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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 14, 2016

'Oops moment' leads to abandoned shopping carts

A recent survey from Royal Mail among UK online shoppers has found that a third abandon their cart at checkout, with many doing so due to an 'oops moment'.

by Helen Leggatt

Last month, we reported on research conducted by Optimizely in the UK that found 83% of online shoppers abandoned their virtual carts at checkout. That research found that the main reason for abandonment was the addition of unexpected shipping costs (53%), or the requirement to set up an account or register to complete the purchase (27%).

New research, this time from Royal Mail in their annual 'Delivery Matters' report, found that around a third of online shoppers abandon their cart at checkout. Among 18 to 24-year-olds that figure rises to 61%, compared to just 39% of 35 to 44-year-olds. In the last 12 months, 91% of online shoppers admit to having abandoned a cart. The good news for retailers is that the frequency of shoppers abandoning carts has decreased by 10% since 2015 due, in part, to improved technology and a better website experience. In fact, website and technical 'glitches' showed the largest fall in 'reason for abandonment' dropping from 28% last year to 21% this year.

However, Royal Mail uncovered some different reasons for ditching potential purchases. It appears, says managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, Nick Landon, that online shoppers are happily browsing and finding products they want to buy, loading up their shopping cart, only to get cold feet once they proceed to the checkout and discover the total cost. This "oops moment", as Landon describes it, "prompts them to seek a better deal elsewhere or abandon the purchase completely".

Additional findings from the report include:

- 42% of cart abandonment is down to delivery costs (roughly in line with Optimizely's findings);

- 34% of those who abandon online shopping carts say they do so frequently, down from 44% last year;

- 38% of shoppers said that free returns would increase the frequency of their online shopping, followed by clear delivery information;

- Online shopping frequency is rising in the UK - in Q1 2016 the average UK consumer shopped online 8 times compared with 7 times during the same period in 2015.

Tags: cart abandonment, ecommerce, research

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