British Retailers face £1 billion in lost sales every year due to long queues, says EE

  • EE’s latest survey marks the launch of Total Enterprise Mobility, a new approach to help businesses become more genuinely mobile
  • Connected Retail from EE enables retailers to use in-store mobile connectivity to improve the customer experience and open new revenue streams
  • Asda store managers save seven hours a week with EE’s Connected Retail solution

 17 March, 2014. London. British retailers stand to lose £1.04 billion a year because of long queues at the check-out, according to a new survey by EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company. 73% of shoppers will abandon purchases if they have to wait longer than five minutes to make that purchase, the survey found[1].

To help retailers address such operational challenges, EE today introduces Connected Retail, 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 truly mobile in every way.

Connected Retail is an industry solution that retailers can use to build closer relationships with customers by engaging with them in an integrated, omni-channel way. It can help retailers better understand their customers’ buying behaviour, registering when they arrive at their local store and how long they spend shopping. With this knowledge, retailers can send customers personalised offers and promotions to their smartphone while they are in-store.

Building on this, by using 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, retailers can ultimately deliver an enhanced shopping experience that customers will value and keep coming back for. Heat mapping can also help retailers plan and update store layout to optimise traffic flow through the store.

Max Taylor, Director of Corporate Business at EE, said: “Consumers are always online, always mobile, shopping on the go. By 2016, 80% of consumers will be using mobile to make informed buying decisions[2]. As they find, compare, share and buy, retailers have the opportunity to exploit digital channels and create a far more engaging in-store experience.”

By combining technology with wireless connectivity specifically for use in a retail environment, Connected Retail opens up new possibilities, such as offering spontaneous promotions based on a customer’s location within the store and known buying preferences, or even to set up an instant digital marketplace to provide customers with a choice of competing offers.

Connected Retail at Asda

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.

Total Enterprise Mobility

Connected Retail is part of EE’s Total Enterprise Mobility approach comprising three pillars, namely Mobile Workforce, Engaged Customers and Connected Machines. Together these pillars can make businesses genuinely more mobile, characterised by the free yet secure flow of information between people and machines.

  • Workforce Mobility: Mobile working should permeate the organisation and not be limited to field workers and home office connectivity. To be genuinely mobile, all employees should be able to access all business systems and applications that they need to do their job, regardless of their location and in a secure way.
  • Engaged Customers: Mobile devices present an immediate way for businesses to reach and engage their customers, build loyalty and open new revenue streams. To be genuinely mobile, digital conversations with customers should be two-way through apps and shared systems across multiple channels, rather than businesses simply pushing out information by email and text.
  • Connected Machines: Connecting machines to the Internet of Things, internally and externally, enables business information to flow freely between machines, and from machines to employees, in real-time for impressive operational and productivity gains.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

  • Online survey of 2,000 UK consumers conducted by Vision Critical during March 2014.
  • British retailers lose £1 billion* a year in sales due to long queues at the checkout.
  • 63% of respondent will abandon purchases in-store if the queue is too long, with each product costing £33 on average.
  • 73% of shoppers say they will abandon their purchase if they have to queue for more than five minutes; 29% will only wait a maximum of two minutes and 59% will wait no longer than four minutes.
  • 77% of shoppers say queuing to pay for a product at the tills is the worst part of shopping in-store.

* Calculated by multiplying 63% of shoppers, equivalent to 31,613,904 people, by the mean average value of each abandoned purchase, equal to £33. Number of shoppers is based on a UK adult population (over 18 years old) of 50,180,800 according to ONS Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - Mid 2012:

For more information, please contact the EE Business press team on: or 020 7544 3735


Paula Betham t: 020 3617 8463 e:

Emily Fingland t: 020 7544 3735 m: 07772 611542 e:

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. With more than 15,000 employees and 600 retail stores, EE serves more than 27 million customers on EE, Orange and T-Mobile mobile and broadband plans.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, having introduced the UK's first and only superfast 4G mobile service in 2012. EE’s 4G coverage currently reaches more than 60% of the population, with plans to cover 98% by the end of 2014. 2G and 3G coverage currently reaches more than 99% of the population. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population. 

EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards.

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[1] A summary of survey results is given in the Notes to Editors below.

[2] Source: Deloitte ‘The Dawn of Mobile Influence’ (2012).