The not-quite shoppers

Brits shopping online abandon £3.4bn of goods in their virtual shopping baskets each year. But much of this wastage could be saved if retailers did a better job of meeting their expectations, a new study into the bleeding obvious has concluded.

Improving the customer journey, a Barclays Corporate Banking Online Retail Report adds, might involve improving the smartphone experience. That’ll be because buying on your mobile is more fiddly than finding the end of the Sellotape in a dark cellar. While wearing boxing gloves.

Consumers, it seems, tend to abandon their mobile baskets, then switch to laptops to complete their purchase.

Unsurprisingly, 28% of our phat-fingered friends from Barclays’ sample of 2000 adults said they’d be keener to complete their purchase if mobile buying were less of a freaky, anguish-inducing nightmare.

Potential customers also expressed annoyance at having to offer up personal details when checking out. After all, who wouldn’t want to receive 42 emails a day that have no relevance whatsoever to their lives? Thirteen percent said that not having to provide such details would make them more likely to go through with the purchase.

Other factors that made people abandon their baskets were a lack of discount incentives and not enough delivery options.

Incentives that consumers say would make them more likely to buy included free delivery (56%), free returns (29%), next-day delivery (17%) and click and collect (15%).

In other stats, 43% said they’d fail to complete because they’d prefer to wait for a better deal or offer, 38% would hunt for discount codes and 35% said they’d want to wait for a sale. Nearly 30% said that bonus points or other reward schemes would encourage them to buy.

Barclays reckons that, by making these changes, retailers could boost sales by £10.5bn within just five years.

“At a time when cost management is a priority, it’s understandable that investment in mobile optimisation may seem too expensive for many retailers. However, our research underlines the longer-term benefit of providing easy-to-use options across all online platforms,” said Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail at Barclays.


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Author Chris Painter

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