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Why do shoppers abandon at the checkout?

A new study has found that in the last year 77% of online shoppers have got as far as the checkout of a retail website only to leave the site before completing their purchase.


Why do shoppers abandon at the checkout?

A new study has found that in the last year 77% of online shoppers have got as far as the checkout of a retail website only to leave the site before completing their purchase.

In compiling their latest eCustomerServiceIndex report, eDigitalResearch and IMRG surveyed over 2,000 shoppers and found that 53% cited high delivery costs as the main reason why they had abandoned their purchase. In addition, 26% placed an item in their basket just ‘to check delivery costs’ while a further 18% did not make their purchase because the estimated delivery date was too long.

65% of those who had abandoned due to high delivery costs went on to search online to see if similar products were available elsewhere from another retailer. Just 8% went to a store to make the purchase afterwards and 20% made no purchase whatsoever.

As a result, 54% of those surveyed felt that retailers should be making users aware of delivery costs from the moment they land on the homepage, rather than at a subsequent stage in the purchase journey.

Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, said: “Delivery has long been a key part of the customer journey that online shoppers feel that retailers must improve, as often highlighted in our benchmark studies and in the annual in depth UK Consumer Delivery Survey we conduct with IMRG every Christmas.

“Investment in better parcel tracking, timed delivery slots and other innovations has gone some way to improving customer satisfaction with overall customer experience, but these results clearly show that issues surrounding delivery are still a massive barrier to purchase for a large chunk of online shoppers.

“Supporting eDigitalResearch and IMRG results show that the majority of us would prefer not pay over £5 for small or medium sized goods to be delivered to our doors – in fact, most of us expect to have the option for these types of packages to be sent without additional delivery costs. If retailers really want to capitalise on the Christmas shopping boom this year, then they must look to improve their delivery experience – from costs to timescales – helping to encourage shoppers to spend more”.

eDigitalResearch and IMRG estimate that the annual loss of revenue to UK online retailers due to checkout abandonment will reach £6 billion in 2013.

Other reasons cited for checkout abandonment over the past year include items being out of stock (21%), limited information to make a purchase decision (12%), security concerns, limited payment options and unclear returns policies.

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