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Smartphone Owners Especially Frustrated Over Long Checkout Lines

Line of shoppers . / Credit: Shoppers image via Shutterstock

Consumer frustration is just the tip of the long checkout line iceberg that can sink your bottom line, especially if your customers are packing smartphones, new research shows. Nearly 40 percent of smartphone-carrying shoppers abandon their in-store purchases due to long lines and another 21 percent will bail on buying if there are no registers open. This adds up to lost retailer revenue.

AisleBuyer, an in-store mobile commerce provider, sponsored a survey last month that asked more than 1,000 U.S. smartphone-carrying in-store shoppers about their retail shopping experience. Not surprisingly, more than half of shoppers said they hated waiting in line most at grocery stores (52 percent) and mass merchants (51 percent).  Other stores where waiting in line was a significant annoyance for consumers included drugstores (29 percent), quick-service restaurants (27 percent) and club stores (26 percent).

Consumers were not hesitant in responding to potential workarounds for long lines in stores. An in-store mobile payment option was particularly popular, with 60 percent of smartphone-carrying shoppers saying they would use their mobile phone to pay during an in-store shopping trip if it meant they could avoid waiting in line.

[The Challenges of Mobile Payments]

Smartphones have become an integral part of the in-store shopping experience for these shoppers. More than one-third of shoppers have scanned items for more information using their smartphones and 64 percent expressed interest in doing so in the future.

"Having to wait in line at a store has a significant effect on a retailer’s bottom line. Nearly half of shoppers said if a line is too long, they will either leave the store without purchasing anything or only buy the few items they came for, without shopping the rest of the store," said Andrew Paradise, AisleBuyer’s CEO. "Giving these shoppers another way to pay – without having to wait in line – will increase the likelihood that they will ultimately purchase something in the store, rather than abandon the purchase due to frustration. The survey results clearly show that shoppers are interested in this alternative checkout experience—something savvy retailers are investing in as we speak."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.