RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 07, 2011

What's causing online shoppers to abandon your store?

Ever wondered why some online shoppers barely make it through your virtual door before heading back out again? A new survey from Econsultancy throws more light on why some potential customers don't hang around or ditch their cart at the last minute.

by Helen Leggatt

Two thousand British consumers took part in Econsultancy's survey, conducted using online survey tool Toluna Quick, of which over 87% shop several times a year.

Respondents were queried on their reasons for abandoning an online store at various stages from the decision to commence shopping through to checkout.

First Impressions

Even before a shopper begins browsing the virtual aisles their guard is up. When considering whether to shop with an unfamiliar retailer almost half (48%) want reassurances that it is safe to do so. Trustmarks play an important part in building consumer trust.

Shoppers also want to know that a retailer is upfront and contactable and not hiding behind a PO Box or web form. To this end, over 46% look for clear contact details when considering whether a website is trustworthy.

As always, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family will sway the decision for many, in this case 40% of respondents.

Other factors important to shoppers when considering the trustworthiness of a retailer website are quality and professionalism of website design, inventory containing familiar brands and products, and speed of page load.

Power of a Product Page

Once a shopper begins browsing a retail website their need for reassurance continues and a strong product page will help them make informed decisions.

In a nutshell they want to know when they can have an item and the cost to have it delivered (68.4%), exactly what it is they are getting (60.95%) and return policy information (53.4%).

In the absence of being able to handle a product, shoppers want lots of images (38.8%) to help them visual the real thing. Furthermore, they further seek reassurance in the form of product reviews from other shoppers.

Basket Blunders

Just because a shopper puts something in their basket doesn't necessarily mean they'll make it as far as the checkout. Baskets are likely to be abandoned in the aisles if the shopper gets a nasty shock when advised of delivery (74.5%) or item prices (49.3%).

This is easily solved by providing this information on the product page, as advised above.

Compulsory registration will scare off over a quarter of shoppers, so leave that until after they've cleared checkout and give them the option of when, how and if they want to subscribe.

Basket in hand, consumers are heading to the checkout where they are going to part with sensitive personal information, so any technical glitches at this stage will be off-putting and instill doubt as to the security of the website. Over half (54.5%) said that technical problems would make them put down their basket and leave.

Checkout Abandonment

Finally, the shopper has reached the checkout, wallet at the ready. If you haven't already scared them off with surprise costs, put doubts in their minds about the trustworthiness of the website or frustrated them with technical problems this is not the time to start.

Once again, the majority (70.8%) of shoppers said that hidden costs at the point of checkout would cause them to abandon the purchase process. The message from Econsultancy's survey is clear - be upfront and transparent about all costs from the outset.

The same concerns that shoppers had at the other points in their shopping experience continue to haunt them at the checkout - trust (payment security) (58.4%) and technical issues (44%). Error messages and technical glitches during payment processing will likely leave shoppers worried about the security of their data and concerned whether their order was correctly completed.

While there are numerous reasons behind a shopper's decision to walk away from an online store, the end result is the same - lost revenue.

For that reason many online retailers have begun employing cart abandonment email retargeting campaigns in an attempt to lure back shoppers who have left their stores empty-handed.

Tags: cart abandonment, consumer insight, ecommerce, email retargeting, online shopper, online shopping, retail

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.