Long queues cost UK retailers up to £12 billion per year

New research released today by Adyen, the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, reveals that long queues are the biggest turn-off for UK shoppers, costing retailers up to £12 billion each year in potential sales losses[i].

Results from the study, paired with 451 Research’s Global Unified Commerce Forecast show that British retailers are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for improved customer experience in store. Key findings from the research include:

  • £6.4 billion has been lost by retailers to their competitors over the past 12 months due to long queues
  • £5.6 billion lost as customers spend less or leave a shop altogether due to long queues
  • £422 million has been lost as a result of retailers not offering customers’ preferred payment methods

The report also reveals that over a third (34%) of Brits, prefer to shop online for almost everything. Of those, 38% cited waiting in long queues as the primary reason they don’t like shopping in store.

The vast majority (77%) of Brits said anything longer than five minutes is too long to wait in a queue to make a purchase.

“Technology is constantly pushing the boundaries of how we shop, and customer expectations are changing fast.” said Myles Dawson, UK Managing Director at Adyen. “Successful retailers are adapting to meet these new demands, while those failing to evolve are suffering – as headlines show us. Price wars simply won’t cut it; there will always be a cheaper alternative somewhere else. The real battleground is customer experience. And our survey shows that there are huge opportunities for retailers to differentiate themselves by addressing simple pain-points like queuing.”

The research also polled senior decision-makers in the retail sector, almost one in five (20%) said that customers complain about waiting in queues and 21% said they find it difficult to keep up with rising customer expectations.

“Retailers need to harness the combined strength of their online and offline channels. This means connecting the two seamlessly, so customers can browse and make purchases in store or get all the information they need to make a purchase online or by mobile later. When it comes to finally closing that sale, customers should be able to pay quickly and easily, using their preferred payment method,” Dawson concluded.