Survey of 2,000 UK consumers finds people are worried about their health when waiting in queues to enter stores or to receive service. As a result, they’re less willing to queue and more likely to walk out of stores without making a purchase.
On the 25th of September, 2020, Qudini surveyed more than 2,000 British consumers to gain a better understanding of how they are interacting with stores during the Coronavirus era.
Our survey found:
The majority of consumers are still avoiding stores
While stores have reopened, 64% of consumers are avoiding them as a result of Covid-19. This is especially true for consumers from higher income households, Millennial and GenZ consumers and female consumers.
Health concerns are the main reasons stopping consumers from visiting stores
69% stating this to be true, followed by an increased use of online shopping (41%) and financial concerns (31%).
When it comes to visiting stores, customers’ biggest concerns are:
- Getting too close to other people (54%), other people not wearing masks (52%), touching products that other people have touched (43%) and queuing (36%).
- 25% are concerned about having to wear masks themselves, half that of those concerned about others not wearing masks.
- 25% are concerned about the idea of having to queue outside of stores and 18% are concerned about queuing inside of stores.
Accordingly, the health and hygiene measures that customers most appreciate in order of priority are hand sanitiser stations (42%), masks in stores (41%) and limiting the number of customers in stores (39%).
After this customers rated contactless card payments (25%), Perspex screens between counters (24%), social distancing signs (22%) and self-service checkout tills (14%) as being the most important.
Consumers are less willing to wait in queues to enter stores or for service
When consumers do visit stores, they are less willing to queue and more likely to walkout without making a purchase.
- Before Covid-19, 83% of consumers admitted to walking out of stores without buying anything because of queues and waits for service (10% wait they did so “often”, 38% said “Sometimes” and 35% said “rarely”. During the pandemic, half (48%) of consumers said they are even more likely to do so (20% said “much more likely” and 28% said “more likely”).
- Millennial and GenZ consumers are 1.7 times more likely than Baby Boomers to walk out of stores without buying something because of queues and waits, while higher income households are 2-3 times more likely than lower income earners. Females are also slightly more likely than males.
- 21% of consumers stated they are not prepared to wait an average of more than 3 minutes for service within a store, 19% stated between 3 and 7 minutes and another 19% stated between 8 and 10 minutes.
- 61% of consumers agreed with the statement “A long waiting experience would make me less likely to return to a retailer” (26% strongly agreeing and 35% somewhat agreeing).
Consumers fear catching Coronavirus while waiting in queues:
Contracting Contracting Covid-19 was the top concern amongst 40% consumers when waiting in queues, followed by poor weather conditions (36%), lack of certainty and information (34%), lack of comfort (33%) and time wasted (28%).
Imogen Wethered, CEO and Co-founder of Qudini, says:
“The fact that retail’s biggest spenders: higher income earners, younger generations and female consumers are the most likely to be avoiding stores, and to walk out of stores without making purchases when there are queues (before Covid and even more so during the pandemic), is a worrying insight. As we race towards Black Friday peak period retailers that don’t utilise readily-available retail software that enables their customers to join virtual queues (from a host with a tablet or even their phone) or pre-book times to visit stores are missing out on potential revenues and run the risk of losing repeat business.”
The survey also revealed that retailers that deployed Retail Choreography software solutions, including in-store appointments, contactless collection services, host managed waiting experiences, virtual queuing systems and virtual appointments, stand to gain significantly through improved brand relationships across channels.
This is particularly prevalent amongst Millennial and GenZ customers where an average of 77% state that the solutions would positively impact their interactions with retailers in one or more of the following ways:
- 22% would be more likely to visit the retailer in the first place.
- 17% would be more likely to buy something in-store.
- 17% would be more likely to shop with the retailer online.
- 20% would be more likely to tell their friends about the retailer.
“Overall, these survey insights show Millennial and GenZ customers want and expect more digital ways of being managed, and the revenue and brand relationship benefit of doing so for retailers is significant. By not offering these tools, retailers are only accommodating to the expectations of their previous customer groups. More and more retailers are realising how virtual queuing systems and appointment booking software can help them to build customer confidence to visit stores, alongside better long term relationships, and so we’re setting up retailers by the day as Black Friday and December peak season approaches.”