Latest Logan Tod research shows cart abandonment still a major issue for UK e-tailers – with many shoppers struggling with basket pages

Most e-tailers are already preparing themselves (and their online store) for this year’s Christmas shopping rush, and it looks like their basket page could be crucial in deciding whether online shoppers use their site ahead of offerings from some of their closest competitors - according to the latest online shopping survey from e-commerce specialists Logan Tod.

The research found that 83% of those questioned from across the UK had abandoned an online purchase, with almost a third blaming their decision on the difficulties experienced when getting to grips with their basket.

“Shopping cart abandonment is not a new phenomenon, but it seems that UK e-tailers are still not getting it right” says Matthew Tod, Chief Executive at Logan Tod. “The latest Coremetrics data shows that the overall UK conversion rate is currently 1 in 2 baskets*, however, from our own data we are seeing many online merchants are only converting 1 in 3 baskets or worse. There is clearly work to be done, but the good news is that the issues we have uncovered can be fixed.”

Away from the usual gripes about unclear shipping costs and the continuing trend of using their basket as a ‘shopping list’, the study showed that 20% of those who had given up did so as the basket took too long to upload their items, leaving them feeling frustrated and ditching the whole purchase process altogether.

In addition, a further 10% admitted that they simply found the basket page ‘too confusing’. And it seems as though some of these problems may well explain why 37% admitted they chose to abandon their purchase as they had ‘simply changed their mind’.

“The worst offenders, when it comes to giving up on a purchase, are those aged between 25-44, and, interestingly, it’s the men who are more likely to abandon their cart!” adds Matthew Tod. “Men are often accused of being less patient than women and the 25-44 age group tend to be time pressured. Understanding the needs of your consumers is essential and there are plenty of design and structure changes that can be made to reduce abandonment – so long as you make sure you devote some time and really focus on the issue.”

Matthew Tod has some advice and top tips for e-tailers:
• No shipping costs in the basket means no sale; people need to know what a product will cost and if you don’t tell them they won’t buy.
• If you use a ‘mini-basket’ make sure it really works to drive sales as most are just a design feature that actually reduces sales.
• If you are running a promotion, make sure that it works with your basket page; that way customers see they are making a saving and are encouraged to make a purchase.
• Make sure your basket page is matched to the state of mind of your consumer – the basic tenets always hold true, make it quick to update and easy to understand and you won’t go far wrong.
• Consumers often don’t convert on a first visit! However, they do usually come back again. Make sure that your basket can remember what they picked last time around and increase your chances of making that sale.
• Analyse who is using your site and how they like to use your basket, and then TEST everything to make sure you are meeting their needs.
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* Refers to Coremetric data for March 2008 (available at www.coremetrics.co.uk)

Notes to Editors

About Logan Tod & Co
Logan Tod & Co. is an independent digital consultancy, focused on helping companies achieve better results from e-business. The company ensures online activity creates more sales leads, sells more, saves money and improves ROI. The Logan Tod team does this by analysing data, managing the conversion process and developing techniques to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of a website.

Logan Tod works closely with its clients, ensuring their site development is more business results driven and customer centric. Clients include Focus DIY, Mothercare, Early Learning Centre, HMV, M and M Direct, Kitbag.com and Hawkins Bazaar.
www.logantod.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 8th May 2008