Abandoned online shopping carts accounted for a loss of over one billion pounds to UK e-commerce sites in 2011. Nearly 45 per cent - or just over 2 customers in every 5 - abandoned at least one online shopping transaction over the twelve month period and the reason appears to be outdated website registration.
The findings from a survey conducted by Experian, leading global information analysts, also reveals that one in five of abandoned transactions meant the entire shopping attempt was cancelled altogether and not restarted at another site, which lost £214 million of net revenue to UK online retail.
At a time of struggling economic recovery and multichannel e-marketing expansion, businesses must surely recognise the vital importance of implementing an integrated e-commerce strategy and ensuring optimum performance from their websites, which allows all prospects a quick, easy and hassle free journey to conversion and checkout.
Despite the instant availability of providing e-commerce sites with current and bespoke web solutions, there has always been a high rate of abandoned carts by up to nearly 75 per cent or around 3 in every 5 users. It is often mistakenly assumed to be just typical customer behaviour in the buying cycle, whatever the type of purchase.
With the growth of different platform technologies for different purposes, consumers are more likely to conduct their purchasing on different timelines and conflict with retailers whose online marketing is aimed at completing a sale over a short period.
Also – there is the persistence of the irritating practice of only displaying the delivery charges at the very last stage, which forces customers to re-navigate the entire process from the start or leave the site immediately in disgust.
Just over 70 per cent of respondents in a separate study identified hidden charges as the key reason for checkout abandonment, over 50 per cent were concerned over payment security and nearly 45 per cent cited slow loading pages or technical problems as a cause of abandoning their cart.
However, the latest study concludes that it is more likely to be the length and complexity of a number of older forms of identity verification at a website that causes frustration and abandonment of the entire transaction. It has been found that over 25 per cent of respondents abandoned a purchase - even after adding items to their basket – because they are required to register before commencing the purchasing process.
Research reveals that retailers who force users to register before making a purchase receive the lowest scores for their online checkouts, while those retailers who scored the highest only requested a minimum amount of customer information.
Maybe site owners are unaware that the older types of identity verification require organisations using them to prioritise security. They systems tend to rely on limited or out-of-date information, and cannot instantly validate a high number of genuine customers. Another issue is that they are unable to provide extra assurance from interactive questioning or the checking of previous identity fraud intelligence.
Ironically, most of the necessary customer data will be supplied by the actual transaction process itself and the act of registration is simply seen as a clear obstacle to both a sales completion and to the return of the customer. Less than a fifth of one time cart abandonment visitors are likely to make a subsequent purchase.