Your Customers Hate Waiting in Line!


While shoppers have traditionally looked at waiting in line as a necessary, if somewhat evil, part of shopping. You wait to be served at a counter, like the pharmacist's or the deli. You wait in line to pay for your purchases. Sometimes you even wait in line for those purchases to be brought up from the warehouse or back of the store. Though never pleasant, waiting in line has become particularly loathsome in this 21st-century age of instant gratification.

The psychology of why people hate waiting in line

Psychologists have been studying people waiting in line for more than a century. One of the leading experts on this subject is David Maister, author of “The Psychology of Waiting Lines.” Though his work was published in the 1970s, his conclusions are still relevant today. Maister maintains that people hate waiting in line because...

        Time spent without something to occupy your mind seems to last longer.

        People are eager to get on to the next task on their to-do list.

        Waits seem longer when people don't know how long they will have to wait.

Reducing wait times for a better customer experience

Savvy retailers are reducing the need for people waiting in line by adopting queue management systems. What is a queue management system? These are systems, like Ombori's queue management system, that allow customers to scan a QR code with an app to get their place in a virtual line. They are then notified when it's their time to approach the cash register, the doctor's inner office or the marquee at a restaurant. The benefit is that the customer is back in control of their time. They can do other things while they are in line. This eliminates Maister's main objections to waiting in line. For retailers, it reduces crowds around key points in the store, improves employee morale and, best of all, improves the customer experience.

About Ombori

Ombori is an innovative technology company that provides a platform for ready-to-use, customizable, modular solutions for interactive in-store screens and mobile devices. In addition to providing queue management systems and apps, the Swedish-based company is the creative force behind such revolutionary in-store technology as a talking mirror that asks shoppers to take a selfie with it and an interactive window display that lets passersby shop without even entering the store. Ombori works with retail partners in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


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