a queue management system, staff can be allocated efficiently to provide a consistent level of service.

iconfinder_check-circle-outline_326568 black-smallImprove customer service

By intelligently allocating staff to where they are required, a queue management system can ensure customers are served quicker, giving them a better service and increasing customer retention and shopping frequency.

iconfinder_check-circle-outline_326568 black-smallIncrease customer loyalty

A quick and efficient checkout experience is a way to grow the loyalty of customers as they are more inclined to visit stores where they know they don't need to spend a long time queuing.

iconfinder_check-circle-outline_326568 black-smallIncrease basket size

Our experience of working with grocers all around the world, has shown that installing a queue management system can increase basket size and average transaction value as customers are more likely to spend more time browsing and choosing items.

iconfinder_check-circle-outline_326568 black-smallFast ROI - less than 1 year!

Without exception, every Irisys queue management implementation has delivered a return on investment in less than 12 months.

Queue management white paper - lessons learnt from the shop floor DOWNLOAD NOW

A complete queue management solution

Grocers and supermarkets all over the world use Irisys' retail queue management systems to optimise their front end service and, by working closely with them, we have developed a range of innovative tools.

Lane management

The Irisys Enterprise Lane Management System (sometimes called ELMS for short) reports the key analytics at the heart of the retail queue management solution.

It gives you the ability to monitor checkout performance in near real-time which enables you to measure of the impact of new initiatives, calculate ROI, identify areas for improvement, and compare across stores, regions, or countries.

ELMs gives you an objective measure for fact-based decisions on staff scheduling. It makes big savings possible, whilst at the same time improving customer service and satisfaction.

Queue predictor

One of our most innovative queue management software systems, the predictor tool gives checkout supervisors a chance to prepare for anticipated increases in demand for checkouts, based on data from around the store.

It enables new lanes to be opened to cope with imminent increases in demand, and gives advanced notice so that staff can be redeployed from checkouts to other tasks.

It allows stores to make the most out of a small workforce, and means that customer waiting times can be massively reduced.

Store data system

The store data system acts as a hub for all the hardware and software within the store.

Displaying information either via a browser based dashboard, via a VGA display in-store, or sent out to hand-held devices for staff to be alerted to developing situations.

It gives flexible access to data at all levels of staff hierarchy, and many stores also use the VGA display to give customers updates about waiting times, improving the customer experience.

Lane scheduler

The lane scheduler tool gives managers a chance to anticipate their staffing requirements weeks in advance.

Based on past data and the best estimates of future traffic, lane scheduler helps you to plan the number of staff members you will need and their deployment patterns across the store. 

This gives management teams a structured approach to scheduling whilst enabling labour cost optimisation and improving customer service.

Want to know more? Schedule a demonstration CONTACT US

Did you know, we make the world's most advanced people counter?

The Irisys Vector 4D has an unrivaled count accuracy with impressive features such as staff detection and dwell time measuring. 

Coupled with the ability to connect multiple units to cover wide openings, this IoT device helps smart retailers go beyond people counting and optimise their customer experience.

And it does this anonymously, protecting staff and customer privacy!


"We have heat seeking sensors that sense the number of customers entering a store and predict the checkouts that need to be open ... we can monitor and manage the service customers get much more precisely — by customer, by store and by the minute."
Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO - Tesco