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Jan 24, 2018
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UK stores could lose customers if payment queues are too long - report

Published
Jan 24, 2018

One of the reasons quoted for Britons shunning retail stores this Christmas was in order to avoid queues and now a report has come out showing that consumers really do have a limit when it comes to queuing.


Selfridges


EPOS software specialist Lightspeed said less than seven minutes is enough to make a UK shopper go elsewhere with the average shopper quitting after six minutes and 46 seconds.

Those in the East Midlands are prepared to wait over seven minutes and but the Welsh will give up after just over six minutes.

Of course, some of the most successful retailers seem to be able to attract customers with a higher queuing tolerance (just witness the long lines at Selfridges for the clearance sale in the first week after Christmas). But for the most part, waiting in line is a definite turn-off.

In fact, 69% of shoppers said they’ve decided not to buy an item in a store because of the length of a queue. That could make a huge impact on sales, especially those that rely on fast turnover. And it’s particularly an issue at some supermarkets where queues can be long and shoppers’ baskets nowadays contain fashion and beauty items alongside their groceries.

Lightspeed Founder and CEO Dax Dasilva said: “We are living in an on-demand economy which means shopper attention spans are becoming shorter. As independent retailers face tough competition from retail giants, they need to consider their customer’s needs more than ever. Our research shows a queue can seriously impact in-store sales so [they] need to employ ways to reduce store queue times and better engage customers - this could include in-store iPad tills and the option to shop online.”

So does that mean the future belongs to e-tail where queues are non-existent except during those really busy ‘site unavailable’ times such as Black Friday or special edition launches? 

Perhaps. But there are also barriers to e-tail adoption that Lightspeed said retailers need to overcome. The researchers said that generous returns polices are key here with 92% of shoppers saying returns are important and affect their purchasing decisions. And 68% said they buy more when an online store has a good returns policy.

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