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Long queues cost UK retailers £3,581 per day

Written by Josh Russell on Thursday, 04 June 2015. Posted in Sales & Marketing

Research from Sage Pay has revealed that UK consumers aren’t prepared to hang around anymore. And it’s costing retailers a small fortune

Long queues cost UK retailers £3,581 per day

Queueing may be the great British tradition but it seems that in the fast-paced digital age we’ve lost our enthusiasm for waiting around. Evidently, the British reputation for having a stiff upper lip is undeserved: research from Sage Pay, the independent payment service provider, has revealed that almost three-quarters of Britons find queueing the most frustrating aspect of the in-store experience.

The research, which polled 500 consumers and 200 retail workers, found that 53% of consumers admit to having walked out of a store in the last month because of long queues. Three fifths of consumers said they would either only hang around a short time when faced with a long wait or leave immediately; just 26% said they would be prepared to stick with it. According to the research, the net result is that lengthy queues are costing UK retailers an average of £3,581 per day.

Embracing more tech appears to be one way to resolve the issue of excessively lengthy queues; 56% of consumers said they would like to be able to pay without having to wait, bringing in-store more closely in line with the online experience. However, it seems that many retailers aren’t in a rush to address the issue: 38% of those surveyed said they saw no need to upgrade to newer payment technologies while another 38% said that the costs involved made it prohibitive to adopt newer solutions.

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

Clearly UK retailers have a choice to make. And they better choose fast: their consumers aren’t going to hang around forever. 

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

As editor, Russell is the man in charge of properly apostrophising our publication and ensuring Oxford commas are mercilessly excised. Our digital doyen, he’s also a Photoshop Pro, a dab hand with InDesign and the man to go to if you need a four-hour soliloquy about the UK's best silicon startups.

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