fashion

Keeping customers wait in line can cost U.S. retailers up to 100 billion per year


A new survey conducted by report by virtual wait line and appointment booking software provider Quidini reveals that, in the U.S., 25 percent of respondents said they are “much more likely” to avoid entering stores or are more likely to walk out of stores without buying anything because of lines for service.

An additional 28 percent of consumers said they were “more likely” to do so, according to Quidini’s 2,000consumers survey. Their calculations indicate U.S. retailers are losing a total of 100 billion dollars per annum in immediate lost revenue opportunity as a result.

In fact, more customers are walking out of stores due to long lines since the pandemic started. Fourteen percent of respondents were often avoiding entering, or walking out of, stores without service because of lines before the pandemic began. An additional 33 percent said they were doing so “sometimes.” Fast-forward to 2020, and a quarter of surveyed people said they are “much more likely” to avoid entering stores or are more likely to walk out of stores without buying anything because of lines for service. An additional 28 percent of consumers said they were “more likely” to do so.

The survey found that millennial and Gen Z consumers, and those from higher household income groups, were at least twice as likely to avoid entering stores and to walk out of stores without service before the pandemic, and slightly more likely during the pandemic.

The survey also revealed that 30 percent of respondents strongly agreed with the statement “A long waiting experience would make me less likely to return to a retailer,” while 33 percent somewhat agreed.

Respondents’ biggest concerns when waiting in lines are contracting COVID-19 at 47 percent, lack of comfort (35 percent), lack of certainty and information (34 percent), wasting time (28 percent), and disliking waiting in poor weather conditions such as rain or snow (26 percent).

When asked how long they were prepared to wait in lines to enter stores or to receive service, 20 percent of respondents were only prepared to wait up to three minutes. Seventeen percent will wait between three and seven minutes, and 16 percent will wait between eight and 10 minutes. Only 19 percent of respondents will wait more than 11 minutes.

Respondents were willing to wait the longest in essential store types, such as grocery, retail and pharmacy stores, as well as cycle stores, mom/children/toy stores, optician/eyewear stores, travel agencies, car dealerships and luxury fashion/product stores.
In contrast, respondents were the least willing to wait at garden centers, make-up/skincare stores, homeware/furniture stores, fashion apparel stores, sportswear stores, and jewelry stores.



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