Long queues ‘costing retailers £12bn’

Some 38% of shoppers don’t like shopping in stores because of long queues

Long queues have been named the biggest turn-off for UK shoppers and could be costing retailers up to £12bn a year in potential sales losses.

According to research released by payments platform Adyen, paired with 451 Research’s ‘Global Unified Commerce Forecast’, British retailers are struggling to keep up with increasing demand for improved customer experience in-store.

The research revealed that retailers have lost £6.4bn to their competitors over the past 12 months due to long queues and £5.6bn has been lost as customers spend less or leave a shop altogether.

The study also suggested that £422m had been lost as a result of retailers not offering customers’ preferred payment method, and revealed that 34% of Brits preferred to shop online for “almost everything”.

Of those, 38% cited waiting in long queues as the primary reason they don’t like shopping in store, and 77% said anything longer than five minutes is too long to wait in a queue.

The research also polled senior decision-makers in the retail sector, and found that 20% said customers complained about waiting in queues while 21% said they found it difficult to keep up with rising customer expectations.

Myles Dawson, UK managing director at Adyen, said: “Technology is constantly pushing the boundaries of how we shop, and customer expectations are changing fast. Successful retailers are adapting to meet these new demands, while those failing to evolve are suffering as headlines show us.

“The real battleground is customer experience. And our survey shows that there are huge opportunities for retailers to differentiate themselves by addressing simple pain-points like queuing.

Retailers need to harness the combined strength of their online and offline channels. This means connecting the two seamlessly, so customers can browse and make purchases in store or get all the information they need to make a purchase online or by mobile later. When it comes to finally closing that sale, customers should be able to pay quickly and easily, using their preferred payment method,” Dawson added.

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