British retailers that don’t embrace queue-solving technology to lose out on £1BN of sales


British retailers stand to lose £1.04 billion a year because of long queues at the checkout, according to a new survey by EE.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of shoppers will abandon purchases if they have to wait longer than five minutes to make that purchase, the survey found.

To help retailers address such operational challenges, EE has introduced a new managed service that uses mobile connectivity in-store to improve the customer experience and open new revenue streams. Connected Retail is the first proposition in EE’s new ‘Total Enterprise Mobility’ approach for business, designed to help corporate and public sector organisations become more mobile.

The solution uses real-time data analytics to develop time-based communications with customers, combined with heat mapping technology to anticipate queues at the checkout before they arrive. Heat mapping can also help retailers plan and update store layout to optimise traffic flow through the store.

>See also: Data mistakes lose supermarkets billions – report

“Consumers are always online, always mobile, shopping on the go,” said Max Taylor, director of corporate business at EE. “By 2016, 80% of consumers will be using mobile to make informed buying decisions.

“As they find, compare, share and buy, retailers have the opportunity to exploit digital channels and create a far more engaging in-store experience.”

EE is already working with supermarket chain Asda to explore and activate Connected Retail strategy and technology in its 575 stores around the UK. Asda’s branded in-store WiFi instantly attracted over 100,000 customers and now has more than 800,000 subscribers.

Asda store managers are now able to complete admin tasks from the shop floor using tablet PCs, which has given them back seven hours a week to spend with customers and colleagues.

Cross-referencing WiFi data with customers’ use of online shopping apps gives Asda a more holistic view of buying behaviour, enabling the retailer to provide even better-targeted services and communications across online, mobile and in-store channels.


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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...