Modern Retail

New app creates a marketing channel while solving the Covid-19 queuing issue

As the retail and hospitality sector starts reopening across Britain, many businesses worry about the unavoidable queuing that results from the enforcement of social distancing rules and how this might impact customers’ willingness to venture out to their favourite shops and restaurants due to “queue fear”.

Q<Q (QlessQ) is a newly launched queue management app that helps solve this issue, by allowing customers to book “Fast Track” entrance passes to pubs and shops. The app is downloadable by scanning QR codes or links, featured in window posters, emails or social media posts with each new customer able to trial the app with three free passes.

With the app, customers are able to sit at home and plan a combined shopping/drinking visit to their local high streets, by booking fast track 20-minute entry slots on their phones for £1 per person. This creates a “QR coded” entry pass, that is simply scanned by a shop’s entry manager using the app on their smart phones. Customers will receive at least a £2 discount on their purchase at each store they visit using the app.

The low entry fee is to ensure customers have purchasing intent and will turn up for the booked appointment. The app has an easy to use set up, that can be configured by day of the week or hour of the day and unlike competing apps, is free for businesses to use and requires no integration, allowing instant roll out.

The Q<Q team questions the effectiveness of single location app solutions.

Co-Founder Steve Endacott comments on his new venture, which has been developed in just over two months: “Q<Q wants to be the ’Just Eat’ of queuing tools, bridging multiple brands and sectors. The key to a successful app is frequency of use and customer utility, which makes it essential to have multiple locations. Single brand apps are likely to be expensive white elephants, that quickly fade away due to ‘Appnesia’, which is when an app is downloaded but quickly forgotten”.

Eddie Robb, Q<Q’s Managing Director, thinks older customers will find the app especially useful: “Young people may be happy to queue, but higher spending older customers will only return if they can avoid queuing. Q<Q Fast passes provide kudos and certainty about getting in, making customers feel rewarded and valued. When capacity is limited, filling your locations with higher spending customers has to be a must.”

Like many people Q<Q watched the re-opening of stores after 15th June under new social distancing rules with interest.

Q<Q co-founder Steve Endacott : “Covid-19 has driven shopping online and unless retailers deal with queue-fear, it’s likely to stay online. Q<Q allows customers to book 20 minute “Fast Track” entry slots, to guarantee the will enter at the head of any queuing.

Eddie Robb, Managing Director of Q<Q said “Retailers can send customer targeted discounts and free “Fast Track” entry slots via the app, to persuade them to come back to the high street.”

Once a customer has booked a Q<Q slot, they are shown other locations in the same areas offering Q<Q discounts, allowing them to plan their day. The start-up believes its cross-promotion function will provide invaluable shopping data never previously available on the high street. High street players will now be able to follow the lead of online retailers in profiling their customers’ full buying habits, upstream and downstream in terms of where customers also go before or after visiting them.

Q<Q have produced a promotional pack for shops and pubs, including window posters, flyers and online email and social media templates, that allows them to roll the product out quickly and cheaply.

How the Q<Q solution works:

Q<Q is a diary app that allows customers to book a 20-minute slot to get “Fast Track” entry to the front of the queue. If you buy it is FREE as you get at least twice your slot fee as a discount.

The app removes “queue fear” and allows targeted discounting on a 1:1 basis – with each token being just £1.

To use the app, users simply have to enter their postcode to see what shops/pubs near them, or in the town they want to visit, use the solution and reserve their slot. If you walk by an establishment that uses Q<Q a QR code can be scanned at the front of the queue and the customer can come back later.

To book an appointment with the app, users simply have to enter the day and time they want a slot for as well the number of people they will be to receive an “Entry Pass” within the app

Once a time slot has been reserved, the customer can simply arrive at the shop, show their pass and skip to the front of the queue. Discounts will then be available once they’ve entered the shop, pub or restaurant.

Contributor: Q<Q (QlessQ)