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9th September, 2015

The long wait is over: a multichannel solution that busts in-store queues

Some call it an institution, others say it’s a stereotype, but the very British queue represents something else in 2015 – mainly an annoyance. Latest research from Sage Pay indicates that the formal single line is less British mythology and more of a revenue loss. The research, which identified key customer pain points, tells us that long queues could be costing Britain’s retailers as much as £3,581 per day in lost revenue as 73% of customers walk out of stores completely frustrated, abandoning their purchase.

The long waiting time isn’t just costly for businesses, however. Frustrated customers have a knock on effect on brand loyalty; perhaps they cross the street and purchase at your competitor. A shift in loyalty is easily done – the internet has changed consumer expectations and afforded us an ‘as and when’ lifestyle. After all, websites are open for business 24/7 and we can shop on them at our own convenience.

It’s easy to assume that lengthy queues, combined with the e-commerce boom, might be the final nail in the high street’s coffin. The economic slump was severe, with many household names finding themselves in dire straits – Barratts, Jessops and Comet to name a few. The high street was hung out to dry, considered a relic that had little relevance in the buzzing world of e-commerce. With £1 in every £4 spent online, and the other £3 in every £4 influenced by some type of digital interaction, it’s easy to see why e-commerce was crowned king.

Not so anymore. The high street is very much living and breathing. Healthier retail figures and an overall increase in spend indicates a very different story. So what changed?

In short, smart retailers brought the advantages of e-commerce into their physical premises. Features like Click and Connect, a fuller range of delivery options and mobility in-store are now solid elements of the offline experience and have revolutionised how we shop. The advantages of shopping in-store still remain and make the offline world a major part of today’s multichannel shopping experience.  Solutions companies like BT Expedite are helping retailers stay ahead of the curve, successfully streamlining the e-commerce vs store experience for customers and holding their annual summit all around this exact area: Back to Reality: Digital customers and the store experience.  

Back to that £3,581. Busting queues comes with taking a multichannel approach. Increased in-store mobility, which is achieved by giving staff the ability to take payments anywhere in-store, dramatically reduces queue times. Sage Pay research found, however, that 38% of businesses see no need to upgrade or change their current payments set-up – a potentially disastrous attitude. However, delving deeper into why, it became apparent that businesses are put off by not only new technology but also the perception of associated costs.

To address queue busting and keen on finding ways to improve the customer payments experience, Sage Pay’s Cloud Connect solution delivers a face to face shopping experience with all the advantages of online shopping. Cloud Connect integrates existing ePOS software with your online store, providing businesses with a complete in-store payments solution.  Using an iPad is an affordable and cost-effective method of taking payment, as the functionality enables one till to integrate with as many card terminals as required.

Interested in rescuing your revenue? Visit the Sage Pay stand at BT Retail Summit 2015 for a live hand on demo of the Cloud Connect solution and speak to our payments experts.

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