How to stop nearly four in ten UK shoppers abandon a purchase weekly

No primary category set

Four in ten UK shoppers (38%) abandon a purchase at least once a week and with a fifth (21%) claim they dump their basket even more regularly, according to new research by Klarna and BigCommerce. With the UK heading towards a recession they point out that retailers need to prioritise shoppers’ most fundamental needs for the sake of their bottom line.

Don’t think if you’re a marketplace seller that this doesn’t apply to you as the number one reason behind for shoppers to abandon a purchase, with over half of UK consumers (54%), is lack of fast and affordable delivery options.

Lack of delivery options were followed by the burden of needing to create an account and frustrations with the functionality of a mobile website, cited by 32% and 33% respectively as reasons to drop out and abandon a purchase. 27% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because they couldn’t remember their login details for an existing account, whilst more than a quarter of UK shoppers (26%) admitted they have left a purchase halfway through because they ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to prepare their card details.

The findings, which highlight the fragility of the shopper journey, form part of a new report — Navigating Needs: the path to profit in ecommerce — published by Klarna and BigCommerce, in partnership with retail expert Andrew Busby.

Hierarchy of shopper needs

The report considers the shopper needs retailers must satisfy in their quest to gain and retain customers.

  • Functionality makes up the foundation of the pyramid as the need that must be met first and foremost, with 37% of respondents saying the ease of using a retailer’s website has the biggest influence over their purchase decisions. Almost a quarter (23%) said they’d also be influenced by the speed of the checkout process, while 22% are encouraged by flexible payment options.
  • Safety comes next, with three quarters (75%) of consumers saying they would be likely to abandon their shopping cart if they did not trust a website’s security. In the current context, this also means the safety of deliveries, with many retailers now offering essential non-contact delivery options to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Moving further up the pyramid, the research reveals the importance of engagement, with 39% of consumers saying good customer service would encourage them to shop again with an online retailer. An additional 27% said poor customer service would deter them.
  • An intrinsic need to be recognised and valued – esteem – comes next, with a third (33%) of consumers noting that personalised offers or discounts would encourage them to shop with an online brand, and a fifth (19%) being swayed by a personalised checkout experience. In fact, a fifth (19%) even said they would be likely to abandon a purchase if they weren’t treated to a personalised offer.
  • And, with all other needs met, many consumers are looking for entertainment and inspiration — enriching experiences — to capture their attention, with over a third (35%) of UK shoppers saying they are more likely to shop with a retailer that is associated with fun content and experiences.

“Consumer behaviour might feel particularly unpredictable right now, but fundamental needs remain the same. Just like Maslow’s theory, this means starting with the basics and working up. Customers won’t feel comfortable if a website feels insecure, whilst a fast, smooth checkout process is likely to encourage loyalty. From flexible payment options and shopper security to relevant content and referral traffic, we’re proud to help retailers improve the shopping experience at every stage of the journey, enabling them to create closer connections with customers.”
– Laurel Wolfe, VP Marketing, Klarna

“Even before Covid-19 struck, retail was undergoing a seismic shift – and now its transformation is almost inevitable. Innovation is key, and retailers are right to consider new ways of reaching customers and bringing the same enriching experiences to them in this strange new world. But, in a matter of months, functionality and safety have shot to unprecedented levels of importance. Physical stores may never look the same again – and, from the ability to try before you buy to the need for secure spending and rapid returns, online retailers are under peak pressure to make the shopping experience as safe and seamless as possible.”
– Andrew Busby, top 20 global retail influencer, CEO of Retail Reflections and IBM Futurist

“Shopping should always be easy and enjoyable. Consumers want ecommerce to be as quick and flexible as possible, and as this research shows, anything less than a seamless experience will result in abandoned baskets. As stress levels rise and purse strings tighten, shoppers will buy more from those merchants that match their needs. Every abandonment represents a dent in the retailers’ revenues and potentially a sale lost to a competitor, making it incredibly important to consider every aspect of the shopping experience – from security and website speed to the power of personalisation – across all channels where customers engage.”
– Jim Herbert, EMEA general manager, BigCommerce

One Response

  1. Some sites I’ve looked at hide the delivery cost / don’t have a FAQ’s and make you go all the way through inputting your details before finally showing you the delivery cost at the end just before you click pay. I presume their thinking is by the time they get that far the customer will continue as they won’t want to have to look elsewhere. Well I’ve got news for you it doesn’t work, I’ve abandoned numerous carts for this reason.


BigCommerce Open Sources B2B Edition Buyer Portal

BigCommerce Open Sources B2B Edition Buyer Portal

BigCommerce CEO Brent Bellm on Open SAAS, Retailer Marketplaces & Instant Commerce

BigCommerce CEO Brent Bellm on Open SAAS, Retailer Marketplaces & Instant Commerce

Solving Retail Data Challenges with Sharon Gee, Feedonomics

Solving Retail Data Challenges with Sharon Gee, Feedonomics

Troy COX, CPO at BigCommerce and The Next Big Thing!

Troy Cox, CPO at BigCommerce and The Next Big Thing!

BigCommerce Mark Adams on new Catalyst next gen storefront

BigCommerce Mark Adams on new Catalyst next gen storefront

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars