Online consumers may be filling their shopping carts and taking them to the cashier, but the majority of shoppers are changing their minds before they complete the transaction, according to research by BizRate.com and The NPD Group.
The survey, which drew more than 10,000 respondents, revealed that 75 percent of online consumers have abandoned shopping carts in the past three months. When asked why they abandoned the cart, 31 percent of respondents claimed they simply changed their minds. Another 24 percent decided the shipping and handling costs were too expensive.
What happens to the items abandoned in cybershopping carts? Thirty-nine percent of the survey respondents did not purchase the items at all. Another 26 percent purchased the product from a competitor, while 17 percent went offline to get it. The remaining 18 percent did return to the same site at a later time to complete the transaction.
“Millions of dollars in sales are lost because online merchants lack a core knowledge of what happens at the point of purchase,” said Farhad Mohit, CEO of BizRate.com.
Despite regularly abandoning shopping carts, consumers are still returning to the site to make purchases. The survey found 58 percent of the survey respondents stated they went back to the online store, and of those, 53 percent made purchases during subsequent visits. Furthermore, 74 percent of online buyers say they are very satisfied with their overall online buying experience.
Predictably, the study indicated the items most often abandoned are also the ones consumers are most likely to purchase online: books, music, software, computer hardware, and apparel.
“While there is no magic formula that ensures a site will convert all window shoppers into buyers,” Mohit said, “the results of this study reinforce the need for online merchants to more closely study their customers’ buying behaviors and make the adjustments necessary to lower the abandonment rate.”