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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 03, 2013

Registration at checkout major barrier to online impulse purchases

Very few consumers make unplanned purchases online, according to new research, and retailers are only making it harder by putting obstacles in the way during the checkout process.

by Helen Leggatt

The survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by knowledge management firm Transversal and conducted by YouGov, found that three key reasons why just 5% of consumers make impulse purchases online, reports The Drum.

The main obstacle was the cost of delivery, cited by 31% of respondents, followed by registration requirements at checkout (24%) and negative reviews (21%).

Michael Aston, product manager at Transversal, says that while delivery costs and reviews weren't something online retailers could control to any great extent, the requirement to register before checkout was within their control.

"By actively placing an obstacle between the customer and the checkout basket, retailers are significantly reducing their chances of translating site traffic into revenue," says Aston.

Think about it - if a site visitor approaching checkout is a returning customer and is required to log in they must remember both the email they used to register and the password. If a site visitor is a new customer the hold-up before purchase is longer as they must complete registration. Either way, the log-in or sign-up feature is a disconnect between the user and their intention to make a purchase.

Retailers that don't want to do away with customer registration should ensure they highlight the benefits to consumers of doing so or make registration optional and allow guest checkout.

Sites such as Amazon do a good job of encouraging registration by providing express checkout facilities with minimum clicks to those that do, while others offer an incentive such as a discount or voucher, in exchange for a consumer's time and personal information.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: checkout abandonment, ecommerce, online shopping, research, retailer trends

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