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Long Waits Harm Retailers

Aug 1, 2008

One in ten shoppers will leave a checkout line if the wait is too long. This is according to a recent survey conducted by M/A/R/C Research. The study polled nearly 13,000 shoppers thru an online survey, to learn the importance that checkout times had on their most recent shopping outings.

The study included shoppers at stores in eight categories: club, consumer electronics, department, drug, grocery, home improvement, mass merchandiser and office supply. It revisits a similar study conducted in 2007 and compares the results.

There is a consistency from 2007, reflecting that shoppers' satisfaction remains high when in line four minutes or less in all store categories. The only exception is club stores, where an average wait time of slightly more than four minutes is still acceptable. After four minutes, the satisfaction levels drop significantly across the other seven categories.

One of the most surprising finds of the study revealed that 43 percent of consumers stated long lines will affect their decision to shop a particular retailer in the future, and three percent of those consumers will stop visiting the store all together.

"Retailers really have to focus on keeping their wait times under four minutes, with the negative impact of even one minute more," said Tony Amador, SVP at M/A/R/C Research.

The full study shows the lowest wait time in each retail category and also tells the satisfaction levels with wait times by age group. The full study can be downloaded for free at M/A/R/C Research is a marketing research and consulting firm based in Dallas, TX. It is a part of the Omnicom Group Inc., a global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company.

Topic: Business Strategies

Related Articles: shopping 

Article ID: 705

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