Online shoppers leave £100 of goods a month in ‘fantasy baskets’ – survey

Online shoppers abandon more than £100 worth of goods in baskets every month on average, a survey has found.

Significant delivery costs, the desire to “window shop” rather than make a purchase and lengthy authentication processes were key drivers of payment dropouts, Barclaycard Payments said.

Getting distracted by other online shopping and forgetting what baskets contain were other key reasons.

Perhaps with work to finish before the end of the day, people were most likely to abandon a purchase at 4pm.

Typically, people have just under seven items in their basket when shopping online, the survey found.

Homeware, smart clothing, gadgets, party outfits and holiday wardrobes were among the items frequently ditched over the past year, with online shoppers leaving £105.60 of goods on average behind each month.

Fashion shoppers were the most fickle, with seven in 10 abandoning purchases.

People shopping for white goods were the most focused, with just 6% building “fantasy baskets” without making a purchase.

Laptops were frequently abandoned items, the research also found.

The research also found that incentives such as discounts and free delivery, as well as easier navigation and faster payments processes, could make all the difference between items being left and shoppers completing their purchases.

More than a third (34%) of people said they had become more reliant on online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.

But a quarter had become more cautious about spending.

Nearly a fifth (17%) said using the virtual world as a distraction from lockdown had led to them ditching full online shopping baskets.

Barclaycard said investing in apps and introducing “swipe to buy” features were ways that retailers could reduce the number of abandoned baskets.

However, it also found 35% of shoppers worry about the security of swipe to buy, now popular on many mobile apps, should their account be compromised.

Some 34% were worried about swipe to buy resulting in the wrong goods being ordered, while 31% were concerned that items may be delivered to the wrong address. A quarter feared they may be over-charged with swipe to buy.

Marc Pettican, president of Barclaycard Payments, said that as e-commerce has boomed during the pandemic “so too has the number of purchases abandoned at the checkout”.

He added: “An increase in choice, slow checkout processes, and websites which are difficult to navigate have all contributed to shoppers deserting items at the last minute.

“A lot of this is down to frustrations when faced with various checkout hurdles, such as cumbersome payment authentication processes which can require a number of steps to complete.

“Retailers can alleviate this by making their payment processes as stress-free as possible, which will help combat basket abandonment, boost sales and increase shopper satisfaction at the same time.”

Clare Bailey, an independent retail expert, said virtual shopping has become an outlet for distraction and browsing, with less intention to buy.

She added: “While shoppers are leaving behind more fantasy basket items as a result, these findings provide invaluable insight that could help retailers buck the trend.

“For example, consumers are less likely to drop out at checkout when retailers invest in a dedicated app, offer seamless payment processing, and simple authentication systems.”

Some 2,000 people were surveyed in April.