Abandoned e-shopping carts: Why we give up online

Abandoned shopping trolleyInternet shopping may be the future but it comes loaded with problems. There’s the issue of costs to retailers, which are high – especially if customers return too many goods. And that happens a lot with a recent BBC report highlighting that we’re all serial returners, especially when it comes to womenswear.

There’s the issue of not being in when the delivery is made or retailers who still don’t offer click & collect/return in-store. And there’s the problem of abandoned shopping carts, which is one of the biggest problems of all.

A major frustration for e-tailers is that too many shoppers get to the point of buying but don’t. Sometimes that’s because the irritating app’s ‘Purchase’ button doesn’t work properly (yes, Outnet, I mean you). Sometimes it’s because you lose your signal on the train, or because you chicken out of buying SO MANY shoes.

Whatever the reason, it’s a headache for retailers. But on the upside, a report from Connexity’s Hitwise shows that while 32% of the online shoppers who abandon their carts do so just at the point of checking out, 53% of them do come back to complete the purchase at another time. Good news. If only the figure was higher than 53%.

Apart from my own very personal reasons for cart abandonment, Hitwise said a quarter of those who abandon their carts do so because they can’t decide about the purchase and that could be because they’re unsure of buying through a particular retailer (16%), or can’t decide whether to buy the product itself (9%).

Those who give up before completion tend to have different reasons depending on their age group with 18-34-year-olds most likely to do so because the basket was too expensive or they didn’t have a voucher.

Meanwhile those aged 35-49 are more concerned about the shipping cost. That means they’re fine about the total price of the items they’re buying but have a grumpy-old-woman/man reaction when they see how much it would cost to actually get the goods into their hot little hands (that happens to me a lot when I’m buying on Amazon).

Connexity has some advice for retailers to try to reduce cart abandonment. It says should target us between 9am and 5pm as 57% of us actually complete purchases between these times. Interesting. Does that mean evening shopping is more leisure activity than serious shopping? I think we should be told!

It also says a 20% money-off coupon would encourage almost 60% of shoppers to complete their purchases, although if a store is trying to boost full-price sales, that’s depressing advice.

Personally, I think shoppers will always abandon their carts, just like all of us walk into stores but don’t necessarily walk out with bags filled with stuff. The best way to make us buy is good products at just the right prices, great visual merchandising, websites that work properly logistics that make everything very easy. There you go, problem solved.

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