British retailers to lose £1bn per year due to long queues


British retailers to lose £1bn per year due to long queues

Caroline Baldwin

Almost three quarters of shoppers will abandon purchases if they have to queue for longer than five minutes, which could result in £1bn losses per year for UK retailers.

If an in-store queue is too long, 63% of shoppers will abandon their purchases, with each product costing £33 on average.


Telecoms giant EE surveyed 2,000 UK customers and found 77% of shoppers say queuing to pay for a product is the worst part of shopping in-store. Additionally, 29% will only wait a maximum of two minutes and 59% will wait no longer than four minutes to purchase their items.

EE has launched its Connected Retail strategy to help retailers improve the in-store experience for its customers.

The managed service uses mobile connectivity to connect with customers in an omni-channel way. As part of the Connected Retail service, EE can provide in-store Wi-Fi, tablets for staff, smartphone promotional offers and heat-mapping technology to anticipate queues.

Max Taylor, director of corporate business at EE, said: “Consumers are always online, always mobile, shopping on the go. By 2016, 80% of consumers will be using mobile to make informed buying decisions. As they find, compare, share and buy, retailers have the opportunity to exploit digital channels and create a far more engaging in-store experience.”

Asda has been using the Connected Retail strategy to engage with its customers across 575 supermarkets in the UK. Its Asda-branded in-store Wi-Fi has attracted 100,000 customers with more than 800,000 subscribers. The retailer is now able to cross-reference its Wi-Fi data with the customer’s use of online shopping applications which gives the supermarket chain information on buying behaviour.

Retailers can use this real-time data analytics to develop timely communications with customers via their smartphone devices.

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