Customer Frustration in your Grocery Store

Last updated Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Ask customers to identify their most common frustrations in a grocery store and a wide variety of answers will abound.

Many shoppers are annoyed by the arrangement of products within the store, or instances when stores re-arrange the merchandise.  Others reserve their highest frustrations for the behavior of their fellow shoppers (such as other customers blocking aisles, abandoning carts, or writing checks in the check-out line).

But in general, the check-out experience seems to be the most common frustration expressed by grocery store shoppers.

Unfortunately, grocery stores have largely been unable to go to single-line queuing systems (utilized at banks, airports, fast-food restaurants, etc.).  So, customers still have to choose a check-out line, and nervously hope they picked a fast-moving one. Additionally, many studies have found that self-service checkout lines, which are often less populated than lines that have a working cashier, do not get customers through the check-out process any faster.

One potential time-saving process is being tested.  Some stores are experimenting with technology which enables products to be scanned (and even bagged) before a customer arrives at a station featuring a live cashier. While superstores such as Target and Walmart also operate with multiple-line, rather than single-line, queuing systems, they have improved customer satisfaction on high-traffic days (such as Black Friday) by utilizing line management systems at their entrances and at other locations both inside and outside their stores.

Portable stanchions with retractable-belt systems have created physical line space which results in first-come, first-serve line management which is organized and fair.

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