Most shoppers are not prepared to wait in a queue and, faced with one, a third would go online and a fifth to an alternative store, new research from YouGov reveals.
Its study found 59% of consumers reluctant to queue, equivalent to losing almost 21m customers a year.
Consumers also believe shopkeepers are to blame for queues, said YouGov. It found 89% of shoppers think not having enough staff members is 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, said researchers.
Retailers need to look at alternative ways to reduce queues, such as 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, said YouGov.
Rob Cushen, retail consulting director at YouGov, said: “Life is tough for high street retailers at the moment. This research shows a significant number of shoppers turn their backs on a high street shop if the queues are too long. The problem for traditional bricks and mortar retailers is these same people will then go online and once there they prefer online specialists like Amazon. This is a huge lost opportunity for the high street. The solution is not to increase the number of staff to handle queues at peak times but the smart use of technology.”