Retail word for "Customers waiting in the checkout line"
March 16, 2015 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I read an article a while back that used an industry specific term for customers waiting in the check out line. The premise of the article was that retailers wanted to maximize {industry term} time to just below the threshold that a customer would not return to their establishment because it maximized impulse purchases. What is this term? Bonus points for pointing me to an article that states retailers do not want implement RFID tags in retail merchandise because it speeds up checkout and reduces {industry term} time.
posted by jmsta to Shopping (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Retailers and merchandising companies talk about "dwell time."
posted by jbickers at 1:25 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

In-queue: in-queue management, in-queue merchandising, in-queue sales, etc.
posted by rada at 1:35 PM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

The actual checkout is usually called the POS (either Point of Sale or Point of Service depending on who talk to). It looks like some places use this to refer to the line itself as well.
posted by drezdn at 2:08 PM on March 16, 2015

We have a number of metrics we monitor. We look at queue depth, wait time, abandonment rates, service time, and service point utilization. Wait time is the amount of time someone spends in the queue before they reach checkout and service time is the wait time plus the checkout time. I'm in the grocery side, so our goals may be different that other retailers. In terms of the merchandisers I've talked to, I don't think we are trying to keep you at the register so you'll make more impulse purchases, we're trying to balance our labor costs with your wait times. We hate to pay people to stand around. Our competing goal is to keep wait time under 3 minutes.

I don't know a specific term of art for customers in line, however.
posted by Lame_username at 4:42 PM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Jbickers that was the word! Thanks!
posted by jmsta at 2:35 AM on March 17, 2015

Note, dwell time is the total time in store. Queue wait time, as lame_username said, is the time in queue.

Source: involved in a project for installing an automated call forward system for the queue at a regional retailer. This is the terminology used by the vendors selling product to monitor and measure queue wait time and dwell time.
posted by bfranklin at 4:04 AM on March 17, 2015

As a customer, I call it "crappy management indication time."
posted by mbarryf at 6:00 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

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