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Stock issues and long queues cost British retailers £102bn each year

Published
today May 16, 2019
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Failing to provide a multichannel retail experience with personalisation and convenience at the centre is costing British retailers up to £102 billion in lost sales each year, according to data released by payments platform Adyen.



Interestingly, the biggest contributor to lost store revenue is not long queues but running out of stock, with 79% of Britons saying they would not return to make a purchase if they went into a store only to find their desired item was out-of-stock.

This is costing retailers up to £14.8 billion each year, on top of the £11.3 billion retailers are missing out on due to long queues in-store -- the second biggest source of lost revenues.

According to the research, almost 66% of consumers have abandoned their purchase and left a store because of long queues in the past six months, and only 22% would return to the store later or make a purchase on another channel.

“While trading conditions are undoubtedly challenging and it can be hard for retailers to keep up, the shopping experience is lacking in the eyes of the consumer,” commented Myles Dawson, UK managing director of Adyen.

“Fortunately, some of these elements can be addressed, particularly when it comes to one of the biggest pain points – stores running out of stock. Creating an endless aisle by linking physical stores with ecommerce channels will help shoppers avoid disappointment by enabling them to check stock levels before they go into a store.”

Other customer pain points are lack of payment options, personalised offers and outdated payment systems, the report found.

To improve the customer experience, retailers are urged to accept contactless payments (with 68% of shoppers wanting this feature), offer mobile payments in-store to reduce queues, accept digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, and show their product availability in-store on their online channels.

Offering buy now and pay later options and saving payment details to speed up the checkout process were also highly requested by those surveyed.

Myles Dawson of Adyen concluded: “Ultimately, these figures show that the physical store still has a vital role to play in retail. But it needs to be supported by digital and online channels. Those retailers that link their online and offline sales channels to create a unified experience for customers can capitalise on a £102 billion opportunity.”  

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