4 ways long in-store wait times impact retailers’ ROI

Qudini Marketing
by Qudini Marketing

Lost customers, lost loyalty and a poor reputation are some of the downfalls of making customers wait for service. But there’s hope – using a virtual queuing system or appointment scheduling software improves the waiting experience dramatically. Here’s how:

In such a fast-changing competitive retail landscape, it has never been harder for brick-and-mortar retailers to compete. Competition has never been fiercer and customers have never had so much choice, or information, at their disposal. With poor in-store experiences costing retailers £168 billion a year, brick-and-mortar store owners need to rethink their business models and identify ways to turn their stores into experiential hubs by identifying recurring pain points which negatively impact revenue, such as walkouts, waiting times and poorly organized queues, and look to rectify them using best in class in-store technology which aligns with the retail business model.

The ease and comfort of shopping online, as well as the low prices this can offer, means customers are more demanding and more willing to walk away to a competitor than before.

When customers come into your stores, they’re looking for great service and fantastic experiences. Recent studies show when customers have a bad in-store experience, such as a lengthy wait time in a poorly organized queue, 26% will abandon their purchase and leave the store; and the damage continues after they leave the store.

Brick-and-mortar retailers need to unlock the potential of their biggest assets – beautiful stores, engaging in-store experiences, and enthusiastic staff who have the expertise to make each and every customer feel important.

One of the biggest challenges retailers face is that customers are now more demanding and impatient than ever. Wait times present an insurmountable challenge to retailers looking to convert customers in their stores, and poor wait times can have a detrimental impact to the bottom line of the traditional brick-and-mortar retailer.

This impacts retail revenue-generating potential in four critical ways:

1) Walkouts – customers will walk out with or without service

Our research shows that poor in-store experience and long wait times lead to 10% of UK customers walking out of stores. That means the average store loses £52,000 every year directly from walkouts and poor in-store experience, with the total cost of walkouts to UK retailers at £15 billion a year and hitting the entire economy hard. 26% of customers who walk out of a store will discontinue their purchase completely, costing the UK economy £3.4 billion a year.

2) Lost loyalty – they often won’t return

After walking out on a retailer, most customers won’t return – 55% of customers have switched to another company after a poor experience. This has impacted retailers to their financial detriment with lost sales accounting to £8.1 billion of sales that just one more visit would have brought in.

3) Word of mouth – most will tell their friends

According to Zendesk, 54% of customers share bad experiences with more than five people. Using a hypothesis, if 60% of those who listen to them visited the retailer in question one more time, this would amount to another £4.7 billion of revenue.

4) Social Media – many will share their experience on social media

With 217 million active users on Twitter and £1.86 billion monthly active users on Facebook, social media can compound the issue of poor customer experience, with a significant impact on revenue, reputation and more.

Invest in your stores and enhance the customer experience

Poor in-store experiences can have a negative impact on customers retention and can lead to negative social media reviews, customer walkouts and propensity to purchase products from competitor stores. To negate this, retailers need to invest in their stores and look at enhancing the customer journey.

However, enabling your store associates to serve customers faster and more efficiently, and providing your customers with a transparent and engaging waiting experience can be achieved with Qudini’s Retail Choreography software.

Instead of asking customers to wait in line, Qudini’s queuing system allows customers to join a virtual queue through their mobile phones, a store host or a customer kiosk, while our appointment software allows customers to book time-slots for specific in-store services ahead of time, reducing wait times completely. And this software keeps them engaged with regular notification and reminder messages, meaning they’re far more likely to show up and convert.

Find out more about ROI results of using Qudini’s software here.

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