Kroger Supermarkets Cuts Average Check-Out Lane Wait Time to 26 Seconds
Not to call anybody out here, but you know how long it takes to check-out at Wal-Mart and some grocery stores in general. Wal-Mart always seems to only ,literally, have just a few lanes open at peak traffic times and it can be absolutely exasperating. Kroger Supermarkets has solved that problem with infrared cameras -- the same cameras used for tracking people by law enforcement and the military. Kroger has these cameras at the entrances and above cash registers of almost all of their stores. As a result, the average wait time for customers is about 26 seconds as compared to about four minutes in 2010 before the cameras.
The cameras basically use body heat and in-store software to determine how many lanes should be open, which is sheer genius and about time! Waiting in line at the grocery store can be very frustrating especially on weekends and holidays, and we've all been there.
Thanks to the advent of online shopping, retailers at every level are looking at any and every way available to improve customer wait times...even the fast food industry is doing this. McDonald's recently announced that better, more efficient customer service is a top priority for them.
The biggest gripe I hear from Wal-Mart customers is why do they have way more empty check-out lanes than open ones? Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
To be fair, Wal-Mart is testing a new "Scan & Go' system that allows customers to use a Wal-Mart iPhone app where they can scan and bag their items as they shop. When they are done shopping, they simply go to a self check-out lane, hold their iPhone up to the screen and they are outta there.
Since we brought it up in the last paragraph, self check-out was supposed to be the answer, but anybody who has used it knows that in some cases it can take even longer because of issues that the attendant has to deal with before you can finish the check-out process.
You would think this technology could have been used long ago, but we can be thankful that it is here now and hopefully, all retailers will invest in this or similar systems, which will certainly pay for itself in a short period of time in the name of customer service.