Queues costing retailers more than £3500 per day

Long queues could be costing Britain’s retailers as much as £3,581 per day in lost revenue, according to new research by payments service provider Sage Pay.

The research also found that consumers would like to see more of the online experience brought in-store, with queue-less payments and click and collect voted amongst the most coveted features by shoppers.

The study identified some key pain-points for customers, where the in-store experience lags behind the convenience consumers have come to expect from shopping online.

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Chief amongst these were queues at the till, with an overwhelming majority (73%) identifying them as the most irritating aspect of the in-store experience.

This has a significant impact on potential revenues for retailers, with 60% of consumers saying they would only wait a short time before putting items back and leaving, or simply leave immediately if faced with a queue.

In the last month alone, 53% of consumers admitted to having walked out of a store as a result of long waiting times. Only 26% said they would wait it out.

Reinforcing consumer distaste for queues, 56% said the ability to pay instantly was the aspect of the online experience they’d most like to see replicated in-store.

Meanwhile, not being able to buy the product they came in for was also a major source of frustration, with over a third citing limited stock as an in-store irritation. 39% of businesses also cited this as the most common customer complaint they receive.

At the same time however, Sage Pay’s research revealed an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality amongst British businesses that is holding them back from exploring newer, more efficient technologies, with 38% saying they saw no need to change or upgrade. An equal number of businesses also cited perceived set-up costs as a barrier to new technology.

“This research brings to light a clear message from the UK’s shoppers,” said Sage Pay managing director Sean Wilson.

“If your business can’t replicate the speed and convenience of online in the face to face experience, they’ll simply take their money elsewhere. If high street retailers really want to take the challenge to their larger online counterparts, they need to be investing in new payments technologies that will allow them to fight the queues, and revolutionise the face to face experience. That’s why we’ve developed Cloud Connect.”

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