SHOPPERS are only prepared to wait a maximum of five minutes in a queue – before abandoning their items and walking out.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed that while nearly half still prefer shopping in person, 46 per cent get annoyed by crowded stores.

And four in 10 are also irritated by long queues for the till as many have become fusion shoppers – who mix shopping in store with the often more efficient click and collect and online options.

Although 49 per cent described click and collect services as ‘the worst of both worlds’, while 42 per cent are irked by having to pay for delivery when online shopping.

Stefano Rossi, Packaging CEO at DS Smith, which commissioned the research, said: “Today’s consumers aren’t choosing one way of shopping, they’re blending them all – as fusion shoppers.

“However, what’s clear is shoppers aren’t getting a consistently good experience across these options – which is a real risk for brands and retailers as consumers may look to go elsewhere if they can’t maintain consistent standards.

“Brands now need to find a way to seamlessly blend their range of offers so consumers are happy however they choose to shop.

“Packaging is one of the ways they can do this, and our experts have been working to produce clever and innovative solutions that solve some of the key frustrations with different types of shopping and make for a better experience across the piece.”

It also emerged another major gripe for a fifth of online shoppers is items being damaged on arrival due to poor packaging.

While other issues with click and collect included the hassle of travelling to a shop to pick up the item (21 per cent), having to wait to collect the product (19 per cent) and doubts about the quality of the item (19 per cent).

However, 43 per cent said they find online shopping less stressful than in-store or click and collect, according to the study via OnePoll.

In an average month Brits shop in store five times, online four times and use click and collect twice.

But 42 per cent were more likely to have used click & collect services during the pandemic.

DS Smith has worked with Professor Ivo Vlaev to explore future packaging options which could help ease some frustrations, such as smart labels or QR codes on packaging that consumers can scan with a smartphone camera to eliminate the need to queue.

Professor Vlaev said: “People’s expectations of brands haven’t changed, yet as we shift to a blended model of shopping retailers who want to keep brand loyalty need to ensure that no-matter how someone is shopping that they keep the same experience.

“For both click and collect and online shopping, packaging can be a way of elevating that experience.

“For example, box designs can help with frictionless payment in store and click & collect can be improved with boxes creating smart personalised IDs making collection easier and quicker."


1. Too many other shoppers

2. Waiting too long to be served

3. When (basic) products are sold out

4. Changes to the layout of a shop

5. Bad service from staff

6. Having to carry or transport goods home

7. Not enough space in a shop

8. It is hard to search for a product

9. Forgetting a bag and having to pay for a new one  

10. Music which is too loud in store

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