Cart abandonment at all time high due to unsatisfactory shipping options

A new global shipping report by BigCommerce reveals that almost three quarters of UK online shoppers have abandoned their cart because they did not like the shipping options available. Whilst many would consider this a cause for concern, almost half of retailers admit they don’t know what their cart abandonment rate is, let alone the reason behind it.

Simply put, if you don’t know what your cart abandonment rate is that’s the first place to start, then establish at what point in the buying process consumers quit and don’t complete the purchase. Websites which clearly state shipping policies up front are preferable, there’s nothing worse than adding items to your cart just to be stung with unreasonable shipping charges or lack of convenient delivery options.

One in two UK consumers purchase online at least once a week, so it’s no surprise they value shipping options. With the global ecommerce market currently valued at over US $3 trillion the results of the study suggest that retailers need to put more emphasis on connecting the dots between shipping practices and customer behaviour.

“Retailers need to treat shipping as a critical piece of their business – or risk being left behind. A brand’s shipping experience can carry as much weight as the marketing or products themselves. Spending the time and money getting to know customers’ shipping expectations might not be at the top of the priority list, but our research shows it holds the potential to deliver repeat shoppers and increased sales.”
– Mark Adams, vice president and general manager of Europe, BigCommerce

Key Cart abandonment findings

  • Shipping experience can make or break a purchase for one in three Brits

    For more than a third of UK consumers, shipping is so important they have stopped shopping with an online retailer altogether because of a negative experience.

  • UK shoppers will spend more to get a great shipping deal

    Consumers want convenience and speed. So much so that 44 percent of online shoppers avoid retailers that do not offer free shipping, while 80% have made a purchase from a retailer purely because they offer free shipping. Furthermore, while research shows that one in three UK consumers are not willing to pay extra for next-day delivery, a huge nine in ten admit adding items to their cart in order to receive free shipping.

  • Consumers’ environmental concerns high on the agenda

    Seven in ten online consumers in the UK think about the environmental impact of online shopping, making us more environmentally conscious than our US and Australian counterparts. The biggest concern for UK consumers is products that are shipped with additional packaging. In order to offset this, almost a third (32%) of consumers want the option of no shipping, instead choosing to pick up items at physical stores rather than have them delivered.

  • No relief from the ‘right to return’

    Currently, only 12% of retailers offer free shipping for returns while a further five per cent plan to offer it within the next year. This finding, however, does little to reflect the true expectations of online shoppers. In reality, 37% of UK customers expect a pre-paid returns label – three times the number of retailers currently offering the free service.

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