Modern Retail

Brits quit queues after 6 mins 46 seconds finds national study


Research from Modern Retail Editorial Board member Lightspeed HQ reveals that 6 minutes and 46 seconds is the exact moment Brits will quit a queue, proving there is a limit to our willingness to wait in line.

“Even a nation of queuers has its limits, says Lightspeed research into queuing quirks”

Lightspeed uncovers the findings as part of its 2018 Consumer Trends Survey which crowned East Midlands as the most patient shoppers, waiting up to 7 minutes and 12 seconds in queue, and the Welsh as the least patient lasting only 6 minutes and 6 seconds before turning away.

The top five most patient shoppers by region were:

  1. East Midlands (7 min 12 sec)
  2. North East (7 min 3 sec)
  3. Scotland (6 min 57 sec)
  4. West Midlands (6 min 54 sec)
  5. London (6 min 51 sec)

While the top five least patient shoppers by region were:

  1. Wales (6 min 6 sec)
  2.  North West (6 min 27 sec)
  3. Yorkshire and the Humber (6 min 30 sec)
  4. South East (6 min 43 sec)
  5. East Anglia (6 min 44 sec)

Despite Brits’ renowned queue etiquette, it’s not something we want to do when we’re ready to spend money:

Two thirds of shoppers (69%) have decided not to buy an item because of the size of the queue in-store, highlighting the importance of ecommerce for retailers of all sizes.

When it comes to online shopping, retailers should keep returns policies top of mind with 9 in 10 shoppers (92%) saying it’s important and affects their purchasing decision. While two thirds (68%) said they buy more when an online store has a good returns policy.

Lightspeed Founder and CEO Dax Dasilva explains: “We are living in an on-demand economy which means shopper attention spans are becoming shorter. As independent retailers face tough competition from retail giants, they need to consider their customer’s needs more than ever. Our research shows a queue can seriously impact in-store sales so SMEs need to employ ways to reduce store queue times and better engage customers – this could include in-store iPad tills and the option to shop online.

Our research shows an omnichannel presence can no longer be ignored and shop owners need to ensure they have a high-quality presence wherever their customers are interacting with them, be that online or in-store.”

Read more insights from Dax here.

Further Lightspeed 2018 Consumer Trends Survey findings:

Maximum queue time is 6.77 minutes for British shoppers.
69% of shoppers have not bought an item because of a queue.
9 in 10 (92%) said a store’s return policy is important when buying online.
Two thirds (68%) will buy more when an online store has a good returns policy.
East Midlands are the most patient shoppers and will queue for 7.2 minutes.
Wales are the least patient shoppers lasting only 6.1 minutes in a queue before turning away.
Shoppers aged 55+ are the most patient waiting up to 7 minutes, while 25-34 year-olds are the least patient, waiting only 6.39 minutes.

Dax Dasilva

Dax Dasilva

Dax Dasilva is the founder and CEO of Lightspeed and a member of Modern Retail's Editorial Board. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed develops a cloud-based EPOS platform used by over 50,000 independent retailers, restaurants and eCommerce merchants worldwide to run better businesses and process over £12 billion in transactions annually.

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Dax Dasilva

Dax Dasilva