When was the last time you took into consideration how long your fans were having to wait in line for concessions? Or at the ticket/Will Call booths? Or inside your team gift shop? Or the bathroom?
Have you created any solutions to help justify this issue? Or considered the fact that a fans displeasure for waiting in line could directly affect their overall game experience, especially if they happen to miss a big play?
The reason that I propose these questions i because M/A/R/C Research* recently released a report that states:
- Overall, customers are staisfied (79% extremely/very satisfied) with an average wait time of about four (4) minutes or less
- Optimal wait time varies slightly by store/service category, but satisfaction decreases drastically as wait times increase above four minutes
- Generally, older consumers ages 45-64 are more satisfied with wait times when compared to younger consumers ages 25-44
- Long wait times can impact a store's bottom line (concessions in this case). Approximately 10% of customers state that they will forgo a purchase if the line is too long. In fact, 43% of consumers state that long lines aftter their decisions to shop at specific places/locations
As a result, teams should begin to consider a number of alternatives to entertain and distract consumers while they wait in line for purchase. Tactics can include:
- Equip staffers with a pocket full of coupons, free samples or other goodies they can give to shoppers as a thank-you while they are waiting in line or providing feedback on their game experience
- Interactive brand experiences; creative branding
- Cheerleader/dancer/mascot appearances
- Photo opportunities (companies like PictureU offer capabilities for fans to have a picture taken on a digital camera that is very similar to "green screen" technology)
- Offer premiums (courtesy of concessions, corporate partners) to fans while waiting in line
- Offer technology (Kangaroo television handsets, iPods where fans can listen to team music/watch team highlights) featuring informative and entertaining content
- Enable persons seated in certain sections to make handmade signs, etc.
- Product trial (food, drinks, etc.)
*June 2008 M/A/R/C Research Report (Measure - A Measurement of the Retail Experience). This particular survey measured the impact length of check out times have on store sales.