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Long queues are costing Australian businesses


Customers refuse to wait in line

Long retail lines have cost Australian businesses $12.5bn in potential sales over the last year, according to new research from Adyen. According to the research, 73% of surveyed Australians reported that they had left a store if the queue was too long, with 35% opting to make the purchase somewhere else and 29% deciding against it entirely.

This means that businesses are losing over $5bn in potential sales to their competitors due to their slow in-store service. With many small businesses reporting they are cash-strapped and time-poor, this may be revenue they cannot afford to lose.

The research also showed that 51% of respondents would choose a specific business if it meant they did not have to wait in line and 30% did not use brick-and-mortar stores to avoid unnecessary queues. In terms of wait times, 31% said that 5 minutes was too long to wait in line and 65% argued 10 minutes was too long.

Michael van Aalten, Adyen country manager in Australia and New Zealand, says the research shows the need for businesses to give customers a better shopping experience. "The brick-and-mortar storefront still shares a high relevance in Australia, but the environment has changed dramatically. We can see that most consumers crave a shopping experience that is fast and easy and long queues in stores represent a significant barrier to meeting this basic demand."

Australia lags behind similar countries when it comes to mobile point-of-sale facilities, with 14% providing the option to check out anywhere in the store, compared to 35% of US retailers. Only 18% of APAC businesses included in the study provided self-checkout services.

Van Aalten insists businesses need to adapt to keep up with the demand of the modern shopper if they want to remain competitive. "Shoppers want the entire process to be fast and frictionless, and they want to engage on their own terms. Retailers can’t rely on price alone to woo their shoppers as experience has become an unmistakable part of the journey."

Investing in modern sales technologies is one way businesses could improve. “In the fight to win market share, Australian retailers should look towards creating a convenient in-store experience that can provide multiple sales channels seamlessly. Australian stores are currently unprepared to address long wait times and need to look toward creating frictionless customer journeys or face the financial consequence of avoiding it."

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