PayPal survey: why shoppers abandon their shopping

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PayPal have published the results of their second annual Checkout Abandonment Survey, looking at why website buyers don’t complete purchases. Just like last year’s survey, an excessive shipping fee was the number one reason for shoppers walking away. It’s clear that if sellers are able to offer shipping-inclusive prices, this is something that buyers like, however counter-intuitive that might be for those of us who typically sell more than one item at a time. And even if your site charges separate shipping, making that cost transparent at the beginning of the checkout flow – or earlier – is essential.

There’s some suggestion, though, that buyers are getting more savvy with their online shopping: the second most popular reason for abandonment was that buyers wanted to comparison shop, and 25% cited leaving the site to look for a coupon or discount voucher. Sellers should be using this behaviour to their advantage: if you’re not currently listing website coupons on voucher sites, you’re probably missing out on some valuable free advertising, and a fair number of sales.

But there’s some reassurance: a third of shoppers who abandoned their carts later returned to the same site to purchase. Sellers should consider:

  • making it easy for shoppers to bookmark their site and specific items they’re interested in,
  • using social bookmarking tools as well as traditional browser bookmarks/favourites
  • extending the life of shopping cart cookies so that buyers who return later can find the items they’d already added to their cart,
  • and offering a wish-list facility for longer-term use.

PayPal are running a video presentation later today to discuss their findings further.

8 Responses

  1. Can’t believe I missed the trick of having a button on my site for people to easily bookmark it. Another one to add to the To-Do list. 🙂

  2. Intresting comment about voucher codes.

    I have done it myself looked at an item then gone off to find a code, however most of these voucher code sites seem to always be out of date, which is a dissapointment really.

    We tried advertising for a month with one last november, big selling time for jewellery and we had 30 clicks and 1 purchase the advert cost £150!.

    However we listed the codes for free on money saving expert and we had about 200 orders from that code!


  3. Just the same old stuff being recycled each year to generate some free PR.
    Anybody trading online should know this already!
    The two main reasons buyers eject from the checkout process are:
    1. Asking them to signup and ‘join’ your site when thay only want to pay and go thanks and not fill in forms that include unnecessary personal details.
    2. No indication of the shipping prices/options (or applicable tax charges) before commiting to buy an item or combined items.
    This is all common sense which all good eCommerce systems and checkout processes do as standard – but not the Paypal checkout apparently – surprise surprise.
    #2 thankyou – good tip for everyone – don’t waste your cash on paid adverts, just use forums and other sites where potential buyers like to lurk along with blogs etc – word soon gets around if money can be saved.
    pip pip

  4. It’s also worth noting that shopping online is not so different from shooping on the high st.

    Window shopping online is quite a pass time for some people, adding products to your basket and just passing time in your lunch break etc.

    Also, with smaller online webshops, competitors often try out your website to see how your system works etc.

    A very small % of abandoned carts are serious buyers.


  5. #7 some good points, if we have any carts abandoned we always email them to ask if everything was ok and offer them 10% off their next purchase as well.

    Seems to work quite well in getting them to come back, but possible sometimes its just a customer checking they can order it who does indeed intend on coming back.



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