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Online shopping cart abandonment analysed by Royal Mail

06 July 2010 - 11:58 by Graham Miller

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The Royal Mail has released a new study which looks into the reasons behind the billions of pounds that are lost by e-Commerce firms when UK consumers move to purchase an item but then abandon their order when they get to the shopping cart stage.

The Royal Mail recently authored its Delivery Matters report and has followed up on this analysis of the trends and consumer opinions relating to shopping online by building a tool which it hopes will help retailers perfect their policies and web design in order to secure more sales over a year.

The greatest roadblock to many consumers is a poor explanation as to how a retailer will charge for the delivery of products that are bought online. The survey found that 82 per cent of consumers would definitely return to sites that offer free delivery on anything and in most cases this would drive them to become far more regular users of a specific site.

93 per cent of respondents told the Royal Mail that they had abandoned an online shopping cart that they had begun to fill at some point in the past and it is estimated that in the last 12 months this has cost retailers over £2.6 billion in lost online sales.

The Royal Mail's Dan Hewett said that the stiff competition in the e-Commerce marketplace meant that it was no longer acceptable for a retailer to lose business simply because of poor information and badly websites which cannot properly support safe shopping online.

Analyst Forrester has come to a slightly different conclusion about the problems of online shopping cart abandonment, saying that, in fact, it is the considered, bargain-hunting approach of the UK consumer that is resulting in ditched orders and so unless people can be convinced not to seek out the lowest price when safe shopping online, retailers will continue to lose out to lower priced rivals.