An estimated £1.02bn worth of online shopping transactions were abandoned in 2011 by UK consumers, according to Experian.

One in five of these abandoned transactions were not taken elsewhere as individuals cancelled their shopping attempt altogether, resulting in £214m worth of net lost revenue for UK retailers.

The study found that 44% of UK shoppers have abandoned at least one online shopping transaction in the last year having become frustrated with the length and complexity of certain older forms of identity verification.

According to Experian’s UK Director of Identity & Fraud Nick Mothershaw: 

Older forms of identity verification – which draw on limited information or out-of-date data, cannot instantly validate as many genuine customers, and don’t provide extra assurance from interactive questioning or the checking of previous identity fraud intelligence – require organisations using them to prioritise security or customer convenience.

While there’s no doubt that ineffecient and slow identity verification checks have the potential to harm conversion rates, I wonder whether other factors do more damage. 

The recent eChannel Retail Benchmark found that retailers that force users to register before making a purchase receive the lowest scores for their online checkouts.

The retailers that scored highest required a minimum amount of data entry, in fact ASOS halved its checkout abandonment rate after removing compulsory registration for customers.

Data from an Econsultancy survey of 2,000 UK consumers found that 26% of respondents abandoned a purchase after adding items to their basket due to the need to register before buying. 

However, high delivery charges (74%), high prices (49%) and technical problems (54%) all ranked higher.

Our survey asked about checkout abandonment as a separate criteria to basket abandonment.

Hidden charges (71%) were identified as the key reason for checkout abandonment, followed by concerns about payment security (58%) and technical problems or slow loading pages (44%).

Once you are in the checkout process, what would deter you from completing the purchase?

Experian’s study, which was carried out by The International Fraud Prevention Research Centre, combined insights from an Opinium Research survey of 2,028 consumers and organisations across a range of sectors to estimate the proportion of transactions that are abandoned or incorrectly rejected.