New Survey: More Than 70% of Guests Will Abandon a Physical Line Before Their Turn

New study from Waitwhile shows how waiting in line makes people feel apathy, boredom and annoyance, and describes how brands can do more to win over customers

San Francisco, June 28, 2022 – Waitwhile, a queue management platform built to eliminate wait times and create delightful guest experiences, today announced the publication of The State of Waiting in Line, a new study that explored how frequently consumers are waiting in line, how they feel about waiting, and how brands can improve their customer experience when customers are forced to wait.

Recognizing that waiting in line is a universal pain point with consumers, the inaugural study took a deep dive into how long people are willing to wait for a product or service, and offers actionable insights for organizations to boost brand loyalty and increase profitability.

In the United States alone, people spend roughly 37 billion hours each year waiting in line. To better understand the consumer mindset regarding waiting in line, Waitwhile conducted an online survey of 1,202 adults in the United States to determine the most common reasons for waiting in line, how long people typically wait before abandoning a line, and specific ways organizations can better meet their customers’ needs. The research found that 70% of respondents prefer to wait in a virtual line if given a choice, and that wait time estimates, self check-in and the option to complete any requisite forms rank highest among ways to improve the waiting experience.

Waitwhile’s study found that 85% of people wait in line for longer than 5 minutes at least once a month, and that waiting is most common at retail stores (30%), restaurants (16%), and pharmacies (12%). The research also showed that 80% of guests most frequently waited on-premises, offering compelling evidence that organizations who engage with guests during this time have an opportunity to differentiate their brand and boost customer loyalty.

“Our research shows that a staggering 74% of people will abandon a physical line before it’s their turn, and that consumers who are subjected to wait for a product or service most frequently report feeling apathetic, bored and annoyed,” said Christoffer Klemming, CEO and Co-Founder of Waitwhile. “The good news for brands is that waiting in line doesn’t need to be a burden for customers and negatively impact business. Using virtual queues that give guests the freedom to move, relax or shop while waiting, organizations can significantly improve the customer experience while simultaneously increasing sales and saving their staff precious time.” 

Other key takeaways from the study indicate that:

  • 70% of guests are only willing to wait up to 15 minutes in a physical line for an item or service
  • 69% of guests are less likely to leave a virtual line
  • 57% of respondents would be willing to wait for a longer amount of time in a virtual line; 71% are willing to wait 15+ minutes longer
  • 45% of guests are more likely to join a line if it is virtual 

Waitwhile helps businesses transform existing physical lines into virtual lines within minutes, saving time and eliminating the negative response caused by pointless waiting. It allows businesses to integrate queue management features directly into existing applications through its open API. In the background, the platform automatically learns about wait time patterns, resource constraints and guest preferences to help businesses reduce wait times and improve operations. 

To access the complete Waitwhile study The State of Waiting in Line, please visit


About Waitwhile  

Waitwhile is a queue management platform that helps businesses deliver better guest experiences for their customers. Waitwhile lets customers wait from anywhere, schedule appointments, communicate with staff members, and track their status in real-time – and helps businesses automate their customer flows and reduce wait times with machine-learning optimization.

Waitwhile has improved waiting for over 180 million guests and collectively given people back over 2 million days they would have otherwise wasted standing in line. Customers include IKEA, Lululemon, Louis Vuitton, Best Buy, Applebee’s, US Air Force, Hartford HealthCare and thousands of other businesses around the world looking to improve their guest experience.

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