Are customers waiting in line to order annoyed by those collecting online orders?

2 min read | |

Some business owners worry about the effect that customers making online order collections have on those that are standing in line waiting to be served. Do customers in the queue resent their online ordering counterparts? Do they even notice? Or does it serve as a reminder to them that the same option is available to them on their next order?

It’s a valid concern, of course. Business owners should always think of their existing customers when making changes in their business and not just about the new customers they may win. However, in our experience, this is the reality: 

  1. Most customers have their heads in their phones while waiting and have no idea who else is in a queue; they are just waiting for their turn. If this is their preferred way to order and pay, they are used to it.
  2. Those customers who do notice are more likely to be interested and intrigued than annoyed. 

When considering this question concerning your own business, reflect on if you are annoyed that every grocery retailer in the country does online ordering? Or do you recognise that your preferred way to shop outweighs the benefits of the alternative? 

For example, when shopping in-store, you can be more particular about the produce you choose. For some shoppers, this is vastly more important than the speed and convenience of ordering for collection. 

The crux of it is giving your customers a choice, allowing them to shop with your business in the ways that they want according to their own set of priorities. That’s where your service meets customer expectations and creates positive customer experiences.

What can you do if you are still concerned?

  • The few minutes that a customer is waiting in-store for collection is an opportunity for you to change their behaviour for next time. Clear signage, particularly in the queue area, will help inform customers of your online ordering service.
  • Use a ‘Scan to Order’ QR code in your window or queue to allow those who are already in-store to order and pay online if they wish.
  • If space allows, consider having a separate collection area for online orders.
  • Train your team to inform customers during their transaction that online ordering for collection is available.
  • Promote your online ordering service on your social media channels to help educate customers and reinforce the message.

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