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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 05, 2010

Royal Mail: The multi-billion cost of abandoned shopping carts

Billions of dollars in online sales were lost to shopping cart abandonment last year. Britain's Royal Mail has developed a free website analysis tool which they claim will enable online retailers to cut cart abandonment and improve the customer buying experience.

by Helen Leggatt

royal mail.gifFollowing the publication of the Royal Mail's latest "Delivery Matters" research which takes an in-depth look at online shopping attitudes and habits, a free online tool has been developed to help online retailers identify areas of their online store that aren't performing well.

The 2009 Delivery Matters research found that many online shoppers are put off by vague delivery charge information. In fact, a large number (82%) feel free delivery on all items would prompt them to continue using a retailer or even increase their usage.

Overall 93% of online shoppers have abandoned their shopping cart at one time or another. Last year alone over $4 billion in sales were lost in the U.K.

"The online marketplace grows ever more competitive and having tempted shoppers to explore their stores, e-tailers simply cannot afford to miss out on sales because of poor website functionality and inadequate delivery information," said Dan Hewett, Head of Small Business Goods Fulfilment at Royal Mail.

Hence the launch of Royal Mail's "Delivery Promise Tool". The free, online tool will analyze any online retail website monitoring cost, time, tracking, delivery options and contact details, and provide a detailed report on how performance could be improved.

However, recent research from Forrester concluded that as long as online shoppers continue to take their time and make more effort to find the best prices, shopping cart abandonment rates won't decrease significantly.

In fact the study, entitled "Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment", found the more tools a consumer has to define a "best price" the more shopping cart abandonment will occur.

Tags: cart abandonment, delivery tools, e-commerce, online shopping, shopping cart

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