In today’s increasingly fast-paced world, slow service at the checkout is the number one source of shopper irritation, a new study has revealed.  

Products being out of stock is in second place, the survey of 4,000 shoppers by operational improvement company Newton also found.

Difficulty finding products was classed as the third most frustrating element of shopping, and 21% of shoppers said they wouldn’t buy an alternative product at the same store if their preferred brand was not in stock.

The research also found that 65% of consumers felt frustrated when a store changed its layout because they couldn’t find what they needed.

Nick Huismans, director at Newton, said: “Retailers need to focus on uncovering and resolving the biggest problems that are leading to customer’s frustrations in-store.

“Our analysis at a major retailer found that 50% of people didn’t buy their fresh produce at a certain store due to products’ availability – meaning that retailers are losing out on sales.

“In addition, looking at the root cause of long check-out queues can reveal that scanning speeds, queue management and checkout choice all contribute to check-out wait times.

“With the biggest contributor to a slow-moving queue being scanning speeds, increasing the productivity of this part of the checkout process by 6% results in four times more time spent with customers,” he added.