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Online Shoppers Wary Of High Shipping Costs

Leads to abandoned purchases

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Close to half (45%) of online shoppers have abandoned their carts multiple times in the past three weeks due to high shipping costs, security concerns and lack of convenience, according to a new survey released by PayPal and conducted by comScore.

High shipping costs was the most commonly given reason for cart abandonment with the average cost of abandoning U.S. shopping carts reaching $109. The survey found that providing shipping costs upfront might have led to 40 percent to complete the purchase.

To help reduce shopping cart abandonment, PayPal has introduced an "Instant Update API," that allows merchants to show order details earlier in the process including shipping options, insurance choices and tax totals.

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

"To get shoppers to buy, it’s critical merchants make the checkout experience easy and costs transparent," said Eddie Davis, senior director of SMB merchant services, PayPal.

The survey also found indications that the economy still has shoppers wary about clicking the purchase button. More than one-third of respondents abandoned checkout because they did not plan for all of the expenses; while more than 25 percent left a site to search for a coupon. The good news is one-third of shoppers later returned to the same site to make a purchase.

"Merchants who don’t welcome back abandoners with open arms are leaving hundreds of dollars per shopper on the table," added Davis.

"Merchants need to remember the items that customers abandon and make it easy for them to buy when they return. Sweetening the deal with free shipping, coupons and special discounts is also a great way to encourage online shoppers to complete their purchases."

Breakdown on Why Shoppers Abandon

At least a fifth of all U.S. survey respondents cited the following as very important reasons for cart abandonment:

  • High shipping charges: 46 percent
  • Wanted to comparison shop: 37 percent
  • Lack of money: 36 percent
  • Wanted to look for a coupon: 27 percent
  • Wanted to shop offline: 26 percent
  • Couldn’t find preferred pay option: 24 percent
  • Item was unavailable at checkout: 23 percent
  • Couldn’t find customer support: 22 percent
  • Concerned about security of credit card data: 21 percent

Online Shoppers Wary Of High Shipping Costs
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