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Cumulative costs at checkout put people off online purchases

14 September 2016 - 12:12 by Graham Miller

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A new report from Royal Mail has found that many British consumers give up on a session of safe shopping online when they get through to the checkout screen and see just how much they will have to pay to complete the transaction.

This cause of cart abandonment was cited as an issue by 34 per cent of respondents to the study, suggesting that click-happy shoppers are willing to stock up on all the items they want in theory, but are unwilling to commit when they see the cumulative cost of everything they have added to the basket.

Cart abandonment habits are regularly assessed and analysed by retailers as they try to work out what makes or breaks the process of safe shopping online. In this survey it was the 18 to 24 year olds who were found to be the most frugal, with 61 per cent adding items to the basket without ever intending to buy.

A fifth of all those questioned said that they chose to abandon digital shopping carts because they were merely browsing the site, while nine per cent said that they usually left if they discovered they could get the same products at a lower price elsewhere.

Report spokesperson, Nick Landon, said that casual browsing was usually the starting point for consumers, which can lead to people getting carried away and eventually falling foul of a nasty shock at the price when the time comes to checkout. This inevitably leads to higher abandonment rates and it seems that there is little that retailers can do to overcome this.

Landon indicated that other factors, such as the speed of delivery, the level of security and the overall consistency of the e-commerce experience can give retailers the edge.