More than half of Aussie shoppers abandon online purchases

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Australian consumers are prone to abandoning their online shopping carts before buying, according to new research.

The SAP Consumer Propensity Study found that 57 per cent of online shoppers discard their virtual shopping carts “sometimes” or “all of the time”.

The categories most vulnerable to abandonment were fashion (67 per cent) and furniture (65 per cent).

Why do so many shoppers abandon purchases?

The research identified several main reasons:

  • High shipping costs (this is the reason 60 per cent of Australian consumers abandon their shopping carts).
  • Shoppers using online carts merely to compare prices with other brands and websites (46 per cent).
  • Item is out of stock (32 per cent).
  • Longer-than-expected delivery times (29 per cent).

Price is the main motivator

The global survey, which included 1000 Australian participants, also asked online consumers what motivated them to complete a purchase.

The main driver was price. Fifty-three per cent of Australian consumers said discounts and promotions nudged them to complete a purchase. Just under a third (32 per cent) cited multiple-buy deals. And 31 per cent are motivated when the retailer gives fast responses to their queries.

“Reviewing cart-abandonment data provides a starting point for retailers to identify friction points in the consumer journey and make improvements to the overall purchasing experience,” said Jennifer Arnold, Vice President of Marketing, Asia Pacific Japan & Greater China, SAP Customer Experience.

“Consumer behaviour at the checkout stage, including items selected and discarded, navigation steps, time spent to complete specific actions, the precise point of abandonment, amongst other factors, provide valuable insight into ways the retailer can boost customer engagement and increase conversion.”

New technologies not a priority

The SAP study also revealed what Australian customers want from brands when shopping. It found that simple online shopping features and experiences win out over new technologies.

The top priority for respondents (cited by 57 per cent) was easy exchange and return. This was followed by comparison tools to check prices and specifications (51 per cent). Next came a physical store where they could “try and buy” (42 per cent).

All these priorities ranked higher than chatbots or 24/7 customer service (34 per cent) and virtual/augmented reality technologies (33 per cent).

“The findings show that customers want the basics done right and are willing to move on to other brands if they aren’t receiving the best experience possible,” Ms Arnold said.

The findings for grocery

The research also produced some findings specific to grocery retailing:

  • 50 per cent of all Australians have bought groceries online. They are buying groceries online more often than financial products (41 per cent) and furniture (30 per cent).
  • When it comes to groceries, 77 per cent of consumers are checking out within a day (23 per cent are leaving items in their cart for more than a day).
  • 49 per cent of customers are abandoning their shopping carts “sometimes” or “all the time” while shopping online, which is less than average across all industries (57 per cent).