Brick-and-mortar retailers and online sellers alike are noticing an increase in abandoned shopping carts and cold feet at checkout lines. For physical shops, this means more work putting things back on the shelves.
It means more lost sales for stores at a time when there are already fewer customers because of the recession. For bricks-and-mortar shops already working with fewer staff, it also means more work because orphaned items have to be restocked.
Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but Burt P. Flickinger III, a retail consultant, estimates that in 25 percent of shoppers' trips to the store, they're ditching at least one item. In the recession of the early 1990s, it was 15 to 20 percent. In good times, it's more like 10 percent.
QLess can reduce abandonment and increase store revenues by letting consumers use the time spent standing at a check-out line looking for something they may have forgotten anywhere in the store, then get paged on their cell phone when their turn to check-out is almost there.