Consumers not willing to queue

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Research from YouGov shows that consumers’ reluctance to queue means retailers are not only losing almost 21 million potential customers to sell to every year, but some of those customers are potentially lost for good, as they turn elsewhere to purchase goods.

In order to understand the amount of lost transactions attributed to large queues, YouGov conducted a study based on a hypothetical scenario in which consumers were asked questions that involved queuing. Adults on YouGov’s UK online panel were asked questions to understand if queues restrict retailers from making sales. A further objective of the study was to determine how consumers expect retailers to reduce queue times.

The research reveals that 59% of shoppers are not prepared to wait in a queue and faced with one, almost one third of frustrated shoppers would turn to online retailers (32%), while almost one fifth (18%) would go to an alternative shop – creating 20.65 million missed opportunities every year. But retail experts at YouGov believe there is hope for struggling shopkeepers, as the latest contactless technology could help to reduce the amount of business they are losing.

When it comes to queues in shops, consumers believe that it’s the shopkeepers that are to blame. In fact, when asked about the factors retailers have control over in relation to queuing, 89% cited not having enough staff members as the cause of queues, while 23% named payment methods taking too long as a factor.

Though the majority of respondents blame lack of staff as the cause of the problem, increasing staff costs to manage peak footfall is not a realistic option. Retailers need to look at alternative ways to reduce queues. YouGov believes that one answer lies in contactless technology which has the ability to speed up the payment process. With just under a quarter of consumers attributing queues to slow payment methods, the adoption of the contactless card may be just what retailers need to lure shoppers back into their shops.