Over three quarters (77%) of online shoppers have proceeded to the checkout of a retail website in the past year only to leave the site before completing the purchase according to the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG. The estimated annual loss of revenue to UK online retailers due to checkout abandonment will reach £6bn in 2013.

 When asked why they abandoned at this point, over half (53%) of the 2,000 consumers surveyed cited delivery costs being too high as the main reason, suggesting that many were only made aware of the price of delivery once they reached the payment stage of their shopping journey. The survey also revealed that 44% simply changed their mind and another 39% wanted longer to think about the purchase. Highlights include:

  • 77% have abandoned their basket in the past year

  • 53% cited delivery costs being too high as the main reason

  • 26% placed an item in their basket just ‘to check delivery costs’


 Delivery concerns were a recurring theme in the survey for shoppers who have recently abandoned at the checkout, with another 26% stating that they only placed an item in their basket in the first place to check delivery costs while a further 18% didn’t make the purchase because the estimated delivery date was too long.

 Almost three quarters (65%) who abandoned at the checkout because they felt delivery costs were unreasonable went on to search online to see if similar products were available elsewhere from another retailer demonstrating that concerns about delivery can impact shopper loyalty. Just 8% went to a store to make the purchase afterwards and 1 in 5 (20%) made no purchase whatsoever.

 The results underline the fact that delivery forms such an important part of the overall customer experience and it is clear that customers feel very strongly about this area. Over half (54%) of those surveyed felt that retailers should be making users aware of delivery costs from the moment they land on the homepage, rather than at a subsequent stage toward making a purchase. This is entirely consistent with the best practice advice given by IMRG and clearer delivery costs were the one key area where respondents felt retailers could focus to improve their basket abandonment rates.

 Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch: “Delivery has long been a key part of the customer journey that online shoppers feel that retailers must improve, as often highlighted in our benchmark studies and in the annual in depth UK Consumer Delivery Survey we conduct with IMRG every Christmas. Investment in better parcel tracking, timed delivery slots and other innovations has gone some way to improving customer satisfaction with overall customer experience, but these results clearly show that issues surrounding delivery are still a massive barrier to purchase for a large chunk of online shoppers. Supporting eDigitalResearch and IMRG results show that the majority of us would prefer not pay over £5 for small or medium sized goods to be delivered to our doors – in fact, most of us expect to have the option for these types of packages to be sent without additional delivery costs. If retailers really want to capitalise on the Christmas shopping boom this year, then they must look to improve their delivery experience – from costs to timescales – helping to encourage shoppers to spend more”.

 Other reasons cited for checkout abandonment over the past year include items being out of stock (21%), limited information to make a purchase decision (12%), security concerns, limited payment options and unclear returns policies (8% respectively).

 Andy Mulcahy, Editor at IMRG: “Basket and checkout abandonment rates have remained high since we have been tracking them and only slight improvements have been made at the overall industry level. The survey results are clear that delivery costs are something customers feel very strongly about and it may be that introducing greater clarity around them up front could help to reduce the estimated £6bn retailers are going to miss out on this year due to checkout abandonment.”

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