Brits Lose Patience After Waiting in Queue For 6 Minutes

Supermarket Brands Integrated Advertising

British shoppers’ patience for standing in queues in physical stores lasts only six minutes, at least according to omni-channel retail specialist Omnico. They hinted that the time has come for retailers to figure out how to keep checkout lines moving.

I read this week that five minutes and 54 seconds is the maximum average time for Britons to wait in line before giving up. Younger Britons aged 16-24 don’t mind waiting up to 6 minutes and nine seconds before abandoning their basket. Older shoppers are even more prone to leave a shop earlier, losing patience in the queue after only five minutes and 46 seconds.

Out of the 1,344 shoppers polled, more than 50% admitted they wouldn’t return to a shop where they previously had to queue.

Omnico says that shoppers’ tendency to leave shops with long checkout lines reflects a concept called “Heuristics.” This is a mental shortcut, allowing people to work out solutions to problems and make quick and efficient decisions. With regards to queuing, people decide whether to keep waiting or walk out of the shop judging by their previous experiences, according to psychologist Mark Rackley. Nowadays, when making a purchase is possible with just a click, shoppers may decide that queuing is quite inconvenient using a Heuristic approach, and decide to leave the store as a result. Over time, queuing intolerance levels are expected to keep increasing, Rackley said.

Just 19% of the survey participants said walking out because of a long queue has never been an option. Furthermore, 16% of Brits wouldn’t wait more than just three minutes before losing patience and giving up.