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Online checkout experience must improve, report finds

08 September 2017 - 11:21 by Paul Tissington

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A new study from Barclays has indicated that if retailers want to capture the interest of consumers and avoid e-commerce baskets being abandoned, they must make the checkout process less arduous.

Internet Retailing reports that each year online outlets are missing out on up to £3.4 billion due to abandoned baskets, with experts arguing that the solution is to plough more money into the development of improved e-commerce sites that streamline the buying process.

From a consumer perspective, the study argues that people could collectively avoid wasting 614 million hours of their time carrying out safe shopping online if sites were better optimised for mobile devices and did not feature clunky interfaces.

Report spokesperson, Ian Gilmartin, said that too many retailers were avoiding a commitment to mobile optimisation in spite of the fact that this could be costing them due to higher than expected cart abandonment rates.

He also pointed out that within the next five years the revenues generated by safe shopping online will exceed £80 billion annually, so long as outlets take action today to ensure that growth can continue and consumers can be convinced to part with their cash via the web.

No other country in Europe matches the UK when it comes to online sales and this puts retailers in a great position to capitalise on public interest in e-commerce. But it is difficult to track the behaviour of consumers when they browse across multiple devices, especially now that smartphones are more widely used to get online than laptops and PCs.

Analysts found that retailers which take steps to make their sites slicker could increase sales by over a quarter, but the willingness to invest in this is not widespread and it may be that concerns about the country’s economic future are prompting unnecessary caution.