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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : August 08, 2013

British shoppers' patience runs out after six minutes of queuing

Physical stores are going to have to find a way of keeping checkout lines moving as consumers, used to instant gratification at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen, become less tolerant of queuing up to pay for goods in a store.

by Helen Leggatt

Six minutes - that's how long the average shopper age between 16 and 24 will wait in line at a checkout before losing patience and giving up. Among older shoppers, over the age of 55, the time before patience runs out is shorter - five minutes and 46 seconds.

These are the findings of omnichannel retail experts, Omnico, which reflect a concept known as 'heuristics', a mental short-cut to aid decision-making based on past experience.

"When it comes to queuing, people use previous experiences to decide whether they will stay in the queue or leave it," said Mark Rackley, a chartered psychologist.

In other words, in a world where it can take just a few clicks, and less than six minutes, to make a purchase online or via mobile, shoppers may use 'heuristics' and conclude that queuing is a waste of their time, and walk away. Not only will this affect store revenues, but it has a knock-on effect on loyalty, with shoppers avoiding stores in which they feel they may be kept waiting.

"Mobile point of sale (PoS) technology is an answer to the queuing problem, as it can be deployed quickly and has a positive impact on retailers' shop floor estate, offering space saving opportunity as well as reduced capital expenditure," says Bill Henry, CEO at Omnico. "It frees sales assistants up to move around the store and answer questions or move to areas that are busiest."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brick-and-mortar, consumer experience, point of sale, PoS, retail, sales staff

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