Customer Behaviour

High street shoppers have less patience than a five year-old, a study has found. Londoners are the least patient in-store shoppers, with 82 per cent saying they’d give up on trying to make a purchase after five minutes of queueing, according to a report from Worldpay.

Those in the north of England and Scotland were more patient, with 28 per cent saying they would wait more than five minutes in a queue to make a purchase.

The survey found that 25 per cent of women were likely to wait more than five minutes, compared to only 17 per cent of men. Though shoppers hate queues, 92 per cent of all UK e-commerce is conducted by only six per cent of the population.

While shoppers enjoy the experience of a high street and trying items on, they find queues increasingly unacceptable.

This is due to their experiences of online shopping. Many will browse online and then mix this with shopping trips to high-street retailers.

One-hour delivery times and click-and-collect services are now considered basic services rather than additional features, and the majority would abandon a purchase if they were not offered immediately.

James Frost, UK chief marketing officer for Worldpay, said: “Research has shown that younger millennials have an attention span of just eight seconds.

“In a world where consumers can browse, buy and arrange receipt of goods at the touch of a button from their smartphone, the idea of waiting in line is increasingly at odds with the type of experience shoppers now expect from high street retailers.”

76 per cent of the 2,500 UK consumers surveyed said they would like to be able to scan items using their phones to pay instantly, therefore avoiding queues.

80 per cent believe that retailers could enhance their in-store experiences by using technology to make them more compelling.

Consumers also felt shops should offer the ability to check stock online before making a journey there to make a purchase. “Technology is available to help retailers connect their digital and physical store environments to offer consumers the seamless experience they want,” Frost said. “Some retailers have made significant strides towards achieving this goal, but a great deal more have yet to start the journey.

“As uncertainties over the economy make consumers more discerning with their purchases, the pace of change is only likely to increase. Retailers that will flourish will be those that continue to innovate in the direction consumer expectations are moving.”

Customers identified delivery as the aspect of online shopping they found the most frustrating. More than half said they would give up on making a purchase for a product if their preferred delivery time was not offered.

“Today’s shoppers are time-pressed and deal-savvy,” Frost said. “Retailers need to anticipate their demands, engage with them in ways which are meaningful, and ultimately make their lives easier by removing the hassle from making a purchase.

“From one-hour delivery to zero-click ordering, we are seeing first-hand how retailers are using technology to create an increasingly frictionless retail experience for their customers, helping them to give customers what they want in a manner which is precisely tailored to their preferences.”

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