Santas queue for Morrisons dry cleaning

Long queues at checkout and fitting rooms are one of the Christmas stress points

Retailers could be losing out on valuable sales during the festive season by failing to make the shopping experience stress-free, according to new research from Barclaycard.

Six out 10 consumers (63%), from the YouGov poll of 2,098 adults, called on retailers to enhance the stressful shopping experience. The vast majority of Brits (72%) said they got stressed while Christmas shopping, with the figure rising to 80% of women.

More than a third (34%) confessed to abandoning in-store purchases and 28% left online purchases because they experienced poor service. A further 57% said they were less likely to shop with the brand in the future if they experienced stress at Christmas time.

Other key gripes included large crowds (46%), carrying heavy bags (25%), being too hot in store (24%), long queues at checkout and fitting rooms (33%) and items being out of stock (26%).

More than a third of consumers (35%) said that extending opening hours would prove helpful, while 28% said offering free seasonal snacks or drinks would be a ‘sweetener’.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) said that if a retailer offered them a great way to relieve some of the Christmas shopping stress, they would be more likely to shop with them again.

“Christmas is a really hectic time for everyone - retailers as well as consumers,” said Barclaycard customer solutions director Sharon Manikon.

“Just because it’s extra busy, though, doesn’t mean that consumers should be resigned to poor service - whether buying online or in store. In fact, many shoppers have said that if they suffer frustrations at the hands of a brand, they may not return, having ramifications for the business’s bottom line.”